Taras' version of Riesling is not your standard Clare Valley fare. As he says, 'Imagine the divine smell of rubbing tangerine rind, kaffir lime leaves and elderflower petals in your hands...'
It's aromatic and vibrant, with a floral palate and textural mouthfeel, all balanced beautifully by subtle minerality and clean acidity. It's lifted and bright and seriously drinkable. Wait for a warm day and a plate of seafood.
'Taras Ochota is a winemaker of the here and now, referencing the past, while always looking to the future. It's a very potent thing.'
Mike Bennie, Gourmet Traveller Wine
'Taras Ochota is proof that it’s possible to be an alternative, iconoclastic and ‘natural’ winemaker and still produce wines that tick all the boxes of quality.'
Huon Hooke, The Real Review
'Taras Ochota, through his creativity, resourcefulness and imagination, has loaded his barrels and fired a massive shot across the bows of the Australian wine industry.'
Andrew Caillard MW
'I take a holistic approach to making wines that have an energy, that have a vibrancy. Wines that ‘pop’ when you put them in your mouth!'
Taras Ochota has been dubbed the rockstar winemaker of the Adelaide Hills. A punk rock surfer who has forged his own path in the wine industry, and picked up a cult following along the way - not to mention the swag of awards and accolades too.
The Ochota Barrels story begins back in 2000 on a surf trip along the Mexican west coast. Taras and his wife Amber were inspired to produce beautiful holistic wines back home in South Australia. Taras graduated from Adelaide University with a degree in Oenology, and after gaining some important experience working vintages, both here and around the world, he and Amber finally settled on a 9 acre property situated deep in the Basket Range of the Adelaide Hills.
Taras' and Amber's overriding philosophy is one of minimal intervention, both in the vineyard and throughout the winemaking process. Taras likes to pick the fruit early, when the balance between fruit flavour and natural acidity is perfect, leading to a vibrancy and energy in his wines. Apart from his own carefully tended vineyards, he sources fruit from various regions throughout South Australia, most of which are farmed organically or biodynamically. Every aspect of the production is handled with care and thoughtfulness, and the resulting wines are outstanding, with nothing added to them but a pinch of sulphur at bottling.
Through the success of wineries like Ochota Barrels, winemakers such as Taras have opened up the conversation about what wine can be, and where the industry is heading. A punk rocking surfer has become a beacon for winemakers in the local region and an inspiration for the broader Australian wine community. Ochota Barrels - helping Aussie wine get its groove back. Hell yeah!
NED GOODWIN - HALLIDAY'S WINE COMPANION
This is far from the madding crowd of tensile riesling that serve as the country's norm. Oxidative and reliant on a waft of phenolic chew as much as the grape's inherent volt of acidity, this lightweight expression riffs tatami, orange blossom and tonic.