The origin of our friendship lies in our shared passion for eating and drinking and the natural progression for a relationship based on your stomach is to explore that together and to try and find the best damn things to eat and drink. This took us to the world of fine dining restaurants and immersion in the art of drink - first as bartenders, and following that, as sommeliers.
We were lucky enough to work in a restaurant surrounded by greats of the industry and we took every opportunity to learn all we could from them, as they generously shared their knowledge, and the best wines of the world with us. We still subscribe to the theory that there is a time, place & person for every drink and back then we took it upon ourselves to gain a deep understanding of tequila, Clare Valley Riesling, cognac, Sherry, cocktails, Barolo, Burgundy and even Bordeaux! Our aim was to be able to match them to the right time/place/person - hoping to share with them our passion for the ability for winemakers, brewers and distillers to capture history, geography, craftsmanship and gastronomy in each and every magical liquid we were lucky enough to enjoy every day.
The next natural step was to become one of those producers of magical liquid history. We love being part-time farmers and winemakers, and hope that you find a time, place and person to share our wines with.
Our passion is for wines that speak of time and place - the season and the site, the vintage and the vineyard - not of winemaking technique.
Just like a great dish in a restaurant relies on taking the best produce you can get your hands on and treating it with respect, skill and often with restraint, we feel that great wines start with grapes grown with huge attention to detail in the vineyard, that are then treated with the same notions of respect, skill and restraint in the winery. It was the obvious choice for us to start our winemaking by leasing a vineyard, not a winery - we wanted to be responsible for the quality of the base material not for finishing it off.
in the vineyard....
It's in the vineyard that we train hardest - we want to highlight the idiosyncrasies and individuality that great cool climate vineyards can produce.
We manage our vineyard along organic principles and all other fruit is grown with the absolute minimum of chemical inputs (water, herbicide and fungicide). We aim to crop at 1.5-2 tons/acre for the Viñero wines and 2-2.5 tons/acre for Vino Athlético and Alto! Alto!!. In some years this has meant we have grown our Chardonnay at almost half the legal limit for Grand Cru Burgundy.
It wasn't long before making one wine wasn't enough wine so to supplement the small quantities taken from our leased block, additional fruit is purchased from highly regarded Macedon region growers. We both relish the chance to work in the vineyard alongside the growers to ensure our relationships stay strong, hands-on, interactive, and never merely a business transaction.
in the winery....
When we make wine we aim to let the raw materials shine. This means wild ferments, ageing on lees, using a small amount of new oak, and bottling unfined & unfiltered with a minimal amount of sulphur dioxide.
We also believe that a winemaker, like a chef, can still ruin great produce through doing too little, so if we need to adjust this approach we do - dogma ain't good and neither are wines with microbial spoilage and hygiene issues, that smell bad, taste worse and leave you wishing you could get a tongue transplant!