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Wednesday 24 May 2023

Handpicked Wines does things a little differently


The Handpicked Wines operation is very different to other Australian wine producers. 

For a start, Handpicked sources fruit from vineyards across the country - from the Barossa to Tasmania. 

Owner William Dong and winemaker Peter Dillon follow environmentally sustainable principles and sell many of their wines through their city centre cellar doors in Sydney and Melbourne rather than through more traditional avenues. 

Dong purchased Handpicked's first vineyard - the Capella Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula (above) - a decade ago. 

That anniversary is being marked by the release of four 2021 vintage wines across its the Collection and Single Vineyard ranges.

In the past year, Capella Vineyard has achieved ‘Certified Member’ status from Sustainable Winegrowing Australia (SWA) and Organic Certification from the National Association for Sustainable Agriculture Australia (NASAA). 

“For the better part of a decade, we have researched, trialled and enacted intense regenerative farming practices in the vineyard and surrounding natural habitats that comprise the Capella Vineyard site." says chief winemaker Dillon. 

"We’ve done this to deliver the purest, most expressive fruit possible and give our vines the best chance of being around for generations to come. 

“While I’m proud of the certification for the site, I’m even more excited by seeing Capella teeming with life - down to the highly active soils the vines grow in.”

Capella Vineyard is a small, ultra-premium vineyard site with 5.2 hectares of pinot noir and 1.6 hectares of chardonnay. 

Dong has subsequently purchased a further five vineyards in Yarra Valley, Barossa and Tasmania but says Capella remains the spiritual home of Handpicked's winemaking operations.

The new-release wines include the Collection Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2021 ($49.99) and the Collection 2021 Mornington Pinot Noir ($59.99).

The new Capella Vineyard Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay 2021 ($69.99) is from just two blocks - while two blocks also provided the fruit for the Capella Vineyard Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir 2021 ($89.99). 

My wife was a big fans of the pinots, describing them as "stylish and sophisticated" while my personal preference was for the chardonnays: both lean and mineraly with gunflint characters and with cool-climate food friendliness. 


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