Timo Mayer’s family has a long history of winemaking (over 400 years) - but in Germany, where he is from! Timo was not convinced by the German winemaking tradition and decided to break from it, leaving it all behind to start his own winery in Yarra Valley, Australia.
Along with his wife Rhonda, Timo planted vines on their vineyard which they call ‘Bloody Hill’ - because it’s so steep and a pain to work! The central Yarra Valley location was ideal for growing and they began with two cool-climate varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which saw quite a lot of success. Then in 2004, he started using whole bunch fermentation in his Pinot Noir wines (an older technique where the stems are left in with the grapes to ferment, adding a unique flavour and texture). At that time, hardly anyone in Australia was doing this and it was met with a lot of skepticism - at the same time, many were also excited by the complexity and freshness of this new style of wine.
A great expression of Yarra Valley
To this day, Timo’s winemaking philosophy is to ‘Bring back the funk!’ - he continues to push boundaries and experiment with his wines, like in recent years when he has started working with Nebbiolo and Gamay, atypical of Yarra Valley. His wines are known for their elegance, purity, and complexity, especially when compared to other wines from the Yarra Valley. And, of course for the unique flavour and structure provided by whole bunch fermentation - the Syrah is the best example of this we ever had! These wines are pricey but unique and well worth the higher price point.