Owner of Distillery Botanica
From the loneliness of the long distance runner to the conviviality of a distillery with a diversion into herbs along the way.
As a NSW state schoolboy cross country champion Philip spent thousands of hours training whilst focusing intently on the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. An approach not dissimilar to that used to:
Firstly create Australia’s largest wholesale herb nursery with its attendant Australia and New Zealand wide franchise of herb growers.
Secondly to become the first and only Australian distillery to win Herb Liqueur of the Year in Germany, gold medals in London and San Francisco for the Mr Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur and the first and only Australian distillery to win a gold medal for gin at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London, the worlds most prestigious spirits show and the home of gin.
Philip has enduring passions for plants and the flavours and aroma of food and drinks. Thus it was preordained that a nursery specialising in hundreds of varieties of herbs had to be the obvious consequence of these consuming enthusiasms. Close to a million plants were produced by Renaissance Herbs each year. He loves nothing better than deconstructing the flavours of herbs, foods and drinks, then fusing them together to create a flavour symphony which is greater than the sum of its parts.
After twenty years as Australia’s premier herb grower Philip felt a sea change was in order. Accordingly with the guidance of two books, the internet and the purchase of a an extremely tiny still he initiated himself in the ancient art and science of distilling. In 2007 Philip was in the vanguard of the craft distilling renaissance. There were fifteen distilleries in Australia. Now there are around one hundred. With his newfound expertise Philip’s favourite plants are transformed into spirits and liqueurs and bottled. Plants in bottles definitely taste better than plants in pots. The international award winning drinks are created from many hours of handcrafting and hundreds of trials. The gardens which surround the distillery allow Philip to indulge his passion for plants, supply plants for the drinks and create a tranquil oasis which is only minutes from the madding crowd.
Philip can often be found at the cellar door sharing his now extensive knowledge of distilled spirit creation, guiding visitors through a tasting and gaining satisfaction from their sometimes rapturous response to the drinks.