AN EPIC LEGACY
Ochota Barrels is a name, if not the name synonymous with minimal intervention Adelaide Hills wine. Formed by Amber and Taras Ochota in 2011, from inception, the pair were pioneers in bringing minimal intervention wines to the Australian mainstream.
California > Sweden > Adelaide Hills. Taras used his years chasing breaks, picking grapes and making wine to build a strong foundation of worldly knowledge, returning with partner Amber and settling a little farm in Basket Range with that simple, idyllic throwaway ethos; to make wines they would like to drink.
Growing and sourcing grapes from interesting little plots across the region, the Ochotas quickly put down roots and found their place among the trees and hills folk.
Humble and gentle in their approach to sharing lo-fi and natural winemaking
Humble and gentle in their approach to sharing lo-fi and natural winemaking with the wider Australian wine landscape, the Ochotas form an integral part of the Adelaide Hills and South Australian wine community.
When Taras passed in 2020, the wine and Adelaide Hills communities seemed to overflow with grief. This is a man who inspired so many to throw caution to the wind, give up their day jobs, try something new. Do something that feels good. Make their own lo-fi wines.
Lucky for us all, the surfer / husband / bass player / father / winemaker left an epic legacy. Carried forward by Amber Ochota and their small, dedicated team, the wines are true to Taras’ spirit.
Boy do we love those elbows and knees - who knew they could be so elegant? For Taras, making edgy, raw wines meant picking early, finding that fine balance between fruit flavour and acidity to shape overall lower alcohol wines busting with energy. While Amber and the Ochota Barrels continue to release the favourites from their range each year, the tea lean heavily into vintage variation, pressing into individual barrels and getting a read on each unique expression before finally blending to create the final wine.
There's no large format maturation and certainly no recipe - it’s all based on nose, palate and instinct. This is minimal intervention at its best - Taras’ stamp on Australian wine, and the Ochotas Barrels way forward.