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 provided great natural acid retention. Harvest began on 9th March, which was a week later than on average. The resulting wines have good acidity, with savoury and elegant fruit flavours.


The Viognier grapes were foot stomped and left for two or more hours on its skins to extract the 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 by converting the tart malic acid to lactic acid. The wine was then racked, fined and filtered. It was ready to be bottled 11 months after harvest.

Tasting Notes

A lovely perfumed, yet subtle expression of Viognier. On the nose, it has fresh peach and apricot flavours as a young wine, which will intensify over time. The palate is restrained, luscious and shows a ginger-flavoured freshness with underlying power and lingering aftertaste. This wine benefits beautifully from 12 months of bottle ageing, as the acidity softens.

Vintage Information

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