Bruichladdich buys Shore House Croft farmland

17th September, 2018 by Melita Kiely

Islay-based Bruichladdich has acquired a 30-acre plot of land next to the distillery in order to develop its sustainable farming practices and experiment with barley varieties further.

Bruichladdich-Islay

Head distiller Adam Hannett (left) and Allan Logan (right) on previous trial plots to the north of Islay

The acquisition of Shore House Croft will give the distillery’s agricultural team the chance to “improve” its knowledge and delve into the concept of an “Islay terroir” in greater depth.

To begin with, Bruichladdich will conduct soil surveys with local consultant Hunter Jackson and undertake a biodiversity survey with professional forager James Donaldson.

Allan Logan, Bruichladdich production director, said: “Depending on the results, we hope to establish our own trial plots on the croft where we’ll test the viability of different varieties on Islay soil.

“One day, we may add to the number of different spirits distilled here, and for us the most interesting place to look is outside of the ‘recommended list’ to heritage varieties [of barley].

“These ‘lost’ varieties currently lack focus in terms of research in the industry, in part due to a lesser commercial incentive.

“Ultimately, we’re very excited to use this land for agricultural use. The scale is tiny compared to the land currently being farmed by our partners on the island, but if we can do the experimentation in-house, it may benefit the rest of the growing community here.”

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