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Sunday 9 January 2022

Cheese, vodka and skin-care products from the one source in Tasmania

Who would have thought that sheep milk could be so versatile?

Diane Rae and her children Nicole Gilliver and Ryan Hartshorn. That's who.

This innovative Tasmanian trio started off with a family sheep farm producing a range of gourmet cheeses under the Grandvewe label.

Then Ryan started using sheep's whey as a key ingredient in a range of artisan spirits as part of his Hartshorn Distillery range.

And now Nicole,a former wine industry veteran, is behind Australia’s first sheep milk skin-care range, handcrafted in Tasmania.

Meet Ewe Care.

Ewe Care is crafting skin-care products from a range of Tasmanian natural ingredients including Cape Grim water and Tasmanian Mountain Pepperberry Extract.

"Some 20 years ago we co-founded a small sheep dairy cheese-making business called Grandvewe Cheeses in the majestic south of lutruwita/Tasmania," Nicole says.

"The functional benefits of sheep milk have been celebrated for centuries - it is used in ointments and lotions to heal wounds and scarring. Its anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties help to reduce redness and breakouts and make it ideal for use on sensitive skin.

"A high natural fat content makes sheep milk a wonderfully nourishing moisturiser that not only helps reduce wrinkles and fine lines but provides essential antioxidants via vitamins like A, C, D and E, as well as AHA — a gentle, natural exfoliant that helps to brighten and rejuvenate the skin.

"With no Australian brands working within the sheep milk skincare space, we saw an opportunity to not only fulfil a functional skincare need but to work with Awassi sheep farms across Tasmania to celebrate the full potential of this valuable ingredient.

"Our business has always had a very strong foothold in sustainability, even before it was a marketing term. As a means of expressing this, we started a distillery business some six years ago that set about solving the problem of turning our biggest waste product, whey, into some of the country’s finest vodka and gin."

Every aspect of the Ewe Care packaging - from our cream sachets to the boxes they arrive in - is compostable.

"Ewe Care was created as a solution to a problem and we don’t intend to create new ones with our packaging," says Nicole (above).

"We believe the skincare industry can and should be doing better by the environment and we carry that through every aspect of our brand."

Ewe Care, Grandvewe Cheeses and Hartshorn Distillery are in Birchs Bay - 40 minutes south of Hobart and overlooking the lovely D’Entrecasteaux Channel and Bruny Island.

For bookings and a range of on-site experiences visit

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