Lakey Farm Wines was founded to celebrate sustainable farming and the diverse viticultural regions that exist in Victoria. I will feature native flora and fauna found on my farms and have chosen insects for the first series as they are the “canary in the coal mine” Ever body should be concerned about the loss of species and especially concerned about the loss of pollinators. 1000s of native insects pollinate flowering flora, not just honey bees, hopefully everybody can learn about how good agri – eco systems can work!
My site in Sunbury lends itself to early ripening varieties like Pinot Noir that I love but I really want to get back to some of my winemaking over seas and in warmer parts of Australia like the Barossa. Some varieties like the Italian grapes of Verdicchio, Bianchello and Grillo are just about impossible to find here (never say impossible as there’s always someone experimenting……) but there plenty of other old plantings of unsexy varieties. Unsexy because they been worked to death in cask wines, grown in too warm a climate to express their unique character or bottled as sweet wines for less adventuress consumers or just fermented in plain boring ways! I am about to change that……………
We don’t own any stainless steel tanks at Lakey Farm. All white wines will be given full natural barrel ferments with plenty of stirring as required and minimum of Sulphur Dioxide or other additions to get them through to bottling showing varietal character and palate richness.
Red varieties will get extended skin contact in tank along with experimentation with whole bunches included in the ferment. I am not religious about pH but like the finished wine to be Around 3.8 or lower. Recently we have taken French varieties of Carmenere & Voignier and Portuguese, Verdelho, all grown in Heathcote at Colbinabbin.
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Carmenere of the Bordeaux varieties that went missing to turn up in Chile. Bright red fruits on the nose, soft round tannins and a dry finish. Grown by Humis vineyards in Heathcote.
Christmas spider or Jewel Spider feeds on small insects and mosquitoes that fly into its web. They are active in the later months of the year, hence their Christmas spider name. Our native pastures, wooded windbreaks and grassed vineyard provide habitat to continue to sustain their life-cycles.
Grapes were handpicked on Feb 12 and destemmed and held on skins for 24 hours, then basket pressed into seasoned oak and ferment started naturally. After fermentation it was topped sealed and stirred monthly for 6 months before racked and cross flow filtered into bottle. Subtle aromas of pear and stone fruits greet the nose with round lees enhances and fills the palate
Fidler beetle – Adults live on nectar and pollen from flowers, and occasionally leaves. The larvae (grubs) feed on rotten wood in the soil. Adults emerge from the soil in early summer to mate. The female lays eggs in rotting logs or damp soil under logs. A lot of emphasis is placed on honey bees as pollinators but literally thousands of insects& mammals pollinate flowering plant species.
Grapes were handpicked on Feb 12 and destemmed and held on skins for 24 hours, then basket pressed into seasoned oak and ferment started naturally. After fermentation it was topped sealed and stirred monthly for 6 months before racked and cross flow filtered into bottle. This wine has lovely tropical fruit aromas and round lees fruit character on the palate
Trichogramma are tiny wasps (~0.5mm long) that are natural predators of other wasps and moths. They lay their eggs in eggs of moths whose larvae feed on many of our crops. Adults wasps feed on nectar and require a nectar source in order to sustain them in the egg parasitising activities. A recent survey at Ray-Monde found that Trichogamma were 3 x more abundant in treed shelter-belts that in pasture. Winter habitat and reduced use of insecticides is essential for them to flourish naturally