While many vignerons espouse a "hands-off" philosophy, proprietors Oliver Rapson and Renata Morello aim to bring "as much science and modern viticultural practices to the vineyard as possible".
Exactly one hour north of Melbourne, Lyons Will Estate was established in 1996 with its first plants being the pinot noir and chardonnay. Gamay and riesling were planted later on what is now 10 acres under vine. Rapson and Morello took over five years ago.
The family-owned estate, which has its own winery, has just released its first gamay; the Lyons Will 2017 Macedon Ranges Gamay ($37) - and it is a delight.
If you enjoy wines with a bit of personality, this is inspired by Beaujolais winemaking techniques and is fun and funky, unfined and unfiltered. The fruit from the young vines is light, bright and perky.
The couple say they "intend to produce wines that ring true to this stunning and rare environment". The vineyard sits in the foothills of the Cobaw State Forest, a cool-climate region with an altitude of 540 metres.
"We understand that the wine trade is a competitive environment and in order to meet the market we need to expand our knowledge, embrace change and if possible become thought leaders," they say.
Lyons Will are very involved in research trials with the AWRI and are avid members of the Macedon Ranges Vignerons Society. Morello is nominally the winemaker although Lew Knight from Knights Granite Hills is a consultant.
Lyons Will Estate, 60 Whalans Rd, Lancefield, VIC 3435. www.lyonswillsestate.com.au. Open the fourth weekend of the month, or by appointment.