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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 grapes were grown in Red Hill, 100m up on a warm, north-facing slope overlooking Port Phillip Bay. The rich, terra rossa soil is home to mostly 21-year-old MV6 vines, though the vineyard has a small six-year-old planting of the 777 clone. We gave it a few days’ cool soak before indigenous fermentation kicked off, which lasted five days. It was then left on skins for a further 12 days, with a plunge every two days to keep the cap fresh. After 21 days on skins all up, the wine was pressed to tank, settled overnight and then put to barrel the next day. Natural MLF occurred within 10 weeks, after which the wine was racked and sulphured. We bottled the wine unfined and unfiltered in late December.


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