Manon Farm occupies a beautiful part of the Forest Range, on a ridge some six hundred metres above sea level, with views all the way down to the Indian Ocean at the Gulf of Saint Vincent.
The elevation and cool breezes from the gulf make for a long, slow ripening period, a real blessing in this country. The soils are a complex mix of red clay, quartz and schist, which gives the wines their compact nature, along with a distinctive mineral character.
Tim Webber and Monique Milton moved here in 2016. Monique comes from a pioneering family of farmers back in New Zealand, whose vineyards were the first in the country to be recognised as biodynamic, whilst Tim is a gifted chef who has cooked at some of the world’s most interesting restaurants.
Tim and Mon are deeply passionate about the land and for them, this extends well beyond the growing of grapes. Only four and a half of the farm’s ten hectares are planted with vineyards, the rest is left to orchards, vegetable gardens and native forest. They employ many biodynamic principles, tailoring this application to the needs of the farm, working without irrigation and with a real focus on diversity that allows nature to find its balance. They do not use chemicals in the vineyards and instead focus on infusions of seaweed, herbs and minerals to let the plants thrive.
Their work in the cellar is driven by patience and a real sensibility. Winemaking is fluent and dynamic, allowing the two to make thoughtful, original wines based upon what nature has offered them that year. Nothing is ever added and importantly, nothing is released until ready, allowing their pure, vibrant wines to garner layers of character and poise.