First Foot Forward
ABOUT THE WINEMAKER Martin Siebert is a winemaker from Victoria's Yarra Valley with a penchant for cool climate wines. Martin is currently the winemaker at Tokar Estate in the heart of the Yarra Valley. Before talking on this role, he studied a wine science degree at Charles Sturt University and worked with many notable producers around Australia, New Zealand and France. These include Benjamin Leroux (Burgundy), Pegasus Bay (New Zealand) and Yarra Yering in the Yarra Valley. “Burgundy in particular taught me a huge amount about the importance of the vineyard site and how the wines should speak of where they were grown. Great wines can only be made from great sites, so with First Foot Forward I am sourcing fruit from sites that I think can deliver some of the most interesting wines in the Yarra. The wines are made with a very light touch, occasionally needing a gentle nudge to keep it on track but my role as winemaker is to nurse the wine through its natural transition from grape to wine, then bottle it." THE PATCH VINEYARD First Foot Forward sources fruit from The Patch Vineyard, a unique site lovingly tended by owner Jody Dawson, on the high southern edge of the Yarra Valley. This three acre site sits amongst the houses of the picturesque township of The Patch in the Dandenong Ranges. With an elevation a little over 300m, The Patch is consistently a few degrees cooler and wetter than the Yarra Valley floor. The Patch Vineyard has a steep east facing orientation, capturing the cool morning sunlight whilst avoiding the hot afternoon sun. The reduced hours of sunlight slows the ripening of the fruit, ensuring ample time for flavour development at moderate alcohol levels. The vines are now mature, deep rooted and dry grown, producing an average of 1.5 tonnes per acre of small bunches. The resultant wines tend to be subtle, delicate and balanced.