This winery changed hands in May 2016, with one family company, Brown Brothers, taking it off the hands of another, its founder, Phil Sexton. So associated is Innocent Bystander with the Yarra Valley that the new owners made the intelligent decision to build a new winery in Healesville, just across the parking lot from Giant Steps. They quickly signed contracts with all the grape growers that Phil used for Innocent Bystander, so that the style of the wines remains unchanged. This regional and varietal style, reflecting the soil, climate and topography of the cool climate in the Yarra Valley is the base upon which the reputation of Innocent Bystander has been built.
The fruit for the Moscato was sourced from a number of vineyard sites across the Swan Hill region of North West Victoria. Soils here are predominantly calcareous sandy loam. The wine is a blend of three different types of the Muscat grape: Muscat of Alexandria, Black Muscat and Red Frontignac (one of the many clones of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains).
The 2018 season started off relatively dry with below average rainfall coming into budburst. October was quite cool, and the vines grew quite slowly. From November, there was a distinct change in the weather with an increase in heat and subsequent rapid growth. Great weather with warm and sunny days led to a fast and uniform flowering from mid-November. High fruit set and larger berries led to very high bunch weights.
Harvested in the cool of the night, the fruit was chilled and crushed with six hours skin contact to extract a vibrant hint of pink from the Black Muscat grapes. The juice then underwent a cool fermentation in pressurised stainless steel vats to retain the freshness and to trap the natural effervescence. Fermentation was stopped at 5.5% alcohol by chilling the wine before it was then bottled under pressure.
This wine is a blend of 71% Muscat of Alexandria, 26% Black Muscat, 3% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains.
Vivid pink in colour, this highly aromatic wine has notes of blackcurrant, Turkish delight, mandarin peel and a hint of candy floss. The palate is rich and fruity with balanced residual sugar, a cleansing natural acidity and a spritzy finish.