The Story winery was named one night over a few drinks with friends back in 2003. It was explained to them that they had no clue what to call it because they seemed to lack all the usual core ingredients to a grand winery name. “We owned no vineyards, so couldn’t name it after that, or a hill, creek, valley or river. Our family had no history in the wine game, so the Lane name would have meant nothing to anybody, and we didn’t have any children or even a dog to name it after. A good friend concluded that you really just have the stories that go along with how you make it, and we loved the way it connoted a connectedness to others, a sharing, and a present tense. It felt current, and it felt like a way to talk to people. And that’s what we want to try and do with our wines. Each vintage there is a new story to tell, and each year our label changes to reflect that story. Every wine is a story.”
Winemaking here is a little different from many, the winery is located in the southern suburbs of Melbourne, some two to three hours from the vineyards in the Grampians and Henty. The Story’s harvest decisions are usually amongst the earliest in the region, emphasising acidity and freshness and attempting to maintain moderate alcohol levels and bright aromas. Once they get the grapes to the winery, they are gently destemmed (or not) and moved by gravity to small open fermenters where they are fermented with ambient yeasts and as few additions as possible. Many of the wines have no additions other than sulphur dioxide, and for the reds, they are usually bottled without any fining or filtration.
The Story Grampians Grenache is the first crop from vines planted for us at the Dakis Vineyard, a lower elevation, warmer site on a gentle northeasterly facing slope just south of Great Western. “I am convinced that Grenache can do very well on the right site in the Grampians, and should get ripe with a good long hang time”. The 2017 was a cool year returning to old long term averages and the young vines (from South Australian Heritage clones) got plenty of ripeness even then, while retaining pepper, spice and amazing, delicate perfume. It’s an earlier drinker, but just so delicious. Winemaking was simple: all destemmed, a three-week fermentation on skins then maturation in a single, 1000lt old oak vat. No fining or filtration. Very little added or taken away, a pure expression of the grape.
This is Simple, hands-off winemaking.