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Popular Australian Winemaker, Taras Ochota Has Passed Away

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Ochota Barrels Co-founder, Taras Ochota Is Dead

One of the original rockstar winemakers. This bass player, punk rocker and surfer, Taras Ochota has sadly passed away. Taras Ochota, one of Australia’s most talented and respected winemakers who has been battling with an illness for many years was reported to have died today October 12 2020.

Taras Ochota death news was announced by World Class Multi-tasker, Winemaker and Entertainer, Maynard J Keenan in a series of tweets made via her twitter handle.

The tweets read below…

We lost a good one today. Taras Ochota, Ochota Barrels in Adelaide Hills, SA, Australia. Godspeed, Taras. This truly sucks.

Taras launched his own label, Ochota Barrels, with his wife Amber. The wine company has grown to become a beacon for minimal-intervention wine and one of Australia’s most boundary-pushing winemakers

Taras’ Ukrainian grandparents were making minimal intervention wine in South Australia’s Clare Valley long before minimal intervention wine became the ‘hot new thing’ it is today. They grew grapes without pesticides, made wines without sulfur and drank from old Vegemite jars. This lo-fi approach and lack of pretense has been a key influence in Taras’s attitude to wine and life.

After finishing school, Taras completed a degree in hospitality management while playing bass in a punk band that performed to 5,000 people at a major music festival. They very nearly became the next big thing. His first jobs after uni saw him pruning vineyards in McLaren Vale and the Adelaide Hills, and this led to work as a vineyard manager and studies in oenology.

With a raft of qualifications, Taras got a global perspective in California, surfing and playing in bands in between harvests and winery work. He settled for a few years at innovative Barossa Valley winery, Two Hands, honing his craft, before heading off again with his wife Amber – this time to Sweden. He’d got a job as a winemaker for a Swedish wine importer, where he made wines with grapes from all over the world.

Tributes

Emma Symington MW wrote – The saddest news this morning that this wonderful human, Taras Ochota, has passed away. Gentle, funny, intelligent and with a way of looking at things differently to everyone else. Not to mention an incredibly talented winemaker. He will leave a massive hole. RIP Taras x.

Christina Pickard wrote – very sad news that we lost Taras Ochota today, Taras was our assistant winemaker a number of years back, he was put simply a top bloke and I was so proud and happy to see what he and Amber had created with there wines, days like this suck, will raise a glass to my dear friend MT.

The Winewalkaabout With Kiwi and Koala wrote – So very saddened to learn of the passing of Taras Ochota tonight.

The first time we met was probably 2014. A winemaker friend had mentioned this guy you have to meet and on the spur of the moment called and said “I’m going to send my friend over to check out your wine “ with sketchy directions in the pouring rain we made our way through the @adelaidehillswine region through the valley and up the soggy gravel road to his house.

This scruffy unkept bloke with wild hair and a sparkle in his eyes waved me into the shed where he shared his treasure with me. His contagious energy and enthusiasm had me hooked as we went from barrel to barrel with a story in every one. Thank you for sharing your time with me on that cold rainy winters day Taras. RIP

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