Geelong Viognier


By Farr

Winemakers Gary Farr and son Nick are behind By Farr. 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. Their three vineyards are Sangreal, Farrside and Tout Pres. Grapes are hand harvested and they use mainly whole bunch fermentation to lift aromas and give texture and structure on the palate.

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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 grow horizontally rather than vertically, it needs a lot of water and can become sunburnt very easily.

Vintage Information

The 2017 vintage was one of the longest on record, characterised by relatively dry conditions with little disease pressure. Cooler weather also ensured the grapes retained good levels of natural acidity. The harvest began on 9th March, which was a week later than on average.


The Viognier 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.

Tasting Notes

A lovely, subtly perfumed expression of Viognier with fresh peach and apricot aromas evident on the nose. The palate is restrained but luscious, with a ginger-flavoured freshness on the long finish. This wine benefits beautifully from 12 months of bottle ageing, as the acidity softens.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2017
Grape varieties 100% Viognier
Region Geelong, Victoria
Winemaker Nick Farr
Alcohol (ABV) 13%
Acidity 6.1g/l
Residual Sugar 1g/l
Wine pH 3.51