Ochota Barrels Botanicals of the Basket Range Aromatized Wine

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Winemaker: Taras Ochota

Appellation: McLaren Vale, South Australia, Australia

Grape Varieties:  50% Pinot Noir - 50% Pinot Meunier

Vermouth-inspired, Basket Range-bred, Ochota family created…Botanicals is a wine that truly has no boundaries or class and gentile words lack meaning when attempting to summarize this elixir, so let the family dictate more eloquently this vinous concoction.  This wine was always a labor of love for Amber and Taras and continuing this wine was always in the plan.

The fruit was hand-picked throughout February and for this vintage it was a blend of pressings of ‘A Forest’ as well as ‘Mark of Cain’ in addition to free-run juice.  Amber snipped a number of large handfuls of botanicals grown around the homestead and submerged this bouquet garni into the fermentations. After two weeks the wine was pressed directly to two old French barriques and one 100L barrel for aging. It was bottled directly from cask five months later without anything removed nor added other than a 50ppm sulfur addition.

Tasting Note This is the brightest, freshest, liveliest release of this sort-of-wine yet. Gather a crew, chill it to the bone, consume at pace. Very herby, pure-feeling, faintly sweet but then very dry to finish. Lots of fennel, sage, mint in this. So fine and frisky. Super stuff here.

The ochota barrels tale began on a surf trip, late 2000 along the Mexican west coast in a Volkswagen campervan. A final destination after traveling some of the world’s most amazing wine and surf regions, Taras and Amber Ochota conceived the idea to make beautiful holistic wines back home in South Australia.

After a mis-spent youth playing a rickenbakker bass in various punk bands (listen to Kranktus’ Heckler album), Taras became an Oenology graduate from Adelaide University, developing his craft in numerous vineyards and cellars around the world to then settle with Amber on 9.6 steep gorgeous acres tucked away, deep in the Basket Range of the beautiful Adelaide Hills.

Before this Taras worked as the European Flying Winemaker Consultant, concentrating on the Italian regions, Puglia, Abruzzo Sicily and further,  for the Swedish wine importing company Oenoforos.

California was also a regular vintage destination, making wines with producers such as Kunin, Bonnacorsi, Arcadian, Schrader, Outpost and the famous Hitching Post’s label, Hartley-Ostini, from the movie ‘Sideways’.


Amber’s wine experience ranges from vintages in Italy, vineyard development and cellar door sales in the Adelaide Hills and coordinating production and wine analysis for Nordic Sea Winery in southern Sweden.

-Vine Street Imports