‘Tomfoolery’ was established in 2004 by Ben Chipman and Toby Yap in the Barossa Valley. The name came about due to them crushing a tonne of Shiraz grapes in sweltering heat - a brave/foolish endeavour. This wine was turned into their first ‘Artful Dodger’ Shiraz, which has become their premium wine. Since then, Ben and Toby have added other wines to their portfolio, such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Mataro, Termpranillo and Pinot Noir. The whites are sourced from vineyards in the Barossa Valley for the reds, the Eden Valley for the Pinot Gris, and the Adelaide Hills for their Sauvignon Blanc, which thrives in cooler climates. Despite the name, Ben and Toby are very serious about winemaking: their philosophy is to hand-craft small parcels of fruit with minimal intervention in order for the grapes to truly reflect the individual characteristics of the vineyard and variety. The grapes are picked early in the morning before being destemmed and fermented in small open fermenters; the whites are filtered gently before bottling, while the reds are neither fined nor filtered, ‘to ensure the full potential of the fruit is captured.’ The labels are designed by artist John Engelhardt, who has worked for major companies such as ‘Walt Disney’ Australia.
The ‘Tally-ho Sauvignon Blanc’ from the Adelaide Hills features a pale straw colour and aromas of fresh peas and jasmine florals, with a subtle zesty note, and a palate of lime and gooseberry, crisp acidity and a long finish. The ‘Trouble and Strife Cabernet Franc Rosé’ from the Barossa Valley has a luscious rose-pink colour, aromas of pomegranate, raspberry, rosehips and cinnamon, flavours of wild strawberries and redcurrants, and a refreshingly dry finish. The ‘Artful Dodger Shiraz’ from the Barossa Valley is their flagship wine, with aromas of plum, blueberry and smoke, a full-bodied palate of blackberry and spice, and a toasty, long finish.
For more information on Tomfoolery and their wines, head to the website.