Aussie distillers on Cloud Nine celebrating pink gin win

Eat & Drink

Cloud Distillery in Victoria’s Macedon Ranges landed a Double Gold medal for its pink gin at the recent 2024 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The gin features locally sourced berries and botanicals.

James Oldland was in lockdown in the quaint Victorian town of Woodend when he made his very first bottle of gin.

“He likes to joke that we were going through so many bottles of handcrafted gin, that he thought it might be easier just to produce our own,” jokes his wife, Jane Oldland.

Jane concedes that her husband’s very first bottle of gin was not up to scratch. The Oldlands kept at it, and two years later, combined forces with Josie Fletcher, a fellow Woodend resident and gin connoisseur. Together they founded Cloud Distillery.

The company produces dry, citrus, cherry, and pink gin under the name ‘Macedon Ranges Gin and Vodka.’ The elevation in Woodend where the grain-derived gin is produced, is 580 metres above sea level.

Cloud Distillery sources the berries and botanicals that it infuses into its gins locally. The Woodend grain and botanical combination is gaining traction here in Australia, and abroad.

Cloud Distillery co-founders Josie Fletcher, Jane Oldland, and James Oldland in Woodend, Victoria. Image: Cloud Distillery.

The pink gin won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in April. Three other Cloud Distillery gins also won awards.

“It’s just fantastic when something you are passionate about – in this case, showcasing our beautiful region through our gins and vodkas – is recognised on the world stage,” says James Oldland.

The 43-year-old was born and raised in Victoria. This is not his first entrepreneurial venture. In 2013 Oldland co-founded the TuckerFox Group, an online ordering system for restaurants and their customers. The company has since expanded throughout Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia.

The Oldlands and their three children have lived in Macedon Ranges for a decade, moving from inner-city Melbourne long before the ‘tree-change’ trend seen during Covid-19. Cloud Distillery co-owner Josie Fletcher and her partner moved to Victoria from Manchester, England. Josie is an accountant and has experience working in a winery and a gin company in the UK.

At Cloud Distillery, Josie heads up finance and HR, Jane handles marketing and is the resident ‘tasting queen.’ James is chief gin maker, and oversees business relationships and hiring.

“We have created gins and vodkas that people love right here in the beautiful Macedon Ranges,” says James Oldland. “We can’t wait to see what we can do next. The sky is really the limit.”

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