Mark Dunemann got his first taste of premium grappa in the early 00s, and it was a revelation. Any preconceptions he’d had about harsh, cheap firewater were demolished. Over the next decade, his fascination with distilling continued to grow, and he explored spirits, techniques, and traditions from Europe to Japan.

But Mark kept coming back to grappa, and the revolution that was taking place in northern Italy. A new generation of distillers were exploring fresh techniques and embracing a new relationship with their raw materials, producing vineyard and vintage specific spirits.

In 2016, Mark hopped on a flight to Rome and headed north. He didn’t know a soul, but soon he developed friendships across the region, as distillers welcomed the curious Australian with the full force of Italy’s legendary hospitality. Over the next few years, he’d learn both the equipment and the distilling process inside and out across Europe, the US, and Australia.

At the urging of several Gippsland winemaker friends, Mark realised that he could adapt the approach of distilling by grape and by vintage he’d experienced in Italy. Crank 1D began to take shape around a mission to create expressions of time and place, blending old world sensibilities with uniquely Australian flavours.

For his first batch of releases, he’s worked with some of the most exciting winemakers in Victoria, including William Downie, Patrick Sullivan, Dane John (Memento Mori), Marcus Satchell (Dirty Three, Wines by Satch), and Neil Prentice. Mark also produced plum and quince brandies using fruit from the orchards of Marge’s Cottage in South Gippsland.

Why Crank.1.D? Marks’ distillery was named after his grandfather’s cattle branding iron symbols.
Inherited by his father and gifted to Mark when the farm in Kingaroy was sold, the branding irons personified Marks’ close family ties, connection to the land and respect for tradition.
Tragically, Mark passed away in March 2021 after an extended illness contracted during his visit to a Koji-master in Japan where he intended extending his repertoire to make Shōchū. These limited bottles hold his spirit. All funds raised from the sale of these exquisite products will go to Marks daughter’s Trust Fund.