(Image: Gentle Folk Website)

Gentle Folk



Gareth & Rainbo Belton - Owners, Growers and Winemakers

Prior to winegrowing, we were both marine scientists, specialising in phycology (the study of marine plants). In our PhD studies (at different universities), we studied the biodiversity of different seaweed groups and how they are related. It was super fun and the discovery and naming of new species a big highlight, as well as the top notch collaborators we each worked with. A love of wine, food and growing things eventually drew us away from academic life. The Gentle Folk story began in 2012 after spending a lot of our free time in Basket Range helping and hanging out with James Erskine (Jauma), Alex Schulkin (The Other Right) and other early pioneers of the Basket Range wine movement. Our winemaking journey started with just three barrels of wine in 2013 from the Broderick's Basket Range Vineyard, and a dream. Over the years we have been lucky enough to travel parts of the world learning about winemaking and growing, have acquired a lot more vineyard area as well as built relationships with some amazing growers in the Adelaide Hills. We currently produce between six and seven thousand cases annually, employ five lovely humans and farm eight hectares of vines. A kid (Leonard) appeared somewhere in the middle! We hope you have an opportunity to try and enjoy our wines no matter where on earth you find yourself.

(Image: Gentle Folk)


2021 Village New Releases


2021 Village Chardonnay

This blend benefits from the acidity of Scary Gully, the precision of Piccadilly and the power of Ashton. Beautifully refined and complex Adelaide Hills Chardonnay that balances acidity and ripe fruit from a very cool and long growing season.

Vineyards: Scary Gully 50%, Piccadilly 40% & Ashton 10%
Vine age: 22-38 years
Clones: i10v1, 95, 96
Elevation: 500-620m
Aspects: South (Scary Gully), north-west (Piccadilly), north (Ashton) & west (Udy's Road)
Soils: Light loamy clay over sandstone with extensive schist & quartz rubble.
Vinification: 100% whole cluster pressed and settled in tank overnight. Racked to a mixture of French and Austrian barriques, puncheons and foudre for nine months, 10% new.
Alc: 13.1%   pH: 3.4   TA: 5.8 g/L   Production: 566 dozen

Winefront Review by Mike Bennie

Posted on 24 February 2022

“Chardonnay hand-raised by Gareth Belton in the Adelaide Hills.

Supple, flowing, attractive chardonnay. Lots of detail, chalky pucker, appley acidity, some nutty nougat licks and a bit of flinty minerally character in the mix. Drives with purpose, feels serious but delicious, great persistence, savouriness to the fore. Wonderful wine. Dine out on it.”

94 Points


2021 Village Blanc

A new blend for us this year but from some of the usual sites. A homage to the wines of the Loire Valley, this Adelaide Hills white is all about the aromatic and textural dance between Sauvignon Blanc and Riesling.

Vineyards: Summertown (Sauvignon Blanc 65%), Scary Gully (Riesling 25%) & Ashton (Sauvignon Blanc & Chardonnay 10%)
Vine age: 16-22 years
Clones: Unknown (Sauvignon Blanc), GM198 (Riesling) & i10v1 (Chardonnay)
Elevation: 500-620m
Aspects: North (Summertown), south-east (Scary Gully) & north (Ashton)
Soils: Light loamy clay over sandstone with extensive schist and quartz rubble.
Vinification: 100% whole cluster pressed and settled in tank overnight. Racked to neutral French barriques and hogsheads for eight months.
Alc: 12.6%.  pH: 3.2.  TA: 6.7 g/L.  Production: 389 dozen

Winefront Review by Mike Bennie

Posted on 23 February 2022

“Sauvignon blanc, riesling and chardonnay. A blanc! 

Lots going on here. Savouriness, total fruity floral dive, a bit of the green tang. Many speeds. Much refreshing. Great texture, drive, energy. Feels a bit wild and unkempt in the best sense. A lot to sink one’s teeth into here.”

93 Points


2021 Village Grenache

We couldn't not have a play with this insane old bush-vine Grenache from the sands of Blewitt Springs. Raspberry and redcurrant on the nose and in the mouth it has those subtle and silky tannins we all love in Grenache. A treasure.

Vineyard: Brini (Blewitt Springs)
Vine age: 81 years
Clones: Unknown
Elevation: 140-160m
Aspects: North-east
Soils: Deep sand.
Vinification: Our first little foray into another region but just across the border…20% whole cluster open top fermentation for ten days, eight months in French oak barriques, all neutral.
Alc: 13.3%.  pH: 3.7.  TA: 5.0 g/L.  Production: 100 dozen

Winefront Review by Mike Bennie

“A foray over the border and into McLaren Vale, the site a place called Brini and its location is in Blewitt Springs. The vines are 80-plus years young, the fruit a temptation too hard to resist for the ever-inquisitive Gentle Folk.

