50 Years of Folly

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2013-06-28 14.11.00 Judith Kennedy went to visit the winery and found the caricature of Max Lake complete with toga, a tempting ‘Kodak moment’. Lake’s folly winemaker Rodney Kempe has agreed to enter their Chardonnay into the 6 Nations Wine Challenge this year. Their philosophy of not entering shows has not been broken due to this being a unique ‘invitation only’ Challenge and the 2011 Chardonnay has been specially selected by Australia’s Challenge judge Huon Hooke in an effort towards Australia Challenging for New World Champion nation.

Great friend to this boutique winemakers’ Association, Max Lake is being remembered this year for this being the 50th anniversary of the year he and his beloved wife Joy started their adventure their ‘folly’ in the Hunter Valley.

Australia’s first boutique winery, Lake’s Folly was established  in 1963.  Still family-owned 50 years later, owner Peter Fogarty with winemaker Rodney Kempe continue to maintain the quality and integrity of this significant vineyard.

Their two flagship wines – a Cabernet blend and a Chardonnay – are made in limited quantities, and are grown, vintaged and bottled on the estate.  The wine styles are restrained and elegant, showing finesse and complexity.  They have clarity of structure and great length of flavour.

“First the hobby, then the passion of a distinguished surgeon from Sydney, Max Lake.  He started the first new Hunter winery in 40 years, ignoring tradition to prove that Cabernet can be the same splendid thing under Hunter skies as elsewhere.  Then he did the same with Chardonnay, making vibrantly lively wines.  Both can be among Australia’s best.”– Hugh Johnson’s Wine Companion (4th edition).

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Image: Judith Kennedy and the caricature of Max Lake.