Estate Vineyards

Holy Grail | Coach House | Marananga Vineyards
Securing our fruit for the future

Seppeltsfield Road links our Marananga winery, Cellar Door, Coach House & Holy Grail vineyards, referred to by Barossa locals as “The Avenue of Hopes and Dreams”. It is magnificently lined with 100 year old date palm trees.

The philosophy applied to our estate vineyards is inspired by a seminal French producer from the Rhone Valley – to not own every vineyard, but to own the best. Time, patience, extensive soil studies and viticultural research have allowed our team to establish what we aspire to be one of the ultimate vineyards of Barossa ‘The Holy Grail’.

A chance conversation provided Michael with the opportunity to consolidate Two Hands’ vineyard holdings on Seppeltsfield Road, taking us to 900m of frontage along the gateway to the Western Ranges of the Barossa Valley. The Holy Grail vineyard, is a viticulturist’s dream: 15 acres of 18 year old Shiraz, adjoining our existing 70 acre block which was ready for planting in 2016. With its rich red-brown earth, strong clonal selection, and eastern sloping aspect.

With a vast array of soil depths and types through the site, careful consideration has been placed on selecting a diversified range of Shiraz clones to optimise viticultural development across the property. Through the depths of winter 2015, the Two Hands winery team were out with snips in hand, taking 40,000 cuttings from some of the great vineyards in the Barossa, Clare and Eden Valley regions. The clonal diversity creates interest on the palate once the vines reach maturity, designed to take us away from the 1654 clone that was so widely planted across South Australia in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

When you walk a great vineyard, you look and consider a vine’s architecture, the bunch configuration, you feel the soil and you immediately sense greatness. The Holy Grail vineyard is a viticulturist’s dream.

2016 is when the real fun began. Deep ripping of the vine rows to prepare the soils for planting, as well as irrigation and trellis installation. In September 2016, the mammoth task of vine planting began, with a grand total of over 60,000 vines planted over two years.

Holy Grail Vineyard is planted east to west which allows the bunch zone of our vines to be shaded by the harsh afternoon summer sun. If we had chosen to plant our rows North to South, the bunches would have a high chance of being burnt in the middle of the ripening period, which would see fast and furious ripening, rather than slow and consistent which allows true phenolic ripeness of the whole bunch, which is key to the quality wines we strive for

Each of our estate vineyards are cane pruned to reduce the risk of the fungus infection Eutypa Lata, and also assists the vines to survive our warm summers. Cane pruning, and pruning our Sur Echalas blocks and contoured bush vines must be done by hand in order to choose the most robust cane to grow new shoots for the next vintage. Our Holy Grail Vineyard is also trained and picked by hand to minimise tractor movements and avoid soil compaction.

We are proud to be custodians of the best viticultural land within the Western Ranges of the Barossa Valley and work tirelessly to grow the best fruit year in and year out, working with the seasons to produce incredible fruit. With additional fruit from our other estate vineyards Kraehe House Block in Marananga next to our Cellar Door and winery and the famous Coach House Block in Greenock. The combination of our existing blocks and new developments provides a fascinating contrast and will provide an enormous source of fruit styles for the winemaking team to work with as the vines mature over the years ahead.

We acknowledge the Ngadjuri People who are the traditional custodians of this beautiful part of the world, as well as the Kaurna and Peramangk people who border this land. We acknowledge and thank the Elders, past, present and emerging for their deep and ongoing connection to Country.



In 2015 when I was faced with what to plant at Holy Grail, I thought back to what I had said to my growers for the past 20 years when they asked what to plant, my answer had always been ‘Shiraz, Shiraz and Shiraz’! So the question was which Shiraz clone to plant?

The answer was to propagate as many of our own vines as possible from vines in vineyards that we knew and trusted. This involved several hours of cutting 400mm canes from the vines in winter, tying them up in bundles of 100 and sending them off to the nursery to get them turned into rootlings ready for planting the following season.

We started our quest at Yalumba nursery with two blind tastings wines made from their clonal test plots coincidentally, planted at the rear of Holy Grail on Hempel Road by Simon Cowham (Sons of Eden Wines) when he had worked for Yalumba years earlier. The block had been planted sporadically with each vine tagged, the vines were then all picked on the same day, fermented separately in exactly the same way and aged in stainless steel for a short time. From these tastings we found two stand out Clones – BVOV10 and EVOV12. And so I decided to plant the top of the ridge on a drought and salt resistant rootstock 140 Rugger with both these clones. We then made cuttings of these clones directly from the source. We chose the Prouse vineyard on Saw Pit Gully Road Eden Valley, managed by a friend and the Kaesler Alte Reben vineyard on Jenke Road in Marananga.

