Nikau Farms • Tolone • 2021

Nikau Farms • Tolone • 2021

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"The Vineyard

The “tolone’ block is the other small vineyard on our farm (pictured above) and is planted mainly to Riesling. It has some Chardonnay interplanted within it and these plants are only evident later in the season when the slightly different shape of the leaves is recognisable to the trained eye.

The vines are an average age of 31 years old. As with the other vineyard on the property it is farmed organically and has been since it was planted. This is clearly evident in the abundance of life both in and above the ground. We have been farming these vineyards for 7 years now and the work we are putting in is now becoming evident in the resulting wines which is a nice thing to see. Cover crops, compost teas and the planting of many fruit trees in the block being some of the improvements so far.

The soils here are much the same as the Pinot Noir block being mostly comprised of a sedimentary sandstone base with a high silica content and with a friable loam layer over the top. The loam layer is thinner here than in the pinot block, most likely due to the steepness of the slope. It is also much faster draining for the same reason. The biggest difference with this block though is the aspect. It is facing predominately west and It is the highest hill on the property and indeed the area as a whole. This makes it extremely exposed to southerly weather systems coming in from the Bass strait. In fact in the 2020 season it was severely battered by a week of bad weather just after Spring flowering. Most of flowers were so badly damaged they did not produce any fruit. Hence there was no wine made from this block in 2020. This weather exposure makes the fruit development slow, often times painfully so, and results in small berries, small bunches which ensures we are always picking at low baume's with good flavour ripeness.

The Wine

As with the Nikau Pinot the aim here is to do as little as possible and let the fruit and siteshine with the least amount of manipulation. There were 48 hours of skin contact with avery light maceration. The reason for this is that I believe the skins of any fruit hold part of the information and story of the place, the soils, and the weather that it is exposed to. By emitting the skins totally, I feel that you are losing some of the story and terrior.

As for the winemaking, after the cold soak as whole bunches it was pressed directly to a small stainless tank for a long cool ferment (it was mid April by this time) There it sat for 8 months on full solids without being disturbed at all. It was then bottled by hand directly from that tank (without racking or moving the tank). It has spent a further 2 years in bottle since composing itself.

The wine seems very refined. It is a dainty 9% alcohol, but you wouldn’t know it, It has incredible structure and presence. It is an extremely elegant wine. It has so much vitality and freshness with a beautiful floral lift. It is a very individual wine in it’s own right.

There is nothing added to the wine at any stage of the process (including oak). It is a stunningly pure expression of site place and time. These are very special wines to me and are the culmination of a lot of hard and exacting work in the vineyards over the last 7 years.

435 bottles produced"


Baw Baw, Australia /Riesling