It all begins in Henty, in Victoria’s Far South West. Relatively untapped for years, this region’s potential has caught the interest of a few shrewd producers. Now, word is out that it’s a hot spot for cool-climate wine production.
In 2009, we spent several weekends traipsing through Henty in the Victorian countryside with winemaker Adam Wadewitz and his partner Nikki. We just couldn’t turn our backs on this magical combination of super cool climate, limestone bedrock soils and passionate growers, who were guiding the grapes through the sometimes arduously cool and wet conditions. We spent our nights hatching a plan to bring our expression of Henty wines to life.
Hentyfarm is about artistic expression at its most elemental. It starts in the vineyard, where our relationship with the growers is based on respect as custodians of the land. Then the alchemy begins, where the combinations of older French oak, low intervention winemaking, native and introduced yeasts and naturally driven “hand plunged” ferments culminate in wines of finesse and elegance.
In 2013, a Pinot Gris was added to the range, made from celebrated Drumborg grapes tended carefully by “biological grape farmers” Jack and Lois Doevan. In the same year, Adam and his family left Victoria for work in South Australia, and Belinda and Jono embraced full curatorship of Hentyfarm. From 2013, we decided to guide the winemaking styles by employing the skills of Justin Purser at Best’s Great Western. His experience in and passion for Burgundy make him the perfect contributor to our winemaking family.
Then in the 2017 Vintage we switched our winemaking to our good friend Ray Nadeson at Lethbridge wines in Geelong who has had a long association making wines from the amazing cool climate fruit from Henty. Ray has brought incredible texture and expression to the wines, engaging some artisan techniques with the wines, including Foudre fermentation for the Riesling and introducing skin contact with Pinot Gris and Riesling. The wines are still within our style and we look forward to sharing them with you. Production will continue to be small and handcrafted, allowing the wines to speak of purity and place. Hentyfarm wines are not rushed to market, their refined European style needing more time in the bottle to develop and soften before heading out to Australia’s best restaurants and liquor stores.