Hello, we’re James and Claire Lance and this is Punch.
James has been making wine from his family’s vineyard for more than 25 years, firstly under the tutelage of his father – recognised Pinot Pioneer and Diamond Valley Vineyards founder, David Lance – and since 2005, making his own mark with Punch.
In 1975, after a two year search for their ideal vineyard site, David and Catherine Lance found a beautiful twenty acres of sloping land in the hamlet of St Andrews, Yarra Valley. The soils were poor, thin & riddled with rock. The elevation was high (250m) & the site was a natural amphitheatre, perfect for capturing sunlight without excessive heat.
The family began planting in 1976. With David and Catherine’s retirement in 2005, James & Claire Lance took on Lance’s Vineyard & Winery, and started Punch. Together they believe that this vineyard has consistently proven itself to be one of Australia’s most distinguished sites.
Our vineyard is meticulously and sensitively cared for – using appropriate organic and holistic systems based on both science and years’ experience. Vines are hand dressed, pruned and harvested. In the winery we use minimal interventions, harnessing natural yeasts, gravity settlings, slow elevage in barrel, and no fining or filtration. After estate bottling, we allow all of our wines significant time in bottle, to develop closer to their peak before release.
In February 2009, just a few weeks before harvest was to commence, a Black Saturday bushfire burnt though Lance’s Vineyard, destroying our year’s fruit. The community response to this day was remarkable in it’s generosity of spirit. Our personal experience of this was quick to come, with our phone ringing almost immediately, and grape grower friends asking “how can we help?”. Our answer was simple – “please sell us some grapes!” And they did. In each case they shared with us significant portions of their scant, wonderful 2009 crop. We thank them sincerely.
To honour and celebrate this help, we began a new label – Friends of Punch – incorporating a love heart as a symbol of our gratitude. As Lance’s Vineyard has recovered from the fire, we have maintained Friends of Punch as the home for small parcels of beautiful fruit, grown on our friends’ vineyards, made by us at our winery.
We’d love for you to try our wines, available online here, from one of our stockists, or in our new cellar door – Punch Wine Room – right in the heart of St Andrews.
James and Claire Lance