Anton Von Klopper looks like your favourite uncle. The kind of uncle that gives you sips of his wine when you’re 10 years old whilst hiding from your parents disapproving gaze. Anton also looks a lot like Einstein. Which is only fitting as what he’s accomplishing in the natural wine world is nothing short of ground-breaking. What Einstein did for science, Anton is doing for winemaking: reinventing the pure energy that each grape can bring to the tastebuds of the one who drinks it.
How he manages to do so is with his (even for the natural wine world) avant-garde, hands off approach to winemaking. Choosing craft over recipe, his wines take the methods of biodynamic winemaking and… well, completely upends them. His wines comprise no sulfur whatsoever, no added yeast, no fining, nor filtering. As such, his practice requires perseverance and punctiliousness in all aspects of farming. Given his wines make up solely the juice of the grapes he grows, one could say that they truly espouse the label, ‘natural.’
And in another parallel to Einstein, Anton is a well-educated man. Self-proclaimed “book nerd,” he graduated his Bachelor of Agricultural Science and Oenology from the University of Adelaide in 2001 with first class honours. He then worked in vineyards in Germany, New Zealand and the United States, including Domaine Serene in Oregon.
Now he’s settled in Summertown South Australia, out of the Basket Ranges in the Adelaide Hills, in his winery Lucy Margaux. The impetus for Anton’s winemaking has always been the pursuit of the expression of terroir, and he is forever chasing it in his cuvées. Taking all the rules that he learnt in his bachelors and gleefully breaking them, he’s creating wild wines that are deeply possessive of the land. Since the first vintage of Lucy Margaux in 2007, Anton has moved away from conventional biodynamics to simply bottling the grapes he so meticulously grows and letting the magic come to fruition. The result is a set of very down to earth, candid and resolute wines – Anton’s own organised chaos:
“A winemaker can choose to be an artist or a chemist. I believe that winemaking is a craft…”
The method to his madness is realised in the beauty and energy of his handcraft wines such as 2020 “Sauvignon Sensuel Sauvignon Blanc,” an incredibly sensual take on a savvy b, a citrus-forward feature with a fresh saline minerality to boot. And for all the cider lovers out there, pick up a bottle of the “Rachel and Anton's Farmhouse Cider”: a fresh blend of apples, pears and quinces fermented for two weeks, then aged for four months in barrel before being disgorged. A true quaffable elixir. And if all that is not enough to entice you to pick up a bottle of Lucy Margaux, then the eye-catching labels (as meticulously handmade as the wines themselves!) should be.
So, at the end of all this, natural wine lovers, I dare ask… if you’re into natural wine and you haven’t tried Lucy Margaux, then are you really into natural wine?
Article by: Ceren Guler