Bickfords Australia will establish a spirit distillery, barrel hall, visitor centre and cellar door in the Riverland thanks to a $2.36 million State Government grant from the Riverland Sustainable Futures Fund.

The Bickford’s project represents the final grant allocation from the fund and with this latest round of projects will create a total of 235 jobs and generate around $48 million in investment for the Riverland region.

The establishment of the Spirit distillery will contribute significantly to the State’s and the Riverland’s economic growth and will ensure the local production of Black Bottle Brandy is assured for the foreseeable future, along with the opportunity for raw ingredients to be sourced from local producers.

Regional Development, and Agriculture, Food and Fisheries Minister Gail Gago said that the RSFF was designed for projects like this – to assist with industry restructuring and promote sustainable economic and social development in the Riverland.

This new distillery will ensure the local production of Black Bottle Brandy is assured after Vok Beverages, the sales and marketing division for all alcoholic beverages, acquired the brand from Accolade Wines back in October 2011.

Managing Director of Bickford’s Australia, Mr Angelo Kotses says, “This new distillery is a testament to our commitment to grow Australian brandy volumes globally and presents the opportunity for Bickford’s to procure Riverland grapes and process them in a state of the art facility in South Australia.”

The project represents an enormous opportunity for the region, not just in employment, but also with potential benefits spanning across the tourism, food & wine and export industries.

Mr Kotses says “The distillery, visitor centre and cellar door is another step the Bickford’s Group of companies is taking to become one of Australia’s largest privately owned beverage businesses through building outstanding brands, innovation, premiumisation and maintaining close relationships with our customers.”