Gareth and Rainbo Belton are the creative force behind Gentle Folk Wines. Originally from South Africa, Gareth has lived in Australia for two decades. In their previous careers the couple worked as marine scientists specializing in the study of seaweed. It does not surprise that when they started growing grapes, they chose to do so according to the natural rhythms of the environment. They organically and biodynamically farm 7.5 hectares of vines spread over 5 sites, producing only 3500 cases of wine each year.

Gentle Folk Wines is located in the Basket Range of the Adelaide Hills. This area in South Australia is one of the country’s best cool climate wine regions. It is also one of the oldest wine making regions in Australia. The landscape is defined by rolling hills that rise up to 650 meters above sea level. The valley’s create varied microclimates perfect for grape growing. Growing seasons tend to be reliably dry. These wines are gems that should not be missed! There are limited in quantity – especially the single vineyard chardonnays – so get a bottle while you can! 

Summertown Blanc $34.03

In the words of Gareth and Rainbo – “A beautiful little skin contact Sauvignon from the Summertown vineyard. Mixture of 12 hours and 10 days on skins. Some time in barrel, sometime in tank. Boom”

Rainbow Juice $34.03

A blend of many different grape varieties, the Gentle Folk Rainbow Juice is super crushable! In the words of Gareth and Rainbo – “The Juice returns! Spring drinking is here. Heaps of things going on, heaps of techniques, not worth going into it….just put it in your mouth and enjoy”

Village Chardonnay $37.22

In the words of Gareth and Rainbo – “As with all our chardonnays the fruit is hand picked and whole bunch pressed. The juice is settled overnight and then the wine is racked to barrels. We use a combination of barriques (225L), puncheons (500L) and foudre (1000L). A mixture of French and Austrian coopers. The single vineyard wines contain 30% new oak and the Village wine is 25% new oak. The wine is left to rest in oak for 10 months before being bottled early January 2020. The Village wine benefits from the acidity of Scary Gully, the generosity of Piccadilly and the perfume of Ashton. 250 doz made, closed with Diam, 13% alc.”

Ashton Chardonnay $48.64

This is how Gareth and Rainbo describe the Ashton Chardonnay – “A new vineyard and a new wine. A beautiful north facing slope high up in the Ashton hills and guarded by Wendy the ostrich (it’s a long story). Only four barriques made (one new), full malolactic fermentation, this wine spent 10 months on its lees before being bottled. It’s pure and beautiful.”

Piccadilly Chardonnay $48.64

This is how Gareth and Rainbo describe the Piccadilly Chardonnay – “This is our first release from Piccadilly, with power and intensity that the valley is known for. Due to reduced sunlight and although the wine appears flashy on the nose, it is restrained on the pallet with savoury nuances, texture and length.”

Scary Gully Chardonnay $48.66

Bright with crunchy acidity, the Scary Gully Chardonnay is made from grapes harvested from 26 to 29 year year old vines. The vineyard sits at 620 meters and faces south and east. The soil consists of light loamy clay over sandstone with extensive schist and quartz rubble. In the cellar, the wine spent 11 months in a one year old Austrian foudre’ and underwent full malolactic fermentation.

Vin de Sofa $34.03

This is how Gareth and Rainbo describe the Vin de Sofa – “A blend from various Adelaide Hills vineyards – Little Creek (Norton Summit), Scary Gully (Forest Range), Turnbull (Charleston) & Morialta (Norton Summit). The different varieties were fermented separately in 2020 due to a difference in ripening between sites. The Pinot noir was fermented as 100% whole bunch, pressed after 7 days and aged in neutral French barriques. The Pinot gris was direct-pressed and fermented and aged in stainless steel. Merlot was all destemmed and spent 10 days on skins before being pressed and aged in stainless tanks. The wine was blended and bottled in August 2020. 7,920 bottles made.