The fruit for the 2018 Handpicked Regional Selections Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir is from two vineyards to the north of the region, including Handpicked's flagship Capella Vineyard. A delicious pinot noir that over-delivers in spades.
"Outstanding value here from this really attractive, juicy, powerfully fruited pinot noir. Has blossomed in the bottle over the last year, as a lot of pinots do. The intensity and freshness of the fruit are exceptional for a pinot noir of this price, the finish long, juicy and convincing." Nick Munday
"A medium-bodied wine with bright cherry flavours and silky-smooth tannin. It has excellent depth of colour and flavour with a touch of spicy oak complexity. The fruit is from two vineyards to the north of the region, including Handpicked's flagship Capella Vineyard. The fruit was hand-picked and chilled overnight before being destemmed and sorted by hand. The must was fermented in small open fermenters with hand plunging. The wine was matured for 11 months in a mix of old and new French oak barrels from selected Burgundian coopers." Handpicked Wines
"Outstanding value here from this really attractive, juicy, powerfully fruited pinot noir. Has blossomed in the bottle over the last year, as a lot of pinots do. The intensity and freshness of the fruit are exceptional for a pinot noir of this price, the finish long, juicy and convincing." Nick Munday, Canterbury Wines - 94 points and Special Value Wine ★
"From Handpicked's Regional Selections range. Bit of spark here. A lot more spark than the equivalent 2017 release. It's made or intended to be an easy/early drinker but this throws woodsy spice and tart acidity into the fray, and successfully so. Strawberries, cranberries and all those twiggy, smoky spice notes. It's slight but it works well. Highly varietal. Price: $29. Drink: 2019-2025." Campbell Mattinson, The Wine Front - 91
Special Value Wine – Canterbury Wines ★
Capella Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula
The Capella Vineyard is a small ultra-premium vineyard near the shores of Western Port on the Mornington Peninsula. The vineyard is planted with 5.2 ha of Pinot Noir and 1.6 ha of Chardonnay. The oldest vines (6ha) were planted in 2009 and a new block of Pinot Noir was planted in 2015 with the aim of providing more clonal variation in the vineyard. Soils are grey clay loam and there is a strong maritime influence, with moderating winds year-round.
The vines are planted around a lake that is home to a thriving community of resident and migratory birds, including our signature black swans. The vineyard is in a protected zone known as the 'green wedge', a ring of environmentally-significant land surrounding Melbourne and often called the 'lungs' of the city.
Auburn Road Vineyard, Tasmania
Auburn Road Vineyard is on the western bank of the Tamar River in the north of Tasmania. Handpicked Wines purchased the property in 2018 with five hectares under vine; a further five hectares were planted in spring 2020. The vineyard is planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The vineyard has views to the north over the Tamar River estuary and Bass Strait, which exerts a strong maritime influence. Stands of indigenous forest and an abundance of native wildlife and birds, including majestic wild peacocks, complete the picture at this idyllic place in a very special corner of the world.
Native Point Vineyard, Tasmania
The Native Point Vineyard is located on the eastern bank of the Tamar River. Handpicked purchased the vineyard in 2019 from Sheena and Tim High, first-class growers from whom they had purchased grapes over many years.
Its north-westerly aspect and position in Swan Bay, about 50km inland from Bass Strait, make Native Point one of the warmer sites in Tasmania and it has the advantage of good rainfall and irrigation dams. There are five hectares under vine, planted to a mix of Pinot Noir clones, Riesling and Pinot Gris. There are plans to double that area beginning in spring 2020 and the new planting will include Pinot Noir and Gamay.
Wombat Creek Vineyard, Yarra Valley
Wombat Creek is the most elevated vineyard in the Yarra Valley, making it uniquely situated for the production of premium cool climate wines. At 424m above sea level, it is a true cool-climate vineyard with a reliable annual rainfall of around 1200mm. Mature Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines are planted on north and west-facing hills near Gladysdale in the outer reaches of the Upper Yarra Valley. There are 16 ha under vine – 6 ha of Chardonnay and 10 of Pinot Noir. The soils are free-draining volcanic loams. A light covering of snow is not uncommon in winter when the vines are dormant, but the steep slopes allow frost to drain away and protect the tender shoots from freezing temperatures in spring.
From the crest of the highest hill at Wombat Creek, steep slopes of vines stretch to the north. At the bottom of the vineyard there is a spring-fed pond covered in water lilies; this is the source of Wombat Creek, which trickles through the hills, joining Hoddles Creek a few kilometres to the north-west and ultimately emptying into the meandering Yarra River. To the north, looking over dense Mountain Ash forest and folds of green hills dotted with wombat holes, the blue horizon is dominated by the saddleback ridge of Mt Donna Buang. The surrounding forest, fern gullies and creeks are home to platypus, lyrebirds, kangaroos, wallabies and, of course, wombats.
