The ochota barrels tale began on a surf trip, late 2000 along the Mexican west coast in a Volkswagen campervan. A final destination after traveling some of the world’s most amazing wine and surf regions, Taras and Amber Ochota conceived the idea to make beautiful holistic wines back home in South Australia.
After a mis-spent youth playing a rickenbakker bass in various punk bands Taras became an Oenology graduate from Adelaide University, developing his craft in numerous vineyards and cellars around the world to then settle with Amber on 9.6 steep gorgeous acres tucked away, deep in the Basket Range of the beautiful Adelaide Hills.
Amber’s wine experience ranges from vintages in Italy, vineyard development and cellar door sales in the Adelaide Hills and coordinating production and wine analysis for Nordic Sea Winery in southern Sweden.
A holistic approach from autumn to autumn in the vineyard, with the philosophy of going back to basics to create something delicious and unique with mother nature.
We are strongly drawn to and influenced by the small biodynamic producers we came across in the south of France. Organically farmed vineyards planted to earth that is alive, lo-fi technique and picking decisions made purely on natural acidity which hopefully contribute to a wine’s energy and nervous tension.
Texture is an important focus, manipulating mouth-feel with limited or extended time on skins including batonnage. Beautifully sculptured old bush vines with low yields and small berries, picked basically when you can’t stop eating them because they taste so delicious. There are no instruments on those sunrise vineyard walks, and if the stalks are piquant, whole bunches are included in our half tonne ferments. Controlled pigeage and hand cap-submersion retains purity of fruit, whereby the wild indigenous and spontaneous fermentation enhances complexity and artisan charm. However, an Occam’s Razor approach is still taken, as the expression of the vineyard is paramount. This is the reason we aim to make wines with attention to detail that are real and pure.
We are finding that those pretty nuances you experience directly from a fresh barrel siphon in our mid hills foggy winter are extraordinary… so we have been experimenting with much lower sulphur levels to find the perfect medium to suit each cuvee… so… stay tuned our beautiful wine loving friends.
Basically, 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
-From the Producer
Where the rest of the Ochota Barrels’ wines are single vineyard wines, this is composed of two sites and two clones high in the Hills. Dijon 777 comes from the Ashton sub-district at 1,800 feet and 115 & 114 from Carey Gully at 2,000 feet. The clones were entirely whole bunch fermented separately without the use of any additives. The barrels were sporadically rolled and stirred up for the first three months and after ten months total the wine was carefully basket pressed and gravity racked to tank, then bottle. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Spicy sappy and alluring this has a mix of black cherry and redder suits on the nose with a cooler foresty edge of bracken and leafy notes, gently savory and earthy too. The palate has a smooth and supple feel with a vibrant and silky core of bright red cherry flavor; fresh, pure and delicious. The best A Forest to date.
-Vine St. Imports