Chapter 181 – House of Kilnave

We board the two Kilnave House Carriages, which patiently waited for us. There is ample room for everyone, as our belongings are somewhere in the Atlantic. Our twenty-mile trip from Port Ellen to Kilnave is a welcome relief, with dry ground looking particularly beautiful today.

Emelia’s Family Estate lies in the North West of Islay, extending from Ardnave Point in the North, Gleann Tuath in the West, Gruinart in the South, and Loch Gruinneard to the east. This nine thousand-acre estate of rolling moorland, farmland and rivers, provide three of the four key ingredients, peat, barley and water, to make whisky. The other is yeast, a closely guarded secret, where only Emelia, her two brothers, and the master distiller have access to it.

We are exhausted and wake while passing the enormous Estate gates, which marks the start of the final two miles of our journey. I love this Drive, lined by hundreds of giant oaks, providing a gateway to one of the finest estate houses in Scotland. Atkinson and Scott designed this masterpiece in the Scots Baronial style and exemplifies Scotland’s architecture talent.

We meet the house staff, led by Factor; Brodie Macfie and the Housekeeper; Effie Macdonnell. They are the best in the business, and we are thankful to see them — what a story we have to tell.

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