Garth Cliff spent 20 years making wine across Australia and in the US, with a decade at Houghton before striking out on his own with partner Kristen McGann. And while many a Western Australian winemaker would feel drawn to the glamour regions, like Margaret River, Cliff was most passionate about the deeply unfashionable Swan District. Under the Vino Volta label, Cliff focuses primarily on the region’s strengths, which are chenin blanc and grenache, with the Swan having many well-sited vines of significant age. Chenin is given four distinct voices: the ‘old school’ treatment with bright fruit to the fore; it gets barrel fermented with plenty of lees; is raised under flor; and given fizz in a vibrant pét-nat. Grenache also gets the pét-nat treatment, as well as a spicy mid-weight rework with some whole bunch, and it also contributes to a blend with tempranillo and touriga.
Region: Swan Valley, Western Australia
Grapes: Chenin Blanc