Payten & Jones was founded in 2006 by two school friends Behn & Troy. They claim to have been the only literate students to graduate in 1997 from their school in the Yarra Valley. Behn’s father, Pete is known for managing the first vineyard to be certified organic in Australia. Pete is now fully on hand in the vineyards for both Behn and Troy.
The ‘V.V’ is not, as one might usually expect, the French term for old vines, Vieille Vigne but is the name given to Payten & Jones’ signature series of wines; Valley Vignerons.
Payten & Jones are a winery at the fore-front of Australia’s Natural Wine Movement. They are unpretentious, no-nonsense winemakers practicing organic and sustainable farming, minimal intervention vinification, using natural acid levels, indigenous ‘wild’ yeasts, whole bunch fermentation, spontaneous malolactic conversion and shunning entirely the use of the preservative SO2. All of their wines are unfined and unfiltered, which may show in the wines’ haziness and deliver a touch of sediment. This does not detract from the sheer pleasure of drinking their wines, they are made beautifully ‘as nature intended’ and taste like the grapes we all know and love.
This Chardonnay is a classic. In their own words, it is an ‘old school’ example. 50% of the wine has been fermented in oak barriques with the remaining 50% in stainless steel tanks. It is textural with lots of creamy, nutty notes and, at the same time, is ripe with stone fruit flavours and refreshing lemony acidity.
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