Why Visit Two Hands Wines?
- You are a Syrah lover (or Shiraz as the Aussies say)
- You want to experience different wine regions of South Australia, but don’t have the time or budget to visit them all
- You want to understand how a singe variety can be influenced by different vineyard locations, soils, climates, etc.
- You want to experience the best Shiraz that Barossa Valley has to offer
Two Hands Wines
‘Quality without compromise.’ A simple yet powerful philosophy that drives all winemaking decisions at Two Hands Wines. A philosophy easily recognized in the finished wines and one which led to international acclaim from some of the world’s top wine critics.
Two Hands Wines focuses on producing wines that reflect their origin and illustrate qualities widely associated with the regions in which they were grown. The winery works with their own estate vineyards and a carefully selected team of growers throughout South Australia to maximize vineyard potential year after year.
Two Hands Wines was conceptualized in 1999 when two friends, Michael Twelftree and Tim Hower, got to talking at a friend’s engagement party. While Michael’s professional background was in construction and Tim’s in the oil and gas industries, a passion for premium wines brought them together. Tim had visited the Barossa region countless times while on business trips to Adelaide over the years and even acquired a few vineyards of his own. The business relationship between the two began with Tim supplying Michael with fruit for Two Hands Wines. Later in 2015, Tim joined Michael as an additional Proprietor of the winery. Ben Perkins is the Chief Winemaker at Two Hands Wines. Growing up in Barossa Valley, he developed an interest in wine at a young age. Ben actually started at Two Hands as a cellar hand, working his way up to Assistant Winemaker in 2010 and then Chief Winemaker in 2013.
Tim and Michael began Two Hands with the intention of disrupting the trend of multi-regional wines that Australia was becoming increasingly recognized for on an international scale. They set out to make the best Shiraz possible while showcasing the specific characteristics of each of Australia’s premium growing regions. The journey began with a small investment and just 17 tons of fruit with the first vintage produced in 2002. With the help of Michael’s wine industry contacts in the U.S. and U.K., followed by highly favorable reviews, Two Hands Wines began to take off.
By 2004, Two Hands had become so successful the team was ready to build a state of the art winery in Barossa designed specifically for small batch handling. In order to truly highlight the characteristics of various regions and to elevate quality control, the winery was designed with the intention of processing each parcel of fruit separately from crushing through to fermentation to oak maturation. The new winery helped to increase both production and opportunities for experimentation. While the cellar door served as the perfect place for trials before wines went to mass market.
As Two Hands continued to grow, so did the accolades. Sales surged when Robert Parker named the winery “the finest negotiant south of the equator” allowing Two Hands to expand into markets including North America, Asia, and Europe. Two Hands is also the only winery to be in Wine Spectator’s Top 100 list consecutively for a decade as of 2012.
Tastings & Experiences
If you are a wine lover, an aficionado, Syrah lover, or even if you are just getting started in the world of wine, Two Hands Wines is a must visit in Barossa Valley. In one tasting, you will get to try Shiraz (and other varieties) grown in Barossa Valley, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills, Eden Valley, Clare Valley, and Heathcote. The super fun and knowledgeable cellar door staff will expertly guide you through the tasting, explaining how the the climate and soils of each specific region influence the wine in your glass. Trust me, you will taste the difference!
Additionally, Two Hands produces Chardonnay, Riesling, and Cabernet Sauvignon. The winery works with 28 growers amongst 6 wine regions. Even with so many vineyards and growers involved, Michael makes all of the picking decisions based on flavor and tannin ripeness determined on early morning walks amongst the vines during harvest.
Two Hands Wines offers something for everyone price wise with five different series available to choose from in their portfolio.
The Flagship Series is made from the very finest selection of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Grenache in any given vintage.
The Single Vineyard Series are exceptional examples of regional, single site, and varietal definition which contributes to the complexity and personality of each wine.
The Garden Series represents the super premium range of Shiraz from all six regions sourced by Two Hands.
The Picture Series is a premium range based on core Australian varietals with irreverent names and witty stories behind the labels. (One is based on The Big Lebowski and I can get behind anything Lebowski).
The Showroom Series is a collection of the team’s passion project wines. They are produced in very small amounts and are only available in the cellar door or online store.
My Tasting Notes
- 2018 The Boy Riesling – So fresh. Fruity. Lemon, lime. Zesty. High acid.
- 2017 Hell Freezes Over Chardonnay – Adelaide Hills. White stone fruits. Creamy from malo.
- 2017 Brave Faces – 80 %Grenache. 18% Mataro. 2% Shiraz. Beautiful berry aromas on the nose. Rounded palate. A hint of refined tannins. Strawberry fruit leather. Hint of spice on the finish at back of palate from Mataro.
- 2017 Gnarly Dudes Shiraz – Barossa Valley. Red raspberry. Very aromatic. Medium bodied. Rounded in mouth. A little garrigue. Smooth long finish. Wow. This is what a Barossa Shiraz is supposed to taste like. Lebowski inspired name.
- 2016 Charlie’s Garden Shiraz – Eden Valley. A relatively cooler climate. Pepper. Barnyard. Blue and black fruits. Balsamic. 15 year old vines.
- 2016 Bella’s Garden Shiraz – Barossa Valley. Barnyard. Dirt. Earthy. More aggressive.
- 2016 Yacca Block Shiraz – Eden Valley. Same vineyard as Charlie’s but 100 year old vines. Rich and luscious. Silky tannins. Luxurious nose. Black and blue fruits. A bit of pepper. Aged sweet balsamic.
- 2016 Heartbreak Hill Shiraz – Clare Valley. A bit more limestone soil than the red/brown earth in the valley. Smells like a Paso wine. (Paso Robles also has limestone soils). Well structured. Full bodied. More tannin. Red and blue fruits. A hint of spice.