Our History


Cabernet planted by Max Lake’s family and friends.


A-frame erected, later to become the vineyard logo.


The first vintage, truly hand (and feet) made.


Chardonnay first planted.


Len Evans, Australian Complete Book of Wine: "its influence and the quality of wine it produces have given it an importance which greatly out-weigh its size."


Dan Murphy, Classification of Australian Wines: "The impact which the wines have had on the Australian wine world...places the red in the ‘very great’ category. A classic wine in its own right...does not fit easily into any style."


International accolades Hugh Johnson, Serena Sutcliffe, Decanter, Michael Broadbent, David Peppercorn, etc.


In Robin Bradley’s Australian Wine Guide Lake’s Folly has the distinction of 5 stars for both wines.


Stephen Lake now the winemaker. Max Lake consulting.


Quoted in Bradley’s book Small Wineries of Australia as being one of the important vineyards of the world.


Jeremy Oliver’s book Thirst for Knowledge ranks Lake’s Folly in the 4 consistently best Australian Cabernets.


Substantial exports to the USA and UK including the Ritz in London, help put Australia’s mark on the wine world map.


The 1978 Cabernet was chosen for France’s famous 3 star restaurant Troisgros.


James Halliday speaks of the Folly in his Australian Wine Guide, as being the first and one of the most famous of the boutique wineries in Australia, with an enviable reputation for quality and style. He also chose the 1991 Cabernet for his top shelf red selection of 13 wines.


Both our wines are included for the second time in the Langton’s 2nd edition of Classification of Distinguished Australian Wine.


The 1996 Chardonnay was chosen in James Halliday's "Top 100" and The Gourmet Traveller "Wine Magazine" Top 20 Australian Chardonnay's.


The 1997 Chardonnay was chosen in James Halliday's "Top 100", for the second time running.

Huon Hooke wrote: "The Cabernets is a history making wine with pedigree and cult status."


The Folly changes ownership to Peter Fogarty and forms part of the Fogarty Wine Group. Rodney Kempe is appointed winemaker.


Both the 1999 Cabernet and 1999 Chardonnay selected for France's Troisgros restaurant.

Both wines included for the third time in the Langton's 3rd edition of Classification of Distinguished Australian Wine.


Of the 2000 vintage, James Halliday rates both wines 94/100, "...as close to perfection as the real world will allow."

Huon Hooke writes – “quality at this winery is better than ever”.


In a first for a Hunter Valley wine, the Lake’s Folly 2001 Cabernet blend is awarded Wine of the Year, by Jeremy Oliver, in his Australian Wine Annual (2004 Edition).

One year later the ’02 red is awarded his best Australian Cabernet yet again.


London First ever Langton's Classification tasting of Australia's best. Jancis Robinson's top red wine tasted is the '98 Folly red with a 5 star ranking.

Halliday ranks '02 Chardonnay at 96 points in his "Top 100".


Halliday’s 2006 Wine Companion sees only 4 Hunter Valley wines make the “best of the best” section (excluding Semillons). Three of the 4 are Lake’s Folly wines – from the ’02 & ’03 vintages with 94-96 point scores.


40th Vintage. Lake’s Folly Cabernets ranked #4 in Wine Ark’s 100 most collected wines.


Founder, Doctor Max Lake, passes away aged 84.


Wine Ark announces Lake's Folly as 'Most Collected Cabernet' in Australia which sees it move up the rankings as the '3rd Most Collected Wine' in Australia, overall.


50th Anniversary Year.

Lake's Folly enters its first-ever wine show and wins Trophy for 'Best Chardonnay' in the New World at the Six Nations Wine Challenge.

Wine Ark's 'Australia's Most Collected' list again sees Lake's Folly ranked as 'Most Collected Cabernet' and 3rd overall 'Most Collected Wine'.

The Chardonnay receives a #2 ranking in the 'Most Collected Chardonnay' list.


Australia's largest wine storage provider, Wine Ark, releases its 'Most Collected' list of wines, with Lake's Folly ranking as 'Most Collected Cabernet blend' (4th Most Collected overall wine) and the #2 'Most Collected Chardonnay'.


Winner of 'Best Small Cellar Door' award in Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine's annual 'Australia's Best Cellar Door Awards'.


Wine Ark's 'Most Collected' three-yearly list announced, with Lake's Folly again ranking as Australia's 'Most Collected Cabernet blend' (16 years record) and retaining its 4th Most Collected Wine (overall). Lake's Folly Chardonnay is Australia's 3rd Most Collected.


'Star Cellar Door' awarded to Lake's Folly in Gourmet Traveller WINE Magazine's annual 'Australia's Best Cellar Doors' awards - Lake's Folly cellar door's 4th time featuring in these awards, in the previous six years.



Our 'Block 1' Cabernet vines (at front of the cellar door), first planted in 1963, heralded the birth of Lake's Folly. To this day, our wines are still proudly grown, vintaged and made here on our small single-site vineyard and winery.

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