Unusually for Marlborough, Folium is a small-scale winery with eight hectares in the Brancott Valley. Takaki Okada moved to the area in 2003 after completing his studies at UC Davis in California before spending six years working for Clos Henri. It is Takaki’s work in the vineyard that marks Folium wines out amongst other Marlborough producers. Farming here is without irrigation or chemical inputs in the vineyard as evidenced by the range of flowers and grasses that grow between the rows. Irrigation is standard practise for most other producers in Marlborough where the compound Methoxypyrazine is valued for the herbaceous flavour that it gives to the Sauvignon Blanc grown here. Takaki’s insistence on dry farming means that not only do his vines root deeper in search of water and nutrients but they do not develop as much leaf canopy meaning less Methoxypyrazines in the developing grapes. This gives a style of wine that is different to most others in the area with a zesty apple like character that complements a restrained hint of the tropical fruit that is often more pronounced in other Marlborough Sauvignon blanc. The wines are also more taught and nuanced with greater length than is usual.
As well as Sauvignon Blanc Takaki makes outstanding Pinot Noir again from his own vines, supplemented by a small amount of biodynamic certified fruit bought from a neighbour for the regular bottling. They show the bright red fruit found in many Pinot Noirs from Marlborough but with added complexity of savoury, earthy notes and fine textural element.
Across the range these are very precise, extremely high quality wines with wonderful purity of fruit and great concentration.