Opens with struck match and flinty scents, some cinnamon-clove and dark cherry fruit characters given lift from something herbal, salt bushy and fresh. It’s similar to taste, a little rugged minerally note, stony, pumice-like and the cavalcade of sweet, ripe cherry fruit comes in and gets hounded by that garnish of dried herb and saline leafiness like the crunch of samphire or sea blight. Tannins prove worthy albeit come in late with a huff and, again, pumice-like in pucker. Delicious wine, medium weight, supple, fresh, layered with fruit and savouriness. Oh yes, worthy!”

94 Points


 2021 Village Sangiovese

Something we've dreamt about making forever…Sangiovese! A great Italian variety and staple for us. This is our first take on it, it's Adelaide Hills. Gorgeous red perfume and those fine dusty tannins. As good as lunch wine gets, we reckon.

Vineyard: Turnbull (Charleston)
Vine age: 23 years
Clones: H6V9
Elevation: 460m
Aspects: North
Soils: Sandy loam over siltstone andsandstone.
Vinification: 100% destemmed open topped fermentation for three weeks before closing the tank and leaving on skins for an extra three weeks. Pressed to French oak puncheons for 8 months.
Alc: 13.5%.  pH: 3.5.  TA: 5.5 g/L.  Production: 240 dozen

Winefront Review by Mike Bennie

Posted on 24 February 2022

“Village and a sangio.

Sappy red of medium weight, fresh acidity, tart fruit character, loads of spice and a sheath of fine, lacy tannins. Sour cherry, cola, dried green herbs, a bit of new leather character. Scents and flavours in synch. Delightful drinking. Perky, shapely, righteous.”

93 Points


2021 Village Pinot Noir

A blend of all our estate vineyards plus the Wilsmore vineyard in Piccadilly, this 2021 release is light and youthful with wonderfully integrated silky tannins, structure and acidity...perfect for pairing with nearly anything on the lunch and dinner table.

Vineyards: Monomeith (30%), Little Creek (30%), Piccadilly (20%) & Scary Gully (20%)
Vine age: 22-35 years
Clones: MV6, D5V12, Pommard, 114, 115,777, Wadensville & Martini
Elevation: 520-620m
Aspects: East-west (Monomeith), north-south (Little Creek), South (Piccadilly), south-east & south-west (Scary Gully)
Soils: Light loamy clay over sandstone with extensive schist & quartz rubble.
Vinification: 20% whole cluster open top fermentation for three weeks, but the blend includes some shorter macerated100%-whole-bunch fermentation barrels. Eight months in French oak barriques and puncheons, 10% new.
Alc: 12.9%.  pH: 3.7.  TA: 5.5 g/L.  Production: 766 dozen

Winefront Review by Mike Bennie

Posted on 19 February 2022 

“Four vineyards contribute to this wine.

Serious pinot noir, structured, architectural, flowing, yes but tannin and acidity are the stars. Dark cherry scents and flavours, a bit of undergrowth and graphite minerality in play. Fragrant and firm, a vin de garde kind of wine that speaks of a maturing, considered winemaker and a desire to produce wines of significance. Oh, and it tastes great. Real great. Give it a decent for an hour or two, if drinking in the next few years.”

95 Points


2021 Village Shiraz

We are lucky to purchase Shiraz from three of the best Hills sites, all grown by friends with passion for their land. This long, cool season allowed perfect ripeness with all the cool climate traits of pepper and perfume, this is some serious wine.

Vineyards: Ngeringa (Mt Barker 33%), Murdoch Hill (Oakbank 33%) & Turnbull (Charleston 33%)
Vine age: 3-23 years
Clones: R6WV28, 1125, 1654, 470, SARDI7, BVRC12 & 2626
Elevation: 360-460m
Aspects: East (Ngeringa), north (Murdoch Hill) & north (Turnbull)
Soils: Sandy loam over red-orange clay and sandstone.
Vinification: 20% whole cluster open top fermentation for three weeks, but the blend includes some 100% whole bunch fermentation barrels. Eight months in French oak barriques and puncheons, 10% new.
Alc: 13.1%.  pH: 3.7.  TA: 5.3 g/L.  Production: 833 dozen

Winefront Review by Mike Bennie

Posted on 4 March 2022

“It’s funny, for me at least, though not actually funny, you just say that as a convention, but anyway, I was tasting the wine and I thought ‘geez this reminds me of Murdoch Hill shiraz’ and then lo and behold a third of the wine is from there (the other third Ngeringa, the other third something called Turnbull vineyard). It has this texture and sweet-meatiness that reminds me of that Murdoch Hill shiraz vibe. Anyways, perhaps more of interest is the rise and rise of seriousness from Gentle Folk wines – the metier is premium wine, fine wine paradigm, even through the prism of natural wine, heralding a maturity in Australia’s avant garde scene with a small collection of others. Nice.

Peppered game meat, sour cherry, slurpy texture with a fuzzy hum of sandy tannins keeping shape. Lots (and lots!) of perfume, floral, meaty, sweet berried. Delightful. Almost a floral lift in palate and perfume too. Magnificent feel with each sip, enveloping the palate, hugging the tongue, finishing soft but with a tug and fine chew of tannins. Very good.”

94 Points


(Image: Gentle Folk Website)

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