Sydney Times


Lakes Folly-Hunter Valley

Written by Aksel Ritenis

 Lakes Folly-Hunter Valley

 Lake’s Folly was the first boutique winery in the Hunter and their focus and excellence is reflected in their flagship Cabernet blend and Chardonnay.  They don’t have  massive selection or range but the wines they do have are superb and amounts the most sough after by Fine Wine Collector’s. They have been  featured in many guides as being amongst the best Australian investment wines . The staff at the winery lead by Rodney Kemp,..are very knowledgeable about the wine.


The Lake’s Folly 12 hectare vineyard is planted on volcanic and alluvial soils mainly to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay (some Petit Verdot, Shiraz, and Merlot) and is regarded as one of the best plots of land in the Lower Hunter Valley. At over 40 years old, the fully mature, vertically positioned vines are pruned heavily for low yielding high-quality vines producing sensational fruit.

Lakes Folly was amongst the first of the weekend wineries to produce wines for commercial sale and was long revered for its Cabernet Sauvignon and nowadays its Chardonnay,.. in a region better known for Shiraz and Semillon. The terroir and climate produce a distinct regional influence and thereby a distinctive wine style.

The winery continues to have a loyal clientele, with most of the wine selling out quickly by “mail order”, although there is a long-standing arrangement in place to supply Vintage Cellars in Sydney.  Lakes Folly no longer has any connection with the family of Dr. Max Lake the founder or his family, having been acquired some years ago by Perth businessman Peter Fogarty. Peters family company previously established the Millbrook Winery in the Perth Hills,  

Rodney Kempe, previously a winemaker at McGuigans, is now completely in charge of winemaking. “There is no question that his clear-headed, calm approach to winemaking  has brought success.” 

Lakes Folly adheres to traditional methods,..and the  Cabernet grapes are crushed and kept in an open fermenter tank and then matured for approximately 12 months in a combination of new and used French oak barriques, the proportion of new oak ranging from 1/3 to a 1/2 depending on the vintage.

The Cabernet is an elegant, perfumed style with violet, blackcurrant, earthy characters, fine-grained tannins, and underlying savory oak.

Lake’s Folly has always pursued a philosophy of single estate wine. As the market becomes saturated with brand-focused ultra-fine wines the idea of a truly limited production delineated wine has plenty of appeal to investors in the same way that Henschke Hill of Grace now has a cult following,…which has increasingly detracted from the credibility of the Penfolds Grange “multi-regional unlimited production ethos”.Today’s Fine wine aficionados are increasingly obsessed with Provenance and terroir!

 During the mid-1980s, at the height of its success, Lake’s Folly was found in almost every serious wine collector’s cellar and enjoyed fame almost akin to the cult wine scene of the late 1990s.




Lakes Folly

Address: 2416 Broke Rd, Pokolbin NSW 2320

Hours: Closed ⋅ Open 10 AM Mon-Sunday

Phone: (02) 4998 7507

About the author

Aksel Ritenis

Publisher and Custodian of the Sydney Times

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