Gary Farr has been making wine in Moorabool Valley near Bannockburn, about an hour's drive from Melbourne, since 1978. Before working in Australia, he traveled the world and learned the trade at Domaine Dujac in Bourgogne, Cristom in Oregon and Calera in California. Not surprisingly, he fell under the spell of pinot noir here and took it back to Australia - not without a fight.
The Farr estate is located in the Moorabool Valley between Geelong and Ballarat, 100km south-west of Melbourne. Grape growing in this region dates back more than 200 years, with Swiss settlers planting Victoria's first vineyards here in the early 1800s. The estate's rich volcanic soil and continental climate produce premium fruit with a taste, bouquet and color unique to our area.
Gary and Robyn Farr bought the original property in 1994 and the second part in 1998 - the latter had been untouched for nearly 40 years and consisted of dense boxwood thorns and noxious weeds. The final piece of the puzzle, connecting the two pieces of land, was purchased in 2011 by Nick and Cassie Farr, totaling 130 hectares, of which 36 hectares are under vines and the rest are maintained as grazing and cropland for livestock and horses. With a mixture of different clones and rootstocks, the grape varieties grown here include viognier, chardonnay, pinot noir, gamay and shiraz.
Nick and Gary Farr stand side by side, but aren't afraid to go head-to-head when their opinions differ. Each generation has developed a distinctive style of winemaking based on its individual experience and taste, and their respective lines - By Farr by Gary and Farr Rising by Nick - have received critical acclaim both in Australia and abroad.