Timo Mayer is the eponymous brand established by the German-born, eastern Yarra Valley-based winemaker in 1999. Timo grew up near Stuttgart, belonging to a family who had made wine for over 400 hundred years, where many grape growers process their harvest in co-operative winemaking cellars. Most of the wines made there are for consumption by locals, and aren’t very exciting, yet Timo didn’t want to take over the family business. Instead, Timo decided to leave Germany and ended up in Australia. Whilst in Florida Timo met his wife Rhonda, and in 1993 they had their first child, prompting Timo to think about their future. Timo settled on the Yarra Valley, followed by completing an oenology degree at Charles Sturt University. Timo wanted to truly understand the Yarra Valley, to make wines that suited its cool climate. The vineyard was planted on the side of Mount Toolebewong, its steepness earning it (and the wines) the title of ‘Bloody Hill.’ With his day job at Gembrook Hill winery, Timo yearned to explore the production of his own wines. Timo experimented using a technique of whole-bunch fermentation, where the grapes are fermented in a barrel/tank without being destemmed, giving the wines complexity and adding a bit of ‘funkiness.’ Timo is well known in the Australian wine industry for pushing boundaries, being eccentric, and not being at all scared to try things out.
The ‘Bloody Hill Pinot Noir’ is aged in oak for only three months, so it gives the fruit a chance to shine, with loads of raspberry, cranberry and cherry on the nose and palate, as well as savoury notes and spice. The ‘Timo Mayer Cabernet’ has black and red fruit notes, some stalkiness, with perfumed freshness and fine tannins, with the ability to lay down for five or more years.
For more information on Timo Mayer and his wines, head to the website.