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JONTI MURRAY

We put a call-out to the women in Australian distilling to give us an insight into who they are, and why they chose this industry, here’s some of their responses!


JONTI MURRAY

Assistant Distiller at Flinders Gin, SA


HOW MANY YEARS HAVE YOU BEEN IN THE INDUSTRY?


Less than 1 year.


WHAT SPARKED YOUR INTEREST IN THE INDUSTRY?


"My first introduction to gin was as an 18 year old on a train from London to Edinburgh. I spent the 4 hour train ride guzzling beefeater gin with a not so generous splash of tonic. Gin has been my drink of choice ever since. I first heard about Flinders Gin when my Mum met Leah and Alby at a market and bought me a bottle of their Butterfly Pea Flower gin. I was instantly curious at the prospect of a gin distillery using native ingredients found in the Flinders Rangers. I have always had a deep connection to Outback Australia, from spending time in Birdsville with my family growing up and hiking through the Flinders Rangers as an adult. I love the idea of taking advantage of the incredible botanicals and native flora that we have in Outback Australia and introducing people to new and exciting ingredients."


YOUR MOST PROUD MOMENTS IN THE INDUSTRY?


"My most proud moment in the industry to date has been making my own ferment to later be turned into my first ever bottle of gin. It may seem pretty normal and is something that I have repeated again already and I'm sure will be repeating many times over but I was overwhelming proud to have made my first bottle of gin from scratch. From starting the fermentation to flavouring with local Quandongs and finally hand bottling and labelling the final product."


WHAT HAVE YOU FOUND TO BE THE BIGGEST CHALLENGES IN THE INDUSTRY?


"I started with Flinders Gin with no prior experience distilling. I am grateful that Leah and Alby were keen to take me on in their rapidly growing business. From day one I have been hands on in the distillery and having to pick up skills and processes quickly. Flinders Gin has expanded their distillery and tasting room, taking on more people through the door everyday and bigger quantities of gin to produce, as well as experimenting with new flavours and even new forms of alcohol. In a lot of ways I have felt like I'm trying to join in on an already swinging jump rope. Luckily, Leah and Alby have been extremely patient and detailed with my training even offering further study through external avenues."


WHAT WOULD YOU TELL SOMEONE THAT KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT AUSSIE CRAFT SPIRITS?


"One thing I would tell someone who doesn't know anything about Aussie craft spirits is about the importance of the process that is used and the opportunity it presents to showcase a local region."


WHAT IS SOMETHING THAT YOU WOULD WANT TO TELL YOUR YOUNGER SELF?


"If I could go back and have a conversation with my younger self I would tell her that she is much more capable than she thinks she is. Working in any kind of trade job seemed far fetched for a girl who has only worked front of house. Since starting my job here at Flinders Gin I have surprised myself greatly. From aligning pipe work in the still to working machinery, this job is very well rounded and allows me to grow in many ways within my career in distilling."


WHAT IS YOUR PARTY TRICK?


"My party trick is that I can crack a whip. I have spent time in outback Queensland with my family and love the bush lifestyle. My dad taught me how to crack a whip when I was young and bought me my first whip. I like to 'whip' this party trick out every now and then."


WHO HAS INSPIRED YOU THE MOST IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?


"The person who has inspired me the most in my career has been my mentor Alby. He is an incredible business man and passionate about his craft. He is a fantastic teacher and really does act as an open book. He has a wealth of knowledge and super motivated to pass on everything he knows to me, and just about any one who will listen."


ANYTHING ELSE THAT YOU WANT US TO KNOW?

"I love the platform and promotion that Women of Australian distilling do. It’s so empowering and impactful and I hope I can inspire more women to join the industry!"

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