Alex Croker and Robbie Lundberg met whilst working at Brunswick urban winery Noisy Ritual. Keen on starting their own project, Alex rented a house on a hillside in Coburg due to its tiny under-house cellar, which served as their first makeshift winery space, complete with the workouts of pushing wheelbarrows full of grapes up the steep driveway.
Some swift sales early on saw the pair able to raise enough to rent a shed in Bacchus Marsh and establish a co-op winery, the space currently shared by Wilkie, Beyond the Glass and Meredith (formerly Good Clean Fun Wines).
Fruit is sourced from around Victoria (principally Heathcote and Grampians), with Alex and Robbie closely working with growers, balancing an interest in emerging varieties and winemaking techniques (per the skin contact Greco or flor raised Mataro rosé) against a firm respect for varieties already planted, keeping grounded against flash in the pan trends, hence Shiraz getting a strong showing in this stable. They work with growers for several years before requesting changes (eg to cropping regimen) and pay higher prices for fruit than most at their price point.
Winemaking is as minimal as possible with wild primary and secondary ferments and no filtration or fining; the duo defend both the scope of winemaking knowledge required to craft proper minimally handled wines, as well as the quality of vineyard and fruit required to raise these styles. Given Alex lectures wine styles and vineyard disease at Victoria’s only winemaking course at Melbourne Polytechnic, these are views we take with appropriate gravity.
The gorgeous labels are handled by artist Miranda Costa, coincidentally a long-time friend of ours who also created the Felixir branding, and the wines stylistically are fresh and lower in alcohol and while the contemporary sensibilities show, thoughtful winemaking and nuance are readily apparent here.