At this time of year, it’s natural to think back and assess the closing year before looking forward to set goals for the next. There are always high and low points, that’s life. At Handpicked, we can honestly say 2019 has been dominated by highlights. When we win a trophy for one of our wines, we remember that all of us had a role in making that wine – from winemakers and vineyard managers to tractor drivers, accountants, logistics, marketers, sales people, designers, caterers, grape pickers, truck drivers and so on...

Of course, it all starts in the vineyard. Here our five vineyard highlights of 2019 from Senior Viticulturist Andrew Butler and Capella Vineyard Manager Karl Roberts:

Wine maker testing soil health

Soil Health

Continuing development of our soil health program, including:

  • Midrow cover cropping
  • Applications of mulch, compost, straw and manure
  • Brewing and application of compost tea and biodynamic preparations
  • Deep ripping to address areas of compacted soil
  • Adoption of undervine cultivation using our Clemens weeders
  • Reduction or elimination of synthetic herbicides

New Vines, New Opportunities

Vineyard in australia

Continual improvement of fruit quality from our established vineyards and exciting first crops from new plantings.

New clones and rootstocks are giving a different expression of place in the Mornington Peninsula (Pinot Noir), Yarra Valley (Pinot Noir and Merlot) and Barossa Valley (Shiraz)


Grapes green bud

Conversion to certified organic management in Tasmania and Mornington Peninsula, continuing adoption of organics in all other Handpicked Vineyards.

  • Healthier soils
  • Healthier vines
  • Cleaner air
  • Cleaner water
  • More insects and animals
  • Healthier humans
  • Better wines


handpicked Wine glass and barrel

Consolidation of our operations in Tasmania and exciting new wines.

    • Purchase of Native Point Vineyard on the eastern banks of the Tamar River, joining Handpicked’s Auburn Road Vineyard on the western side of the valley
    • Our 2018 Collection Tasmania Pinot Noir won Best Pinot Noir, Best Red Wine, Best Tasmanian Wine at the Royal Hobart Wine Show
    • New single vineyard and Tasmania traditional method sparkling wines to be released next year. We are over the moon with the quality of these wines and can’t wait to release them (but only when they are ready!)

The Douglass Seabrook Trophy

Wine award winner in australia

Karl winning the trophy for the Best Single Vineyard Wine at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards (for Handpicked 2017 Capella Vineyard Chardonnay). He's a modest man, so we would also like to point out he won the Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence at the same awards and we are very proud.

It's a vindication of all the work Karl has put in since Capella vineyard was planted, and all the learning and new skills he has developed along the way to making it one of the Mornington Peninsula's truly great vineyards.

Tags: News

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