Gentle Folk

Originally from South Africa, Gareth has now lived in Australia for over 20 years. Finding his place in the Adelaide Hills, he quickly fell in love with the people and climate. A far cry from the inside of laboratories and lecture theatres where he was once was a marine scientist, Gareth enjoys being outside and using his hands so the life of a winegrower was far more appealing. Biodynamic viticulture and a light touch in the winery are standard operating procedure for Gareth, but it is the sense of being effortlessly constructed, without feeling like they are manipulated in any way, that are the hallmarks of all the Gentle Folk wines. Always balanced, structured, and complete, the 2018 single vineyard releases are no exception to this theme, and, as Gareth notes, the different microclimates of the area allow for very different wines from his various vineyards. Gareth farms 7.5 hectares across 5 different sites in the Piccadilly Valley of the Adelaide Hills and produces approximately 3500 cases per year.

Rainbow Juice — Back to the top

“We have a small vineyard in Basket Range planted to 21 varieties, but in some years only makes a barrel or two so overtime we have been adding bits and pieces from our other vineyards into the blends and hence…Rainbow Juice…it’s a blend of all our varieties from all our vineyards. Red varieties are direct pressed into rosé and the juice poured into a vat with the white varieties (de-stemmed) and then the vat is sealed up and left. So it’s a skin contact rose if that makes sense at all!”

Total Production: 6000 bottles

Age of Vines: 12-42 years

Elevation: 450-620 meters

Appellation: Adelaide Hills

Soil: Mainly clay over sandstone, but some vineyards have lots of quartz and schist

Vineyard Treatments used: Sulphur, Copper, Ecocarb, Milk Wey, Nettle tea, Biodymanic preperations 500, 501 and 508.

Varieties: Unknown percentages as we dont measure. Pinot noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon blanc, Riesling, Gewirztraminer, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit verdot, Malbec, Cabernet franc, Viognier, Chenin blanc, Pinot gris, Arramon, Arneis, Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Trollinger, Syrah

Vinification Method: The wine ferments in stainless steel tanks with ambient yeast, in contact with the skins for 2-3 weeks. The wine is left undisturbed for around 11 months, racked a few times just to clarify the juice a little bit. 

 


Schist Sauvignon Blanc — Back to the top

“I have always loved Sauvignon blanc, especially out of the Loire and Austria, but sadly its got bad rap down here, for good reasons though – Australian Sauvignons are generally horrible. Its a pity as there are some very beautiful and old Sauvignon vineyards in the Adelaide Hills (Sauvignon was one of the first varieties planted up here alongside sparkling varieties – Pinot noir/ meunier and Chardonnay). I was lucky enough to be able to lease a block sitting on schist, south west facing (cold) at 620m and at 32 years of age on its own roots. We let the fruit ripen fully and picked just as they started showing hints of botrytis. Left on skins for a few days before being pressed and fermented in 500L puncheons (French, neutral). Very happy winemaker.”

Total Production: 2400 bottles

Age of Vines: 32 years

Yields: 3600 liters/hectare

Soil: Clay over Schist

Varieties: Sauvignon Blanc

Appellation: Forest Range, Adelaide Hills

Vineyard Treatments used: Sulphur, Copper, Ecocarb, Milk Wey, Nettle tea, Biodymanic preperations 500, 501 and 508.

Vinification Method: The wine is fermented in 5 year old 500 liter wooden barrels with ambient yeast. The wine ages in barrel for about 11 months, before it is bottled, unfined and unfiltered. 

 


Pairing: Village Wine — Back to the top

“The idea of a this wine is a drinking wine! Wine that can be shared with friends and family, no matter what their wine preference is. It’s Pinot noir from Scary Gully, we chose a few barrels that we consider the most reflective of the site for the top end Scary Gully Pinot noir and what remains heads into the Village wine.”

Total Production: 6000 bottles

Age of Vines: 34 years

Yields: 2800 liters/hectare

Soil: Clay over sandstone with quartz and schist rubble

Varieties: Pinot Noir

Appellation: Forest Range, Adelaide Hills

Vineyard Treatments used: Sulphur, Copper, Ecocarb, Milk Wey, Nettle tea, Biodymanic preperations 500, 501 and 508.

Vinification Method: The wine is fermented 50% whole cluster in 5 year old 225 and 500 liter wooden barrels with ambient yeast. The wine ages in barrel for about 11 months, before it is bottled, unfined and unfiltered.


Vin de Sofa — Back to the top

“A blend of Pinot noir and Pinot gris from Scary Gully Vineyard in Forest Range. Great to have Pinot gris back in the blend for 2019. Scary Gully is a powerful site in terms of wine style, and to be able to produce a light easy drinking red has been a journey in winemaking and farming. The use of semi-carbonic allows us to ‘infuse’ flavours from the grapes as opposed to extract them through pigeage or pumpovers, and thus, keep the wine as delicate as possible. The use of whole bunches also helps to elevate the pH and soften out the wine even though we pick the grapes super early and with some serious acid. Although we try to make the wine as fun as possible, it is a no bullshit wine that pays homage to Pinot and a great site.”

Varieties: Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris


Basket Range Merlot — Back to the top

“We have been making Merlot from this block from day one. A mixture of picking just at the point of ripeness and the use of neutral oak results in a beautiful energetic and supple wine that glides across the pallet with the perfect pitch of acidity and earthiness. Merlot from the Adelaide Hills should never be ignored. ”

Varieties: Merlot

Vineyard: Broderick. 

Farming: Organic. Aspect: NW. 

Planted: 2001. 

Clone: D3V14. 

Elevation: 500m. 

Pruning: Spur. 

Soil: Sandy clay over schist and sandstone. 

Vinification: Destemmed, neutral French barriques for 9 months


Scary Gully Pinot Noir — Back to the top

Vineyard: Scary Gully, Forest Range, Adelaide Hills

Planted: 1985

Clones: MV6, D5V12, Pommard 

Elevation: 620m 

Aspect: SE/SW 

Soils: Light loamy clay over sandstone with extensive schist and quartz rubble 

Farming: Organic with some biodynamic practices, dry grown. 

Vinification: 100% whole cluster open top fermentation, 11 months in French oak barriques of which 25% new


Scary Gully Chardonnay — Back to the top

“Perched up high on a south facing slope right up against the forest, the Chardonnay block has the benefit of being protected from the hot Australian northerly sun and winds. This, combined with dry farming, ancient sandstone and quartz soils, has created a wine with super tension and finesse in 2018. In terms of winemaking changes in 2018, we added back a small amount (5%) of hard pressings before fermentation (as opposed to just using the ‘free run’ juice). We also gave the wine a much longer time in barrel (incl a new one!) than we have previously, allowing for the wine to perfectly settle out and integrate.”


Pink Fizz — Back to the top

Petnat from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay


Summertown Sauvignon Blanc — Back to the top

“A new vineyard for us in 2019. We sadly lost the Sauvignon blanc at Scary Gully after the 2018 harvest but we luckily managed to find a special site close by. The Cottell family vineyard is a 1.1ha block of relatively old vines in the very beautiful Summertown/ Ashton valley that is home to many a great vineyard. The northerly aspect allows the fruit to ripen fully and leave behind many of the less desirable Sauvignon characters. It’s a generous and full-bodied wine with great depth and character which still holds a great acid line that we get in Sauvignon blanc grown in cooler sites. We hope many bottles of this wine will be drunk at the park and beach over summer.”