The Ochota story began in 2000, Taras and Amber Ochota had been travelling around some of the world’s best wine and surf regions, and decided they wanted to make premium wines back home in South Australia. The initial plan was to concentrate on Grenache in Mclaren Vale and Syrah in the Barossa Valley, find exceptional old vineyard sites in each region and create juicy, small batch, single vineyard wines. They now also farm some interesting older plots in the Adelaide Hills, with old bush vines producing small berries and low yields. They take a holistic approach in the vineyard, the small biodynamic producers they met in the south of France have been a huge influence. A hands-off, minimum-intervention approach to winemaking: picking early to maintain natural acidity, ferments using indigenous yeasts, whole-bunch pressing the whites, whole-bunch fermentation and longer maceration for the reds. Texture is an important focus, mouth-feel is created via time on skins and batonnage. Aging is in old French oak, just a touch of sulphur is used at bottling. The wines are mouthwatering, they have a compelling energy and nervous tension. In Taras’ own words “We just want to produce something delicious and gorgeous for all of us to enjoy with none of the nasties and more of the love”.Taras Ochota died suddenly in 2020. He was a huge talent, a friend to many and will be sorely missed. His wife Amber and the Ochota team are continuing the project.
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