Next up I decided to call Tony Brady at ‘Wendouree’ to see if I could propagate cutting from his original 1891 Shiraz vines. Tony was great and contacted me at the start of winter and gave me his pruning dates. So, I and a few mates headed up to Clare and spent two days in the bitter cold cutting enough vines for a 5-acre section at Holy Grail. Then, I had my dear friend Paul Georgiadis (ex Penfolds Chief Viticulturalist and owner of Paulmara wines) visit the site and he told me to plant a very rare ‘Modbury Shiraz’ clone on my toughest ground. I had a steep sloping hill with more rock than soil, so we decided Modbury was perfect for that spot. Paul incidentally had some of the Modbury Clone in his vineyard down the road. This clone was appealing as there are very few vineyards left with this heritage material used in all the old Penfolds vineyards in the 30’s, 40’s and 50’s and which is now a suburb of Adelaide called Magill. Paul also suggested that I plant Cabernet Sauvignon on my lowest lying ground with the deepest soils We then headed to McLaren Vale and propagated the old Blewitt Springs vines at Dave Pridmore’s: these vines make our single vineyard Dave’s Block each year. These vines were originally propagated from ‘Kays Block 6’ cuttings and we thought it would be interesting to see what result we could get on a lower patch of our Northerly facing slope. We were lucky to be offered a new selection from the hill of Hermitage in France called 470, so we planted a section of that. My daughter Lily, son Max and I spent a weekend taking Cabernet Sauvignon cuttings from our Coach House Vineyard, our Grenache is sourced from material off Dave Materne’s old Kapunda Road, Greenock vines and for Mourvèdre I took a patch from Jimmy Zerella’s Ryan Road vineyard, as I had made a brilliant single vineyard Mourvèdre from it years earlier To round out the picture we propagated from our existing 16 acres at Holy Grail which are 20-yearold vines planted with Penfolds prized ‘Kalimna 3C ‘clone.

So now years later we have 87 acres of the best material, planted on one of the best sites with in the Barossa and farmed to perfection by our very talented team. – MT



In what is believed to be an Australian first, we have has partnered with multiaward winning French company Fruition Sciences to implement sap flow sensors directly onto vines at Holy Grail vineyard. The technology will measure and monitor the transpiration of the vine and in turn assist the viticulture team to manage irrigation regimes ensuring the vines receive the right amount of water at the optimal time. Installing the technology will see a significant return on investment in a short period of time. A study conducted by Fruition Sciences in 2014 comparing traditional irrigation strategies to plant-sensor based irrigation, showed that an average of 60% water savings could be achieved using this technology. Friend of Two Hands, Doug Shafer from Shafer Vineyards in Napa Valley has been using this technology for over 5 seasons and in that time confirms the company has seen a 52% saving in water use.

Fruition Sciences say the benefits of the technology are numerous. It determines the perfect time to irrigate and defines the correct amount of water required for the site and quality parameters; it monitors vine health and stress levels; it improves the quality of the wine and vineyard performance; allows for a better understanding of the behaviour and response to climate change of different grape varieties; and perhaps most importantly, save water.

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The final block at Holy Grail was planted in 2017. The ‘Clos Block’ paying homage to the ancient tradition of Sur Echalas and the vines are planted 2 metres x 1.25 metres apart, which increased the vine density compared to a convention vineyard by 2.5 times. The Clos has 5807 vines across 3.6 acres. This form of propagation the ancient trellis system used in France’s venerated Northern Rhône Valley region, where Syrah vines are planted and trained to a stake.

‘Sur Echalas’ translates in English to ‘on a stake or pole’. The block has two specific Shiraz clones. First, the ‘Prouse’ clone from Eden Valley and the second was the famous ‘Kalimna 3C’ clone from the Barossa floor. Situated on a relatively steep slope, the vines are planted across the hill, to help with erosion control, allow ease of spraying and it is easier to prune. The échalas style must be managed by hand. From bud-burst, the vines are tied to the 1.8-metre stake, three times throughout the growing season until finally, the vines are joined together to the shape of a love heart.

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Brutus & Family

Scottish Highland Cattle

Why Scottish Highlanders?

Why not?!
Our gorgeous Scottish Highland cattle aren’t just there for their good looks! Brutus and his family as well as 100% of the grape must from harvest contribute to the 300 tonnes of organic compost we add back into our vineyards each year, in order to support the natural balance within our vines.

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The definition of the French word “terroir” has three core elements, Soil, Climate and Human Input. Barossa Grounds Project are investigating the diverse characteristic of Barossa’s sub-regions and their influence on Barossa Shiraz styles which is certainly an interesting read.

Like us; plants thrive in soil that is healthful and teeming with life. Vines will struggle in soils that are inert and lifeless. Each year our vineyard team use 540 bails of straw mulch under our vines to keep the soil temperature and surface roots cool as well as retain valuable moisture in the soil. The mulch also promotes earthworm and soil microbe activity in our soil and also sees a reduction in weed growth which in turn lowers the need for harsh herbicides. In winter, the team plants diverse cover crops between the rows to promote soil vitality and enhance the nitrogen back into the earth.



Be chauffeured in one of our luxury Land Rover Defenders and head to the top of the Holy Grail. This is a unique experience to take a behind-the-scenes look at the Two Hands winemaking philosophy and discover the magic of our estate vineyard. Book Now!

It seems silly to talk about security in terms of winegrowing, but Bio-Security in our vineyards is paramount in order to prevent the spread of serious soil diseases. Most notable of these soil diseases is phylloxera; a horrible bug that lives in soils and feasts on healthy vine roots. This tiny beast decimated the vineyards of France in the late 19th Century and is still present in some areas of NSW and Victoria. All guests who join our Vineyard Experiences and visitors to any of our vineyards are requested to wash shoes in chlorine baths to ensure that the spread of disease is mitigated. Unbeknownst to most of us, shoes and tyres can spread pests and diseases that could wreak havoc to the health and success of our vineyards in Barossa.


Two Hands believe wine tasting should be a very personal and sensual experience and hope you enjoy discovering them as much as we enjoy making them. We are always looking to the future, and we would love you to be part of it.