Alongside Momento Mori New Zealander Dane Johns has started an incredibly ambitious project with Nikau Farm. Together with his family, he lives on the farm in Gippsland and its 95 hectares. But as big as the farm is, just as microscopic is the wine production.
The vineyards, which date from the beginning of the 2000s, are completely untouched and surrounded by a natural ecosystem and wildlife above and below the ground. The soil is unique to the area and mostly consists of compact sandstone from an ancient seabed with a rich organic layer of very fertile soil. The climate is also unique, as the vineyards are relatively close to the coast, but still receive its fair amount of rainfall and cold nights due to the altitude and exposure.
Just two small plots of 0.75 acres each belong to Nikau Farm, and Dane has a less is more approach as he adapts to the cycles of nature. He works by observing the vineyards and spends most of the day caring for the soil and the vines by hand. The yield is deliberately kept low, which results in less than 500 bottles (yes, you read that right) from each plot, so grab a bottle if you get the chance.
The aim of the wines is to produce the purest expression possible while respecting nature and the unique area. Dane’s most important task is to produce grapes of an exceptionally high quality and from there on “the wine makes itself”. This means absolutely no additives, no pumps or oak but instead élevage in steel tank. The wine ferments naturally, slowly and without maceration before being bottled by hand. If you like the wines of Momento Mori, you should keep a close eye on Nikau Farm. These are the purest and most excellent wines that have come from Dane John’s hands after 15 years of hard work, dedication, patience and experience.
Below are our suggestions for wines that are not necessary similar, but stylistically fits some of the same markers as the wine you are currently looking at. For each of the producers we work with, we have tried to answer the question: "If you like the wines from this producer, which other wines from our portfolio would be something you would enjoy?".