• Origin: Heathcote / Bendigo, Central Victoria, Australia
  • Producer: Gilles Lapalus & Shaun Byrne
  • Kinfolk: Maison LAPALUS (Bertrand Bespoke Wine), Marionette Liqueur
  • Website:

Maidenii Vermouth is a collaboration between French wine maker Gilles Lapalus and Australian bartender Shaun Byrne.

At the time of conception there was no Australian Vermouth on the market. Shaun and Gilles wanted to fill this niche to showcase Australia’s unique native botanicals.

In its creation, Maidenii uses fresh wine with no added caramel or sugar plus sources leaves, flowers, fruits, herbs, seeds, spices and roots for both contemporary and classic expressions . The vital components, wormwood and wine, are from central Victoria. Other key ingredients include strawberry gum, river mint, sea parsley and wattle seed showcasing Australia’s plethora of native botanicals.

Over the last few years, Maidenii has grown from a boutique product available only to a few select bars into an awarded and sought after premium spirit distributed globally.

Maidenii Classic Vermouth %16

Maidenii Classic Vermouth %16

Base: Syrah from Central Victoria.

Along with Maidenii’s staple botanicals of strawberry gum, sea parsley, river mint and wattleseed, Maidenii Classic Vermouth showcases orange zest, bay leaf & gentian root.

Tasting note: Deep copper colour. A powerful aroma reveals scents of clove, bay leaf and cherry with hints of anise adding freshness. A slightly tart, bitter entry leads into a medium bodied, almost off-dry profile of stewed fruits and sweet spices counterpointed by pleasantly bitter, herbal, earthy, root like flavours and cleansing acidity. Excellent balance. Spicy blackberry finish. Concludes clean, fresh and mildly tart with bay leaf and clove.

Maidenii Dry Vermouth %19


Base: Viognier from Central Victoria.

Along with Maidenii’s staple botanicals of strawberry gum, sea parsley, river mint and wattleseed, Maidenii Dry Vermouth features kaffir lime leaf, nigella and Japanese gentian.

Maidenii Dry was created with the martini in mind. However the versatility of this style means that it is just as delicious drunk straight.

Tasting note: Pale straw gold colour. Perfumed aromatics open with a fruity / herbaceous burst that includes bay leaf, clove, indian spices and more over a fresh and fruity base wine. The fruitiness comes to the fore after exposure leaning towards stewed apricot / fruit mince pie. The palate is lean, light yet with good depth opening spicy with a dried citrus peel and apricot burst before turning deliciously nutty, spicy and refreshingly acidic towards the finish. Finishes bone dry and lightly bitter with gentian along with hints of clove and a medley of flavours reverberating.

Maidenii Sweet Vermouth %16


Base: Cabernet from Central Victoria.

Along with Maidenii’s staple botanicals of strawberry gum, sea parsley, river mint and wattleseed, Maidenii Sweet Vermouth boasts grapefruit, mace and angelica root. Makes for a unique Australian Negroni.

Tasting note: Bright crimson / cherry appearance. Moderate aroma issues an attractive combination of citrus peel and black fruits with subtle herbaceous undertones. A soft, silky entry is followed by a light to medium bodied mid palate with semi sweet flavours of blood orange and sweet spices. Finish is gently acidic and cleansing –  not overly sweet . Concludes with refreshing grape fruit and dried berry notes followed by a gently bitter fade.

Maidenii La Tonique Quinquina 17.5%


Base: Viognier from Heathcote Victoria.

Cinchona bark, lemon gum, finger limes, Victorian green tea

This aromatised wine is produced from Heathcote Viognier grapes. Similar to their vermouths, they use a blend of botanicals, plenty of citrus, and of course, they finish it off with deliciously bitter cinchona bark. A logical extension to the outstanding Maidenii range this Quinquina aperitif is suitable as a solo show over ice or with others in a classic or contemporary mixed beverage.

Tasting note: Pale straw colour with water like edges. A l lift to the aroma with bright notes of grapefruit, thyme, cool mint and delicate quinine. Fresh entry followed by flavours of semi-ripe apricot, pink grapefruit and a delicately bitter, vibrant dried herb / quinine / mint finish.


  • Origin: Beechworth Victoria, Australia
  • Producer: Julian Castagna / Castagna Wines
  • Products: Biodynamic wines, vermouth
  • Website:

With an intention to make, as simply as possible, wine which is an expression of the place where it is grown. The Castagna Vineyard is situated at an altitude of 500 metres five-and-a-half kilometres outside the beautiful town of Beechworth in Northeast Victoria, high in the foothills of the Australian Alps. their soil consists mainly of decomposed granitic-loam on a base of clay. The climate is distinctly Mediterranean with hot days and cool nights during the important part of the growing season. The land is farmed biodynamically; using Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic principles, with a drive to achieve optimum fruit quality that best expresses its terroir.

Max Allen comments, “It’s no coincidence boutique vermouths have started appearing at the same time as the boom in Australian boutique gins – what better partner is there for gin than vermouth, and vice versa?”

Castagna Classic Dry Vermouth 17%


This is reputedly Australia’s first 100% estate grown Vermouth, with all the ingredients sourced from Castagna’s property. Based off a Shiraz Rose and containing 30 botanicals.

Tasting note: Slightly cloudy, pale salmon pink. Sweet oregano and grapey, semi-sweet yet fresh opening notes are underscored by a gently bitter herbaceousness. Aeration accents grapefruit and tarragon. Light to medium bodied with pink grapefruit followed by a yeasty, bready, bay leaf / sage finish concluding gently bitter, dry and delicately herbal finish. A subtle style for easy drinking and cocktails.

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