Introducing...The Athletes of Wine!

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The Athletes Of Wine are Liam O’Brien and Matt Brooke , two hard-training Melbourne sommeliers, who in the winter of 2007 jumped at an opportunity to manage and nurture a plot of vines in the Macedon Ranges, an unloved vineyard in need of some TLC.

When they got started, they’d be the first to admit that they didn’t really know what they were doing - they worked by instinct, and set about making the sort of wine they’d hope to select for their customers in their respective restaurants. Now, 10 years on - these are certainly wines with a real sense of pride, authenticity and definitely worth sprinting for.

The main focus here is in the vineyard, not the winery. To crop at 1.5-2 tons/acre for the Viñero wines and 2-2.5 tons/acre for Vino Athlético and Alto! Alto!!, focusing and concentrating their vineyard's potential energies into their wines. As a point of reference, Grand Crus Chablis must be limited to a maximum of 3.3 tons per acre!

The fellas aim to highlight the idiosyncrasies and individuality that great cool climate vineyards can produce. Athletes of Wine manage their vineyard along organic principles and all other fruit is grown with the absolute minimum of chemical inputs.

Their passion is for wines of minimal intervention, that speak of a time and place.  This means wild ferments, extended ageing on lees, using a small amount of new oak, and bottling unfined & unfiltered with a minimal amount of sulphur dioxide.

  NV Athletes Of Wine ‘Alto! Alto!!’ White blend  Organic Practices  Varieties: 58% Chardonnay (Kyneton, VIC)/ 29.5% Riesling (Murrumbateman, ACT)/ 12.5% Sauvignon Blanc (Romsey, VIC)  Chardonnay was picked on March 3rd and whole bunch pressed then settled overnight and wild yeast fermented; Riesling (from 2015) was decanted from bottle; Sauvignon Blanc was picked March 12th and thrown in as whole bunches, plunged sometimes and left in there for 8 months; all stainless steel; no malo; bottled unfined and lightly filtered. 40ppm total SO2 added at bottling.  Total production: 128 dozen

NV Athletes Of Wine ‘Alto! Alto!!’ White blend
Organic Practices

Varieties: 58% Chardonnay (Kyneton, VIC)/ 29.5% Riesling (Murrumbateman, ACT)/ 12.5% Sauvignon Blanc (Romsey, VIC)

Chardonnay was picked on March 3rd and whole bunch pressed then settled overnight and wild yeast fermented; Riesling (from 2015) was decanted from bottle; Sauvignon Blanc was picked March 12th and thrown in as whole bunches, plunged sometimes and left in there for 8 months; all stainless steel; no malo; bottled unfined and lightly filtered. 40ppm total SO2 added at bottling.

Total production: 128 dozen

  2016 Athletes Of Wine ‘Vino Athlético’ Chardonnay  Organic Practices  ineyards: 77% Kyneton and 23% Romsey, Macedon Ranges Harvest: 2nd and 3rd March; ave. 2.2 ton/acre     Wild yeast fermented and aged on lees in old hogsheads for 10 months; no battonage; no malo; bottled unfiltered and lightly fined. 60ppm total SO2  Total production: 287 dozen       

2016 Athletes Of Wine ‘Vino Athlético’ Chardonnay
Organic Practices

ineyards: 77% Kyneton and 23% Romsey, Macedon Ranges
Harvest: 2nd and 3rd March; ave. 2.2 ton/acre   

Wild yeast fermented and aged on lees in old hogsheads for 10 months; no battonage; no malo; bottled unfiltered and lightly fined. 60ppm total SO2

Total production: 287 dozen       

  2016 Athletes Of Wine ‘Vino Athlético’ Pinot Noir   Organic Practices  Vineyard: Kyneton, Macedon Ranges Clone: Mostly D5V12, some MV6 Harvest: 08th March; 2.4 ton/acre  Wild yeast; aged on full lees, no whole bunch; ferment was lightly plunged or wet once per day to minimise extraction; 10 months in old oak; only racked at bottling; bottled unfined and unfiltered. 70ppm total SO2 added  at bottling  Total production: 336 dozen    

2016 Athletes Of Wine ‘Vino Athlético’ Pinot Noir
Organic Practices

Vineyard: Kyneton, Macedon Ranges
Clone: Mostly D5V12, some MV6
Harvest: 08th March; 2.4 ton/acre

Wild yeast; aged on full lees, no whole bunch; ferment was lightly plunged or wet once per day to minimise extraction; 10 months in old oak; only racked at bottling; bottled unfined and unfiltered. 70ppm total SO2 added  at bottling

Total production: 336 dozen    

  2015 Athletes Of Wine 'Viñero' Romsey Chardonnay  Organic Practices  Vineyard: Romsey, Macedon Ranges Harvest: 18th March; 1.8 ton/acre Elevation: 450m Soil: Volcanic, red clay loam  Wild yeast fermented and aged on lees in hogsheads for 10 months (one new Francois Freres puncheon, plus older Saint Martin Francois Freres); no battonage; no malo; bottled unfined and unfiltered. 60ppm total SO2   Total production: 175 dozen

2015 Athletes Of Wine 'Viñero' Romsey Chardonnay
Organic Practices

Vineyard: Romsey, Macedon Ranges
Harvest: 18th March; 1.8 ton/acre
Elevation: 450m
Soil: Volcanic, red clay loam

Wild yeast fermented and aged on lees in hogsheads for 10 months (one new Francois Freres puncheon, plus older Saint Martin Francois Freres); no battonage; no malo; bottled unfined and unfiltered. 60ppm total SO2

Total production: 175 dozen

  2015 Athletes Of Wine 'Viñero' Hesket Pinot Noir  Organic Practices  Vineyard: Hesket, Macedon Ranges Clone: MV6 Harvest: 2nd April; 1.7 ton/acre Elevation: 660m Soil: Grey and Red loam  100% destemmed; wild yeast fermented; aged on lees in hogsheads for 10 months (one new Saint Martin, plus older Sirugue and Remond); racked once, at bottling; bottled unfined and unfiltered. 50ppm SO2 added at bottling  Total production: 152 dozen

2015 Athletes Of Wine 'Viñero' Hesket Pinot Noir
Organic Practices

Vineyard: Hesket, Macedon Ranges
Clone: MV6
Harvest: 2nd April; 1.7 ton/acre
Elevation: 660m
Soil: Grey and Red loam

100% destemmed; wild yeast fermented; aged on lees in hogsheads for 10 months (one new Saint Martin, plus older Sirugue and Remond); racked once, at bottling; bottled unfined and unfiltered. 50ppm SO2 added at bottling

Total production: 152 dozen