The Journey - Twenty Years of Two Hands: 1999 - 2019

It still feels like the story is only just beginning…

Michael looks back on the journey so far

It’s funny to look back at how little we had when we started and how much we have today.

Over the years although we have improved our vineyard sourcing; many are still the originals like Jimmy Zerella’s Seaview Road Shiraz (2002) or John Mincella’s home block 1127 (2004) in McLaren Vale or John and Jenny Davies Colbinabbin vineyard in Heathcote (2003) but we have expanded our horizons and looked in certain spots for certain soil characteristics or planting material.

Most importantly we have met many wonderful people along the way. The ones that have stuck are the ones we have been able to build a personal relationship with backed by a mutual appreciation of walking and discussing the farming of each individual block.

Our wineries have changed dramatically over this period, our first vintages were made at custom crush facilities and in 2002 we built our first winery at our Branson Coach House vineyard, and in 2004 we crushed are first grapes at our Marananga Winery. We always felt having control of our grape harvest and fermentation was going to allow us the greatest quality control. This philosophy has proven to be very true and I like knowing where each one of our ferments are at times, I love to taste the dry ferments and starting to work how the puzzle that is vintage will come together over the next 12 to 18 months.

Our approach to winemaking has changed dramatically over the years too. The 2010 vintage was critical at Two Hands, as I started a small Grenache project, looking at making a number of wines completely differently to our norm. This served as our own R+D department and I am thrilled that a number of these techniques (a percentage of whole bunch, longer time on skins, larger format oak, lees contact and using less press wine) have become the main stay of our whole portfolio.

Most importantly our staff have made the biggest difference at Two Hands, we have many people in many varied roles over the journey. One of my proudest moments, was when the business became ISO9000 compliant over a year ago. To have the business that is held against an international standard is something I would have thought was unimaginable 20 years ago.
But, on reflection, what I am most proud of over the journey is that we have done it our own way. We don’t look at our neighbours’ wines for inspiration; we have always looked at the international benchmarks to be inspired by. I really love the perfume and textures in our wines and the fact that the fruit is the hallmark and the hero, not a forest in France, which I find the downfall of so many Australian wines.

Where to from here? Nobody knows but whatever happens, I will have a smile on my face, a glass of my wine in my hand and will be thrilled about everything Two Hands, as a collective, has achieved.