To produce the Pinot Noir “RP” Geelong By Farr the fruit was hand picked and sorted in the vineyard, with between 40 – 50% of the fruit being destemmed and cold soaked for four days. Only natural yeast was used during fermentation, which lasted around 19 days. Pigéage was carried out two to three times a day before the wine was placed in 50 – 60% new Allier barrels by gravity. Racked by gas after secondary fermentation, the wine was aged for 18 months before a final racking prior to bottling.
The fruit for this wine is sourced from densely planted Pinot Noir vines in the exposed Côte Vineyard. These hillsides facing North, North East and East will be the backbone of the Farr dynasty for decades to come. The North côte is reddish brown loam with buckshot stones across the surface. The most exposed of the three côtes, it is harvested last because of the large amount of clay, holding valuable moisture for longer than the other slopes. The North East côte is a continuation of buckshot until the soil becomes black and lined with limestone moving towards the bottom of the rows and a depression that divides limestone from sandstone. At the highest point of the vineyard, there are small amounts of sandstone in the grey sandy loam. The East côte is divided through the centre of the slope by a rise. Black volcanic soil with fragmented limestone in one direction and grey loam with buckshot stones in the other direction. As the East côte has the least amount of clay and tends to retain less water, it is harvested first, even though it is the coolest of the sites.
Behind By Farr there are winemakers Gary Farr and son Nick. Gary has made wine in Australia (at Bannockburn) and Burgundy (he worked 10 vintages at Domaine Dujac) since the early 1980s. Today, from 33 acres in Geelong, 80 kilometres southwest of Melbourne, they make small quantities of single vineyard Pinot Noir and Chardonnay that rank with Australia’s best.