Folium Vineyard 2012 Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir Releases

Folium Vineyard is the winegrowing venture of Takaki Okada who came to New Zealand from Japan in 2003 to work at Clos Henri. Developing a passion to craft fine Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir, he purchased in 2010, an 8.4 ha block on Brancott Road that was originally set up by Fromm Winery. The vineyard is close-planted at a density of 4,200 vines per hectare, some of the vines dating back to 1996, others established in 2003. Some of the vineyard is dedicated to Chardonnay, Malbec and Syrah, and the yield not dedicated to the Folium label is sold off. The vineyard has been certified BioGro organic since March 2012.

I was present at Takaki’s release of his inaugural 2011 Folium wines at a function at The White House Restaurant in September 2012 (click here to read my report). The name ‘Folium’ is based on the Latin word for ‘leaf’, and is Takaki’s recognition of the most significant role of the vine’s leaves in the making of the wines. However, I was immensely impressed with his humility, enthusiasm and fastidiousness which I described as "measured fanaticism” in the end result. His focus is on meticulous viticulture, no irrigation except for new vines, and hand-harvesting to ensure low yields of healthy and fully-ripened fruit.

Winemaking, which is just as meticulous as the grapegrowng, is carried out at Fromm Winery, with some advice from William Hoare and Hatsch Kalberer there. The ‘estate’ wines are made from the younger vines and the ‘Reserve’ from the older, and the winemaking regimes are essentially identical to allow the nature of each of the blocks to be expressed. The ‘estate’ wines are sealed with screwcap, whereas the ‘Reserve’ wines are sealed with natural cork. Takaki’s first release was around 1,200 cases, with an eventual aim of 3,000 cases at full production. Here, I review the second Folium Vineyard releases, from the 2012 vintage, the ‘estate’ Pinot Noir being a 2013.


  • Folium Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  • Folium ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc 2012
  • Folium Marlborough Pinot Noir 2013
  • Folium ‘Reserve’ Marlborough Pinot Noir 2012

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