Visit finished, Ben and I hopped into Anton’s Land Rover Defender. All aboard for a tour of the Basket Range.
The Basket Range is a beautiful corner of the Adelaide Hills, and it is the epicentre for the new wave of interesting, naturally made Australian wine. There’s a fabulous critical mass of winegrowers who are working and living in this beautiful bit of the hills. As Max Allen points out in his recent article, the Basket Range crew aren’t just a bunch of hippies. This isn’t amateur hour for low or no intervention winegrowing: these people really know what they are doing. It takes immense skill and thought to make wines without adding anything to them, and to still come up with something compelling.
So Anton wanted to show us around this beautiful bit of the Adelaide Hills. He talked and drove, and first stop was at Gareth Belton’s Gentle Folk winery. Gareth had just arrived back from Rootstock, but Anton persuaded him to join The Tour. Gareth found some glasses, poured us each a glass of his Pinot Noir, and we started drinking and driving.
Next top: Jasper Button’s farm. Jasper’s label is commune of buttons, and he has some lovely vineyards. He couldn’t be persuaded to join The Tour as he was off on his way out. We got a tank sample in our glasses, and carried on.
So we headed off to Scary Gully. It’s a stunning vineyard where Gareth sources quite a bit of his fruit. The light was beautiful. We had a stop here, and then back on The Tour. After a bit more guided commentary, we reached our destination: Taras and Amber Ochota’s place, where the Basket Range folk had gathered for dinner.