The Viognier Geelong By Farr grapes were foot stomped and left for two or more hours on skins to extract phenols, flavour and texture. The fruit was then pressed, cooled and put straight into barrel with all solids for a natural fermentation. Gentle stirring during the end of autumn encouraged malolactic fermentation, which softened the finish. The wine was then racked, fined and filtered before being bottled 11 months after harvest.
The By Farr Viognier consists of a blend of fruit from two vineyards. The first is the original house block, planted in 1994, which is friable red soil over limestone leading to sandstone – similar soils to the Sangreal Pinot Noir and By Farr Chardonnay. The second vineyard is a younger planting of unknown clones in red ironstone soil. The Viognier is a difficult variety to manage as it has a tendency to a grow horizontally rather than vertically, it needs a lot of water and can become sunburnt very easily.
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.