Highbow Hill Vineyard, Yarra Valley
Highbow Hill Vineyard is 40 hectares of established vines planted on rolling hills just north of Yarra Glen village in the Yarra Valley. The vineyard takes its name from Highbow Hill, the dominant feature on the eastern boundary of the property. The soils are sandy loam over clay and gravel over mudstone and there is an abundance of native flora and fauna, including wombats and kangaroos.
The vineyard was originally planted in 1997/98 to 33ha of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Marsanne. New plantings (7ha) of Pinot Noir, Merlot, Chardonnay and Cabernet were added in 2015 and 2016.
As you enter the property over the brow of a hill looking north, a long driveway takes you through the vines to a central dam and provides panoramic views looking over the Yarra Valley. Like Capella Vineyard, Highbow Hill is in Melbourne's 'green wedge' zone and is protected by local and state laws as an area of outstanding natural beauty with important environmental value.
Watunga Road Vineyard, Barossa Valley
The 12ha Watunga Road Vineyard, located in Koonunga on the flat floor of the Barossa Valley, has old bush vine Grenache (planted mid-1970s) and Shiraz planted in 1976/77 and 1998/99. New plantings in 2016 included Grenache to replace natural losses of old vines and a new Shiraz block. Drip irrigation was installed in 2015 to insure against drought in this warm, arid zone and to improve general soil health. However, water is used sparingly and strictly according to seasonal need, as well as availability of this precious resource.
About the winery
Handpicked Wines is a family-owned, multi-regional business that focuses on the production of high-quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their winery is located in the Mornington Peninsula adjacent to their flagship vineyard Capella, but they also own top quality vineyards in the Yarra Valley, Tasmania and Barossa Valley.
Handpicked Wines produce three tiers of wine; a Single Vineyard range, a Collection range and a budget Regional Selections range.
The Single Vineyard releases, as the name implies, are sourced from their six vineyards; the Capella Vineyard in the Mornington Peninsula, the Wombat Creek and Highbow Hill Vineyards in the Yarra Valley, the Auburn Road and Native Point Vineyards in Tasmania's Tamar Valley, and the Watunga Road Vineyard in the Barossa Valley.
The Collection range, which sits below the Single Vineyard range, is a set of premium wines that encapsulate the best characteristics of each region. Fruit is sourced from their own vineyards and other top quality leased vineyards. Director of winemaking Peter Dillon travels extensively to oversee quality throughout the regions; he and assistant winemaker Rohan Smith work closely with a team of viticulturists who manage the vineyards.
"Handpicked Wines founder and managing director William Dong admits that he came into the wine industry knowing little about the challenges ahead; he just loved wine and wanted to make wines that people would want to share together. It didn't take long to realise that to make truly great wines that express the best of their region he would need to invest in special vineyards and passionate people.
Capella Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula was the first vineyard purchased, in 2013. It remains Handpicked's spiritual home and where our winemakers are based. We now own six vineyards in Mornington, Yarra Valley, Tasmania and Barossa Valley. In other regions in Australia and around the world we work with exceptional growers who have become part of the Handpicked family over many years.
We've come a long way - our team has grown, we make more wines in more regions, we've won a lot of trophies, received great reviews, thrown some epic parties and begun an exciting journey into organics - but our purpose to share the love of wine has not wavered. And as William would say, 'The real journey starts today.'" Handpicked Wines
Victoria is home to more than 800 wineries across 21 wine regions. The regions are Alpine Valley, Beechworth, Bendigo, Geelong, Gippsland, Glenrowan, Goulburn Valley, Grampians, Heathcote, Henty, King Valley, Macedon Ranges, Mornington Peninsula, Murray Darling, Pyrenees, Rutherglen, Strathbogie Ranges, Sunbury, Swan Hill, Upper Goulburn and Yarra Valley.
Victoria's first vines were planted at Yering in the Yarra Valley in 1838. By 1868 over 3,000 acres had been planted in Victoria, establishing Victoria as the premier wine State of the day. Today, the original vineyards planted at Best's Wines are among the oldest and rarest pre-phylloxera plantings in the world.
Victoria's climate varies from hot and dry in the north to cool in the south and each wine region specialises in different varietals. For example, Rutherglen in the north is famous for its opulent Muscats and Topaque and bold reds, while the many cooler climate regions near Melbourne produce world class Chardonnay and pinot Noir. Victoria is truly a wine lover's playground.