About Us

Our Story

A long history in hospitality and beverage

The Reeves family started in hospitality some five generations back. Our namesake: Mary Monica, a single mum, held a publican license in Melbourne in the 1920s. Her daughter married into another publican family who started their hotel journey in Kerang, Victoria. Their son continued, as did many of his siblings, in their hotel careers. Then in the 80s, our little family begun, with hospitality in our blood.

We started our business life as 23-year-olds in our first motel in Bright Victoria.

Now to the present day, with quite a few hospo businesses under our belt and a boot full of experience we have found ourselves with our son and daughter setting up Stag Lane Distillery on our farm in the Yarra Valley.

Starting our distilling life in 2017 we released our first Gin (Oriental) in 2020. We won a silver medal at the Australian Consumer Gin Awards the same year. It was great feedback, to say the least, and so our journey began.

Although we all share roles, James is our head distiller and Abbey is our amazing foodie that with Gayle’s experience and careful eye helps put all the details together. Paul watches over all aspects of the business and his family, eager to share his experience and knowledge.

The Farm

A regenerative approach

In 2018 we started preparing the farm, adopting a regenerative approach. Using livestock to integrate into our pastures, keeping our land covered with vegetation and not using herbicides and pesticides our aim was to improve the microbiome in our soil.

After sourcing our citrus, we planted our Tahitian limes in 2019.

Locating quality Yuzu plant stock was our next task. The budwood was grafted on specific rootstock and planting commenced in 2021. The juniper and sloe berries were sourced and planted along with several other botanicals around the farm.

The farm is also home to our flock of Dorper cross sheep and a mix of cattle. A couple of Alpacas and a bunch of Chooks. When we are not making Gin or planting the latest botanicals the livestock keeps us running around.

Oh yes and of course our truffiere, with French Oaks for black truffles and Italian Pines for white truffles. Planted in 2020, our first sign of those little delicate nuggets should appear around 2026.

The veg garden is the newest project. Designed to grow amazing fresh botanicals as well as stock our café with the freshest of delicious crops, full of chemical-free goodness that will vary with each season.This is an ongoing journey as we plan to increase its size each year and create diversity throughout.

At times our shed, under our veranda and our front yard look like a nursery with pots everywhere and all types of plants growing happily and waiting to find their forever homes. It’s certainly a labour of love and it seems there will never be an end to planting.

Keeps us grounded!