“We love what we do, and believe in what we produce.” Myfanwy Kernke on her work at Shene Estate, distillers of Poltergeist Gin

To celebrate World Gin Day, we caught up with Myfanwy Kernke, whose family’s distillery produces the delicious Poltergeist Gin, to learn more about her line of work, the Shene Estate, and the history of Poltergeist.

HCwBB: Please can you introduce yourself?

Myfanwy Kernke: I work at Shene Estate & Distillery, which is my family’s Heritage Estate turned distillery, in Pontville, Tasmania. I like to call myself a story teller and sharer of Poltergeist Gin.

HCwBB: Tell us a little bit about you and what do you do at Shene?

MK: I joke that I’m a Jill of all trades. I help a lot behind the scenes, sharing the Shene story, but also love to take a tour on the weekend or (wo)man the roadside stall and chat to passers by.

HCwBB: What’s one thing you wish was more widely known about your line of work?

MK: Just how hard it is! Heritage conservation and working for a family run distillery isn’t all the glamour it’s made out to be.

 

HCwBB: What’s the biggest misconception about your job?

MK: That it’s easy. It’s not all sitting by the fire sipping gin—working for a heritage estate and distillery is hard yakka. There’s long hours, and each day presents itself with different challenges. There’s many a time standing frozen in the cold distillery waiting for the sun to rise. But, Team Shene (that’s what we call ourselves) wouldn’t have it any other way.

We love what we do and believe in what we produce.

HCwBB: Tell us what an average workday looks like for you?

MK: Daily life on the farm always starts with a good cup of tea. Then it’s off to egg collecting duties and, from there, it ranges from taking guided history tours of the estate to throwing knees-ups in the barn and slinging gin.

There’s never a dull moment.

HCwBB: How did Poltergeist Gin come to be?

MK: Poltergeist has been a melding of two loves: heritage conservation and a deep love of gin. We wanted to create a gin we loved to drink and that captured the essence of the Estate and its incredible story. Shene walls are etched with ancient ritual marks that ensure only good spirits can enter. Get it? Poltergeist, or spirit.

The most commonly found items on the homestead’s veranda are old 1850s gin and tonic bottles—purely medicinal, I’m sure. Poltergeist is distilled and captured at Shene Estate, and shared yet again on the homestead veranda (also purely medicinal).

HCwBB: Who are some of the women that inspire you most and why?

MK: Frida Kahlo, Wallis Simpson, and Princess Diana. All formidable and resilient women. Enough said.

 

 

HCwBB: What’s next for you, for Shene Estate & Distillery, and for Poltergeist?

MK: Shene Estate and Distillery is about to become a cooperage. Another rare trade will find its home at Shene. Stay tuned for more exciting info—your taste buds will love us for it.

HCwBB: How will you be celebrating World Gin Day?

MK: This will be one of those rare occasions that I will most definitely be sitting by the fire sipping gin.


Compiled and Edited by Emma Kate Lewis

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