We picked up 3 trophies at the Royal Melbourne Wine Awards last night, recognising our flagship and home base Capella Vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula and its single vineyard Chardonnay wine.

Our 2017 Capella Vineyard Chardonnay won the Douglas Seabrook Trophy for Best Single Vineyard Wine and Capella Vineyard took out the Kym Ludvigsen Trophy for Viticultural Excellence.  We also picked up the trophy for Best Chardonnay. Our vineyard manager Karl, who has worked the vineyard since the vines were planted - was extremely stoked to say the least. There are some sore heads this morning…. 

Royal melbourne wine awards

Most chuffed of all was Pete Dillon, Handpicked director of winemaking.  Pete Dillon said the trophies were a vindication of major efforts to improve the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyard in Bittern, near the shores of Westernport, by focusing on soil health and vitality.

“We are seeing the rewards in so many ways – the increased energy in the vineyard is palpable, our wines are better than ever and our staff enjoy a healthy work environment and stimulating and satisfying work.”

“I spend at least as much time in the vineyard as in the winery and building a strong teamwork ethic between the winemaking and vineyard teams has been key to our success.”

Royal melbourne wine awards winner

Karl Roberts has been Vineyard Manager at Capella Vineyard since Handpicked purchased the property in 2013, prior to that he was part of the team that planned and planted the vineyard in 2009.

“We were lucky to inherit Karl’s experience and knowledge of the property,” Peter Dillon said.

“Since our first vintage in 2013 Karl has accepted and grown with every challenge, including further study, new management practices and working cooperatively with the rest of our vineyard and winemaking teams.”

Handpicked wine vineyard australia

Karl remembered the site was horse paddocks before the vineyard was planted.

“It’s been a privilege to be part of this site for more than 10 years and see it progress. It’s very satisfying to see how our use of organic principles such as inter-row crops and integrated pest management has improved the soil and reduced the need for pesticides and fungicides,” Karl said.

Research such as soil pit analysis and a heavy emphasis on organics has guided management practices including planting of new clones, making compost teas, composting and mulching, interrow planting, mechanical weed control, soil improvements and integrated pest management techniques.

2016 chardonnay wine serving 

Here is a list of a few of the awards we have received so far for this vinyard:

  • Best Wine of Show – 2014 Vic 100
  • Best Wine of Show, Best Chardonnay – 2016 Victorian Wines Show
  • Best Wine of Show – 2018 Australian Pinot Noir Challenge
  • Best Mornington Peninsula Wine – 2018 Halliday Chardonnay Challenge
  • Best Pinot Noir, Chairman’s Selection, Premier’s Selection – 2018 Mornington Peninsula Wine Show
  • Best Pinot Noir – 2019 Winewise Championship
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