Tim Webber and Monique Milton moved to Manon Farm in 2016. It occupies a beautiful part of the Forest Range on a ridge some 600 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.
Monique comes from a pioneering family of farmers back in her native New Zealand, whose vineyards were the first in the country to be recognised as organic and biodynamic. Tim is a gifted chef who has cooked at some of Australia’s most interesting restaurants and was responsible for opening Sydney’s first natural wine bar and that is where he met Alex and Damiano.
Tim and Monique are thoughtful, earnest people who are deeply passionate about the land and for them, like many of our producers, this extends well beyond just wine. Only six of the farm’s ten hectares are planted with vineyards, the rest is left to orchards, vegetable gardens, livestock, native forest and plenty of kangaroos. They farm biodynamically, without irrigation and with a real focus on diversity that allows nature to find its balance. It goes without saying that they do not use chemicals and instead focus on infusions of seaweed, herbs and minerals to let the plants thrive.
The work in the cellar, an old tractor shed, is driven by patience, judgement and a maturity beyond their years. Winemaking is both fluent and dynamic, allowing the two to make wines based upon what nature offers them that season and as a result, they will release a different collection each and every year. Nothing is ever added to the wines, but equally importantly, they do not release anything until it is ready. This patience allows these pure, vibrant wines to garner layers of character and poise.
Tim and Monique are amongst the most talented young growers we have come across and it is a real pleasure to be bringing their wines to London.