Handpicked Wines buys second Tamar Valley vineyard

24 July, 2019 by Andy Young

Handpicked Wines has expanded its Tasmanian portfolio, buying Native Point Vineyard on the east bank of the Tamar Valley, which follows its purchase of Auburn Road Vineyard in June last year.

Handpicked has a close relationship with the vineyards having purchased fruit from Native Point Wines for the past five years. 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.

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Director of Winemaking Peter Dillon 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 existing vineyard is five hectares and Handpicked have plans to at least double that, taking advantage of its location as one of the few vineyards on the east bank of the Tamar River and being one of the warmest sites in the valley.

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. 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,” Butler said.

The site currently has Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Riesling planted with new plantings of Gamay and Pinot Noir clones planned for next year.

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.