Morris Whisky

Installed at the winery in 1941, a spirit still originally used to make fortified wines laid dormant at the heart of our Rutherglen winery decades later. In 2016, we decided to bring her back to life, beginning our journey in experimenting and researching with spirit making – using local grain and water. In recognition of its awakening after decades of slumber, the still has been named “Aurora,” a nod to the princess in Sleeping Beauty.  

After a few years in a barrel, we experimented with finishing our whisky in some of the amazing Morris fortified casks that we are fortunate enough to have access to. It is the art in our finishing technique that creates the unique and distinctive Morris Whisky taste and allows us to experiment with depth of flavour imparted from these special barrels. 

The barrels used for maturation are a combination of French and American oak wine barrels sourced from our family-owned wineries in the Barossa and Coonawarra regions of South Australia. They are prepared by hand at our private cooperage to a specific method, which imparts the unique Morris of Rutherglen flavour profile. 

We have created a unique whisky style that speaks to our home in Rutherglen. Made with nothing but 100% Australian premium malted barley. Both are brewed and fermented in our family-owned brewery for total quality control. Pure, filtered water from the Snowy Mountains is used throughout the production process. 

Darren Peck - Head Distiller

Darren is the Head Distiller of Morris Australian Single Malt Whisky. With over 25 years of experience in the alcohol industry and having worked across six of the seven continents, Darren’s experience in alcoholic drinks technical innovation has been honed at major brewers and distillers for the world’s most loved brands. 

Darren grew up in a small town in West Yorkshire, England and found his love for beer while studying at University in York. After completing a degree in Environmental Science and Applied Biology, he studied Brewing and Distilling in Scotland.  

Having worked in every continent except Australia and Antarctica, Darren decided to take his expertise down under and began working with Casella Family Brands in 2012 as Technical Innovation Manager. In 2015 he joined the team at Morris Whisky and then became Head Distiller. 

Darren loves living in Rutherglen, an iconic Australian region for both wineries and distilleries. When it comes to making whisky, his favourite element of distilling is being in the stillhouse and being able to smell and control the spirit. This hands-on aspect of distilling is something he believes is crucial to making a great whisky. 

Anton Remkes - Head Cooper

Anton has over 25 years of experience in the cooperage and woodworks industry, specialising in barrel manufacturing, repairs, and innovation.  

Anton grew up on Kangaroo Island, located off the coast of South Australia. Growing up, he was passionate about carpentry and was presented with the opportunity to complete two weeks of work experience at a cooperage during a Woodworks course.  

Anton completed his Certificate III Wood Machinist and Coopering Trade through Marleston TAFE South Australia in 2000, while working for Babidge Coopering in McLaren Vale. Later, he joined Schahinger in Hindmarsh, South Australia, eventually joining SA Cooperage in 2007 where he focused on new barrels, shaving barrels and the production of whisky barrels.  

Anton was taught to make barrels the ‘old-school way’ which involves less machinery and an inventive spirit to ensure that the traditional methods of barrel-making were not lost. Later in his career, he experimented in making large barrels that were up to 80,000 litres.

Anton was drawn to a Morris Whisky Cooperage opportunity in 2018, the position allowing him to work closely with the distiller and learn about the requirements of whisky barrels with direct feedback on styles and methods, maximising the use of oak barrels from Morris Wines.