Monday 19 August 2019

Handpicked Wines expands Tasmanian portfolio with second vineyard acquisition

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Handpicked Wines has bought the Native Point Vineyard on the east bank of the Tamar Valley in Tasmania.

It is the second vineyard acquisition in Tasmania by the company in the past year following the purchase of Auburn Road Vineyard in June 2018.

The 33-hectare property joins Handpicked’s other vineyard holdings – two in the Yarra Valley, one in the Barossa Valley and one on the Mornington Peninsula.

The company has a close association with former owners Tim and Sheena High of Native Point Wines and Moores Hill, having purchased premium fruit from the vineyard for the past five years.

Director of winemaking Peter Dillon (pictured) said: “The acquisition of Native Point is an important part of our commitment to winemaking in Tasmania.

“We have always loved the quality and distinctive character of Pinot Noir produced on the gentle slopes down to Swan Bay and we will continue the progress made at Native Point, building on Tim and Sheena’s hard work.

“The vineyard is one of very few on the east bank of the Tamar River and, with perfect north-facing slopes, is one of the warmest sites in the valley. The existing vineyard is five hectares and Handpicked plans to at least double that, while the remainder of the site will be maintained as pasture for beef cattle and areas of native trees.”

Senior viticulturist Andrew Butler said Native Point would be one of the first Handpicked vineyards to begin the process of organic certification.

“Cattle are currently grazed on the property to help maintain the non-vineyard areas and sheep will be introduced to assist in weed control in the vineyards,” Andrew said.

“As with all our properties, additions of organic matter in the form of mulch, compost and manure will improve soil microbial activity and water holding capacity, leading to healthier and more resilient vines.”

Current varieties planted are Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling; new plantings in 2020 will be of Gamay and new Pinot Noir clones.

The first Tasmanian Riesling from Native Point has been flagged for 2020, while Pinot Noir from the vineyard may make its way into Handpicked’s traditional-method sparkling, the first of which is slated for release in time for Christmas 2020.

Until now, Handpicked has produced just one wine in Tasmania – the Handpicked Collection Tasmania Pinot Noir sells out quickly, with competition between local markets and the US, where sommeliers rate it very highly.

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