The Journey

Two Hands – Australia’s most exciting winery

Having completed our 2016 harvest, I can confidently say that it has turned out to be a very high quality vintage.

My role at vintage is to be in the vineyards every day making the best picking decisions possible. I work very closely with Ben and Travis but ultimately the decision on when to pick is mine. It’s a balancing act and a responsibility I absolutely thrive on.

In my mind there is a very narrow window from when grapes go from under ripe to over ripe, so you need to be there in that moment to make that decision. I simply walk up and down the vine rows and taste as many grapes as possible from as many different areas within the canopy. I look for the flavour profile and textures that I want to find in the finished wine in the glass that will one day be at your table.

It is my belief that this is where your instincts come in to play…

It is my belief that this is where your instincts come in to play. The quality of a wine can’t be made by or replaced by a few technical numbers. Every year I hear story after story of other wineries complaining that they picked too soon; for me tannin development is the true key in making this decision.

The excitement for me lies in that we get to work with so many varieties, so many regions and a multitude of wonderful people. Sometimes I find our growers more intriguing than their vineyards! I revel in their company, their personal stories and their passion for their land.

As I surf across South Australia and Victoria I can’t help but ask myself, which other Australian small scale producer gets to play with so many possible outcomes?
This year we contracted the Quigley Vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley, so for the first time we were handling high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, for both fizz and dry wine making.

One morning I can be at Colbinabbin Estate, selecting the Heathcote Shiraz for Max’s Garden, the next in Armagh, Clare Valley making a call on the Cabernet for Mystic Block or walking the Mattschoss Vineyard in Eden Valley tasting 103 year old Riesling.

Back on our estate I can be walking our Holy Grail vineyard and deciding to pick only a small portion of one block, by hand the following day. This list goes on and on…

Arriving at the winery each day has the feeling of unwrapping your presents on Christmas morning. Tasting the progress of every ferment is always a big surprise, to see the grapes’ sweet nectar slowly turn dry and then you are faced with the realisation that you have made something good, very good, excellent or amazing. Once the wines are pressed out, it’s then time to work out which vessel to go to. Concrete tanks, stainless steel, French oak and if so what tonnellerie and what age of oak will bring out the qualities of a certain vineyard.

It is this diversity of site, variety and winemaking that makes me believe that Two Hands is Australia’s most exciting winery.