Rory Lane of The Story Wines.

Tell me about The Story Wines.
Our focus is to make great Grampians wines (and a few others if the whim takes us) but in a Melbourne winery. While I have added a few other wines to the stable, the core Grampians Rhône varieties remain the same. I was also a comparative literature major at university prior to my wine studies, so the idea of telling stories with our brand is close to me.  

You source a lot of grapes from the Grampians and also Henty. What do you love about these regions?
Both are unsung regions with excellent terroirs for growing grapes. The Grampians has been focusing on shiraz/syrah for 150 years and also consistently produces some of this country’s greatest wines – yet people still don’t know about the region. Henty is an unplanted wonderland. It is vast and so many of its terroirs will only be revealed in time. Pinot, chardonnay and riesling all shine there, which is reason enough to explore it. Both regions have all the ingredients for quality wine and none of the foot traffic – the road less travelled perhaps.

Anything exciting in the pipelines for The Story Wines in 2021?
We’re increasing production of the Rhône varieties in the Grampians, like grenache, mourvèdre, marsanne, roussanne and viognier. It’s not something that many producers do out there, but personally I think they have huge potential for the future. We’re taking over the lease for a new vineyard, which will secure and elevate our syrah production, and I’m also excited to implement more organic farming practices across our sites.

You also make The Story Gin using native Australian botanicals. How do you like distilling compared with winemaking?
Gin is a great foil for winemaking – rather than talking in abstractions about a drink tasting like blackcurrant, pepper or plum, gin tastes like it does because it actually has those ingredients in it. I like the honesty and simplicity of that. It’s also nice to be able to arrive at a finished product within a matter of weeks, rather than months or years.