Payten and Jones
Payten and Jones is the passionate project of two friends, Behn Payten and Troy Jones, who both graduated from Healesville High School in the Yarra Valley in 1997, and both became involved in the wine industry, founding Payten & Jones in 2006. Behn's father Pete takes care of the vineyard side of things, focusing heavily on sustainability, having managed Australia's first organic vineyard before moving to the Yarra Valley. They take a complete minimalist approach, making their wines as naturally as possible. This they acknowledge is not perfect by industry standards, but they compare the experience of drinking their wines to the difference between seeing a band play live and listening to a track on a record. The wines are bottled unfined and unfiltered, some without sulphur and therefore, in P&J's own words, may be “murky in the glass”, sometimes throw some sediment but this in no way affects their flavour. Oak is used judiciously to compliment, not overwhelm. Their estate vineyards are dry farmed, which is something of a rarity in the Yarra Valley, and they also work hand in hand with other vineyards in the area. The VV Series are accessible wines for everyday drinking, and the Payten & Jones range feature wines that express an undiluted sense of place, and includes a Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Sangiovese. Victoria is not known for the Sangiovese grape variety, but in P&J's hands it comes alive with lifted sweet fruit and dried herbs. Payten and Jones also have a collaboration in the Priorat region of Spain called La Caputxeta, which is Catalan for “Red Riding Hood”. Payten & Jones handcraft fascinating wines - something different with soul and an edgy and raw personality. The bottles have eye-catching labels that have as much character as the iconoclastic wines they hold.