Plans for proposed distillery and perfumery at The Summit on the Granite Belt. Picture: SDRC
Plans for proposed distillery and perfumery at The Summit on the Granite Belt. Picture: SDRC

FRESH DROP: New distillery, perfumery with big plans

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A potential new Southern Downs development is set to bring a distillery with a difference to the region, with hopes of putting an innovative spin on the industry.

Debra and William Spence lodged an application with Southern Downs Regional Council for a new distillery and perfumery at their property 25335 New England Highway, The Summit.

The couple said they purchased the farm at the beginning of 2020 to kickstart their dreams of running their own business, but were derailed by COVID-19 lockdown and economic fallout.

Plans indicate an existing glass building about 50sq m will be converted into the perfumery, with the 2500L-maximum distillery to be built on-site using homegrown ingredients.

Plans for proposed distillery and perfumery at The Summit on the Granite Belt. Picture: SDRC
Plans for proposed distillery and perfumery at The Summit on the Granite Belt. Picture: SDRC

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“The primary business focus for the perfumery is developing online retail and courses so we are in a position for surviving any further Covid pandemic shutdown,” the application read.

“The distillation of grape juice will provide the perfumery with a unique local and natural base product.

“We are keeping with the philosophy of sourcing raw ingredients ‘Paddock to Still’ (and) wish to meet the niche market of natural French-style perfume artisan products.”

The couple’s application also stated Mrs Spence would soon be undertaking a research doctorate, with hopes to premise her studies on the suitability of the area’s climate to produce high-quality aged spirits.

“The thesis will be an investigation into the effects of the altitude and climate change on the ageing of grape-based spirit (i.e. Cognac-style brandy) on the Granite Belt,” it read.

“If this thesis proves the product’s viability, it could lead to a new industry within the region.

“As the primary business focus, the perfumery has presented a unique and exciting possibility to study and prove that the Granite Belt is a superior location for producing and ageing distilled products.”

SDRC has not yet made their decision on the proposal.