Onannon is the venture of Sam Middleton, Kaspar Hermann and Will Byron, who donated the last two or three letters of their surnames to come up with Onannon. They have many things in common, not the least working vintages at Coldstream Hills, Will for six years, Sam for two (before ultimately returning to the familys winery, Mount Mary) and Kaspar for one. Since then they have bounced between vintages in Burgundy and Australia. Strictly speaking, I should disqualify myself from making any comment about them or their wine, but you would have to go a long way to find three more open-hearted and utterly committed winemakers; the world is their oyster, their ambitions unlimited.
The fruit comes from the Bellvale vineyard in Berry's Creek, owned by respected grower and winemaker John Ellis. It has excellent drainage, with a north-facing hillside position, large natural terraces and basaltic red clay-loam soil of ancient volcanic origin. The 16-year-old vines are densely planted to numerous Pinot Noir clones. In 2013 we used predominantly 114 and 115. The fruit was handpicked and 100% destemmed into two fermenters with minimal SO2. We gave it a four-day cold soak, then inoculated one fermenter immediately and left the other for indigenous fermentation. Primary fermentation was completed in six days and the wine was immediately pressed, homogenised and settled overnight before being racked to barrels to sit on gross lees until bottling in December.
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