Arfion

Yarra Valley.

Available in Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania.

Dave 'Davebro' Mackintosh grew up in Hawkes Bay, New Zealand, surrounded by farmers and other land-loving types. Hard-headed from birth, by the age of four he had announced to his mother that he wished to be a farmer and an artist. He wasn’t aware of it at the time, but his path to winemaking was already being paved. The obligatory stints in hospitality during his studies at university sparked a great interest in all things wine, particularly the finer details to be found when comparing wines from the same area and the same vintage and observing their starkly different personalities.

His first major break (Assistant Winemaker at Oyster Bay in New Zealand) taught him a lot—mostly about the changes he would make when it came to making his own wine. He left in 2006, to go to Brokenwood (where he met PJ Charteris) followed by Giant Steps (with Steve Flamsteed). These experiences, and the people within them, helped cast the foundation for Dave’s winemaking style. Inspired by his years in the Yarra with Steve, working across a plethora of different sites and soils, Arfion (‘our wine’ in Scottish Gaelic) was born in 2012.

Having already formed relationships with some of the finest sustainable growers in the valley, it was Dave’s chance to listen to the vines and the soils and intuitively respond to make wines with a true sense of terroir. He believes that too often, terroir is spoken about without the consideration of culture. The understanding of the fusion between natural and cultural elements is what provides wines with a true identity. "It’s what makes Aussie wines Aussie, what makes Arfion wines Arfion".

Alongside the Arfion Pinot and Chardonnay, the range includes the Fever blend, the Smokestack Lightning range (skin contact wines that "walk a tightrope between raw vineyard expressions, vintage and style"), and the oxidatively handled, extended maturation Kenzie Chardonnay and Savagnin.

Wine

Arfion Fever

Variety

White Blend (Pinot Gris 54%, Pinot Noir 17.5%, Chardonnay 16.5% and Gewürztraminer 12%)

Terroir

Soils range from red volcanic in the south to grey clays in the north.

Vineyard

Sourced from six different sites in the Yarra Valley

Winemaking

The picking date for each variety was dictated by the site. They were blended and co-fermented over a long, rolling, 40-day ferment in open fermenters. All of the Gewürztraminer and half the Pinot Gris skins were included. All parcels were fermented wild, went through malo and matured in old barrique and puncheon without sulphur for five months. The wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered, with minimal sulphites.

Arfion Full Moon Chardonnay

Variety

Chardonnay

Terroir

Upper Yarra Valley, 20-year-old vines grown on chocolate-coloured volcanic soils on a gentle west-facing slope in Gladysdale. The site is a mix of Chardonnay clones 96 and 78.

Vineyard

Full Moon Vineyard

Winemaking

Whole bunches were pressed after a night in the cool room. The juice was transferred with full solids to one 500L old puncheon and one second-use puncheon to complete wild fermentation. Maturation was with low sulphur additions and no stirring, and it was racked without fining or filtration to bottle after nine months in oak.

Arfion Full Moon Pinot Noir

Variety

Pinot Noir

Terroir

Upper Yarra Valley, 21-year-old vines (777 clone) are grown on chocolate coloured volcanic soils on a gentle west-facing slope.

Vineyard

Full Moon Vineyard, Gladysdale

Winemaking

100% whole-bunch, wild-fermented, light foot-stomps towards the end of its time on skins. The wine was then pressed and matured for nine months in new (12%) and old barriques at cold temperatures. No fining or filtration and minimal sulphur at bottling.

Smokestack Lightning Pinot Gris

Variety

Pinot Gris

Terroir

Dark red/brown volcanic soils

Vineyard

Gunnabee Vineyard, Upper Yarra

Winemaking

100% whole bunch, the fruit was fermented wild and foot-stomped a couple of times. It spent 14 days on skins and was then pressed to old puncheons where it went through full malo prior to four months aging at cool temperatures. No additions were made, apart from a touch of sulphur at bottling. No fining or filtration.

Smokestack Lightning Gewürztraminer

Variety

Gewürztraminer

Terroir

Grey clay loams to the east of Healesville

Vineyard

Wongungarra Vineyard in the Lower Yarra

Winemaking

100% whole berry, wild ferment, with hand-plunging every two days for the first 20 days on skins. The wine spent 70 days on skins in total, in an open-top fermenter. Pressed to old puncheons to mature for three months on lees at cool temperatures. No additions were made apart from a bit of sulphur at bottling. No fining or filtration.

Arfion Kenzie Chardonnay

Variety

Chardonnay

Terroir

19-year-old vines are grown on chocolate-coloured volcanic soils on a gentle west-facing slope in Gladysdale.

Vineyard

Full Moon Vineyard in the Upper Yarra Valley

Winemaking

Whole-bunch pressed and the free-run juice was sent directly to an old barrel on full solids to naturally ferment. The wine slowly went through full malo and interacted with some oxygen. It was topped with light lees every two to three months as it aged (with no sulphur) in barrel for 22 months. There were no additions apart from a tiny amount of sulphur pre-bottling. The wine was not fined or filtered.

Arfion Kenzie Savagnin

Variety

Savagnin

Terroir

Elevation of 200m, comprised of ironstone-rich, ancient sedimentary duplex clays that see a relatively low annual rainfall of 600mm.

Vineyard

Rising Vineyard, near St Andrew’s

Winemaking

The fruit was destemmed and spent a night on skins before it was pressed directly to an old puncheon on full solids. Natural ferment took over and progressed at warm temperatures. It was left alone to ullage and develop a light flor as it aged (with no sulphur) in barrel for 22 months. No additions were made apart from a tiny amount of sulphur pre-bottling.

Orders

For all order enquiries please get in touch.