Ochota Barrels The Fugazi (750ml)
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. Before this Taras worked as the European Flying Winemaker Consultant, concentrating on the Italian regions, Puglia, Abruzzo Sicily and further, for a Swedish wine importing company .
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 from an autoimmune disease. His wife Amber and the Ochota team are continuing the project.
The tiny berries harvested from dry farmed bush vines, gives a warm, fragrant wine with wild herbs, raspberry, and some spice and pepper notes. It have lovely finesse and texture.
Non certified organic grapes are sourced from the Fugazi vineyard, planted with 66 year-old dry farmed bush vines on the Blewitt Springs ridge. Berries are tiny and yields are miniscule. Soils are ironstone and gravel infused red clay. Grapes are handpicked at dawn and undergo a cold soak before fermenting naturally with gentle hand plunging. Wine spends 90 days on skins with 80% whole bunches, and is then basket pressed and transferred to seasoned barriques for 6 months (with sporadic batonnage for the first 2 months). Wine is bottled unfined and unfilteterd, with minimal additions of sulphur.