Wild Turkey Creative Director Matthew McConaughey unveiled an off-the-grid cabin in Sydney today as part of the Wild Turkey With Thanks initiative built to encourage more Australians to reconnect with the wild, while protecting and preserving it for future generations.
The Academy Award-winning actor led the design of the cabin, named The Reserve, in partnership with Australian builders from travel start-up Unyoked, to ensure it aligned to Wild Turkey’s unapologetic commitment to its craft, and history of doing things the right way for nearly 100 years.
McConaughey said he was proud to see the solar-powered, no-wifi cabin come to life after months of hard work from the Australian build team, who only used sustainable materials to ensure the cabin melded seamlessly with its natural surrounds.
“I’ve always been in awe of Australia’s natural beauty. My hope now is that The Reserve by Wild Turkey x Unyoked cabin will inspire Australians to reconnect with nature as an antidote to the frenetic pace of life. I’m also proud that the cabin will form part of the Australian Wild Turkey With Thanks initiative that will support people and organisations who demonstrate unwavering conviction to preserving and protecting Australia’s great wilderness and wildlife” said McConaughey.
Following today’s launch, the cabin is now available for bookings and will be housed on the Central Coast of New South Wales from early December. A percentage of proceeds from the cabin and $1 from every bottle of McConaughey’s Wild Turkey Longbranch sold in November and December will be donated to Unyoked’s charity partner, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife.
McConaughey’s personal touch
As the lead Design Director on the cabin, Matthew McConaughey collaborated with Unyoked’s architects to ensure guests had truly switched off and reconnected with the wild by providing a unique, impactful and distinctly Wild Turkey experience.
From conception to the physical build, McConaughey made a range of design decisions, incuding the layout, furniture, furnishings, through to the cabin’s most revered feature; a hidden Wild Turkey bar.
Other personal design elements selected by McConaughey were a curated selection of vintage books available inside the cabin, including “Origins of African Wisdom for Everyday” by Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Collection of Essays, and “The Greatest Salesman in the World” by Og Mandino.
McConaughey also ensured he could share his love of American country and folk music by selecting a range of his favourite tapes to be enjoyed on the cabin’s vintage cassette stereo, including Bob Dylan’s “Highway 61 Revisited”, “Talkin Timbuktu” by Ali Farka Toure and Ry Cooder; and “Metamodern Sounds of Country Music” by American country music singer-songwriter Sturgill Simpson.
When it was suggested by the local build team to name the custom built Wild Turkey bar, Matthew’s Bar, the self-deprecating actor said the “cabin’s toilet would be much more appropriate”. Therefore, a wooden plaque is proudly hung above the bathroom door etched with the word’s ‘Longbranch Loo’, aptly named after McConaughey’s own Wild Turkey bourbon blend.
With Thanks to Australia’s Wilderness Protection and Preservation Community
According to the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife, Australia has lost 25% of its rainforests and nearly 50% of all forests in the last 200 years, and our high rate of species extinction is one of the highest in the world.
Nicole Stanners, marketing director of Wild Turkey’s parent company, Campari Australia and New Zealand, said, “We often take Australia’s beautiful wilderness for granted, however we must act to ensure it’s protected and preserved for future generations, which is why we’re proud the cabin will support Unyoked’s charity partner, the Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife. It’s important we do our bit to protect the wilderness because being closer to nature is a good way to connect with yourself and others.”
With Thanks and The Reserve by Wild Turkey x Unyoked cabin will be the first step in a number of planned initiatives from Wild Turkey that will go towards conserving and protecting the environment.
McConaughey and the Australian build team
McConaughey was inspired by the local cabin build team from Unyoked after meeting its founders, Chris and Cam Grant, during the filming of Wild Turkey’s global content series, “Talk Turkey” which selected ground breakers who, like the Wild Turkey Russell family of distillers, have an uncompromising conviction to do what they do.
“We explored conviction. Why some never compromise to be the best and why some choose their own path where none have gone before”, said McConaughey.
Chris Grant said working with McConaughey was a true collaboration of minds which reflected Unyoked’s philosophy that getting back to nature is an ancient remedy for modern times.
“We’re all on the same wavelength, McConaughey was like one of the team during the whole design and build of The Reserve. He brought a super creative energy and helped develop the philosophy behind the concept, while still helping people get unyoked, they’ll be doing it in a distinctly McConaughey and Wild Turkey way. We’re pretty excited to open it up and start helping more people disconnect from all those expectations of modern life and get off the grid when they need it most” said the Grants.