We are producers of tiny parcels of ultra-premium, hand crafted wines from selected cool climate sites within the Orange wine region of NSW. It is the passionate endeavour of award winning winemaker William Rikard-Bell and his wife Kimberley.
We love Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. We focus on making them because no other varieties reflect a sense of place quite like they do. And we love what can be done with them in Orange. Orange’s high altitude vineyards are difficult to replicate anywhere else in the country and make for exciting wines.
We strive to inspire confidence and push the limits of what’s possible for the Orange wine region.
Our winemaking philosophy is all about highlighting 5 key attributes in a wine – flavour, complexity, balance, texture and length.
Gentle handling is the key. We minimise intervention with the wine in the winery as much as possible. We employ traditional techniques to guide a wine to best express the inherent attributes contained in the grapes. Year to year these attributes will differ and tell the story of each variety, vintage and vineyard site and this is something we embrace.
We like picking at a range of times and ripenesses, using wild yeast, whole bunch inclusion, pre and post fermentation maceration. We lees-stir barrels and don’t fine or filter finished wines.
It’s all about creating a wide range of components from which the best wine possible can be built – layering with flavour and complexity.
Rikard Wines is the culmination of all the experiences of winemaker William Rikard-Bell over his 17 years in the wine industry. It is a compilation of all the best bits he’s seen and learnt along the way.
William studied Wine Science at Charles Sturt University. While studying, his first vintage was in Orange, 2001 in a small iconic winery. The experience here was a formative one. He learnt a lot about the value of great fruit growing combined with traditional winemaking techniques and a strong reliance on trusting his palate in the winery. Wine must ultimately taste great!
Subsequent years were spent working in Mudgee, Orange, Yarra Valley, Bordeaux and the Hunter Valley as well as judging in many regional and national wine shows.
In 2008 he almost died. A winery explosion in the Hunter Valley caused 3rd degree burns to 70% of his body. This life changing moment was the catalyst needed for him to take the leap and start making wines for himself. Rikard Wines were born in Orange in 2015.
The story continues with a vineyard, new winery and cellar door still to come. Watch this space……