Enter Col's youngest son Michael, who up until recently was working in London as a business analyst in International Telecoms.
After visiting Bordeaux and tasting a rather expensive red blend, Michael felt that Faisan could make it as good if not better. So he packed his bags, returned to the Orange region to pick the Faisan brand up from where his father had left off.
Michael also produced a barrel fermented Sauvignon Blanc, which isn't grown at Faisan, but at the slightly cooler Gnoo Blas vineyard in Orange, sitting at an altitude of over 900m above sea level.
Michael, through a combination of study, learning from his father’s knowhow and interacting with winemakers from Australia and Europe, built his knowledge to enable the a smooth transition from business analyst to winemaker.
Michael's enthusiasm for the Orange region is in its depth. "With the regions variation of soil types and an elevation that ranges from a 600m minimum to over 1100m above sea level, the Orange region is very sight-specific and can grow almost any variety, depending on where the vineyard is located".
Michael regards the individual terrior (climate and soil) of Faisan to be ideal for Cabernet and Merlot and believes these are the wines that best exemplify the both the uniqueness of the Faisan's vineyard and the depth of the Orange region.
Other wines that also excite Michael are Chardonnay. "Across the board, Orange grows beautiful Chardonnay fruit. The balance, mouth-feel and fruit characteristics may change, depending on soil type and altitude, but the consistency of quality is unchallenged".
Another variety Michael also feels has enormous potential is Pinot Noir. "This is a variety that's very sight-specific. Not only is a cool ripening environment important, but so is soil. Our vineyard contains decomposed limestone, which is very good for Pinot Noir. It provides good drainage and doesn't overcrop, keeping our yields low and the fruit flavour intense".
In fact, Michael is so excited by Orange's potential for Pinot Noir and just how much the vineyard location can influence the balance and flavour, that he intends to release a dedicated varietal range. The aim is to source Pinot Noir from different vineyard locations across the region, treat each fruit selection with the exact same winemaking process and bottle them as single vineyard wines. This would create a range that expresses the individuality and uniqueness that various soils and climates can have on this wonderful variety.