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Momento Mori

Momento Mori Wines was born out of a simple desire to make wines that first and foremost have respect for the living. They are crafted with consideration and integrity throughout the entire process. And ultimately (and selfishly) are wines that I wanted to drink and share with others.

Dane Johns started his career in wine by working with Bill Downie in Victoria and later, started his own label with fruits sourced from just a few organic growers throughout the region. Dane initially works primarily with Italian varietals such as Fiano, Moscato Giallo, and Vermentino that shine in this climate. He now lives and works in a beautiful property with his own vineyards of pinot noir and riesling as well as a vegetables’ garden where his wife, Hannah grows produce for the family. Their place is breathtakingly special.

"My wife Hannah and I farm two small plots of approx 0.75 hectare each on our property in Gippsland Victoria. The vineyards are situated at 400m above sea level, tucked into the steep hill-sides on the Strezelecki Ranges. We also farm another small 1.5 hectare plot beneath the Black Snake Ranges in the Tonimbuk valley. We farm according to strict organic principles and have an upmost respect for the living and dynamic systems around us."

All of Dane’s wines are made with small ferments, wild yeast, no new oak, no mechanical pumps, no fining, no filtration and no additions at any stage of winemaking or bottling. His philosophy is simple “I’m just trying to make wines as pure and as clean as I can, without adding anything at all. That includes sulphur. I kind of like the constraints of not using sulphur ... I guess it’s like farming organically, it instantly ensures you can only do things gently and in small batches.”

As well as the vineyards they farm are also fortunate enough to work with some like minded and very fastidious growers throughout Victoria. They source high quality organic fruit that has been nurtured with the same philosophies in mind and are ever encouraging and striving for more sustainable and natural farming practices.

The sum of this is minuscule amounts of multiple different wines. All of them idiosyncratic. All of them full of character, freshness and purity. And above all, alive.