The Ochota story began in 2000; Taras and Amber Ochota had been travelling around some of the world’s best wine and surf regions and decided they wanted to make premium wines back home in South Australia. The initial plan was to concentrate on Grenache in McLaren Vale and Syrah in the Barossa Valley, find exceptional old vineyard sites in each region and create juicy, small-batch, single-vineyard wines. They now also farm some interesting older plots of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the Adelaide Hills, with old bush vines producing small berries and low yields.
They take a holistic approach in the vineyard and a hands-off, minimum-intervention approach to winemaking: Taras picks early to maintain natural acidity, ferments using indigenous yeasts, whole-bunch presses the whites, and uses whole-bunch fermentation and longer maceration for the reds. Texture is an important focus, believing mouthfeel is produced from time on skins and batonnage.
The wines are aged in old French oak, with just a touch of sulphur is used at bottling. The wines are mouth-watering and possess compelling energy. In Taras' own words "We just want to produce something delicious and gorgeous for all of us to enjoy with none of the nasties and more of the love".