Yarra Valley

Innocent Bystander

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.

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The Gordo Muscat (Muscat of Alexandria) was selected from the Woonton, Boulton and Duffy vineyards, while the Black Muscat (Muscat Hamberg) that made up the remaining part of the blend was sourced from Burge Vineyard, Duffy Vineyard, Wall Vineyard and Pratt Vineyard, all in the Swan Hill region in Victoria.

Vintage Information

Slightly above-average rainfall for the 2015 winter replenished the soils with much needed moisture leading into the 2016 growing season. The dry, mild conditions through spring lowered the potential for disease and enabled the growers to keep the vineyards in good health. A vintage of very good yields and excellent quality fruit from across the region.


Harvested in the cool of the night, fruit was chilled and crushed with six hours skin contact to extract a hint of pink from the Black Muscat. Juice underwent a 100% stainless steel ferment with aromatic yeast at 12°C. Fermentation was stopped at 5.5% alcohol by chilling the wine, then cold filtered at 0°C to trap in the natural bubbles and cold bottled under pressure to retain freshness and effervescence.

Tasting Notes

Intense candy floss and blackcurrant perfumes wrap around notes of musk, Turkish delight and mandarin peel. The palate is rich in flavour, yet refined by a cleansing natural acidity. The spritzy naturally dissolved carbon dioxide leaves the palate refreshed.

Vintage Information

Vintage 2016
Grape varieties 82% Muscat d`Alexandria
18% Black Muscat
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria
Winemaker Steve Flamsteed
Alcohol (ABV) 5.5%
Acidity 6g/l
Residual Sugar 108g/l
Wine pH 3.2