Bird in hand
Bird in Hand began in earnest in 1997 when their founder, Andrew Nugent, and his father Michael Nugent, happened upon a run-down dairy farm in the emerging Adelaide Hills wine region of south Australia. The site of a gold mine in the late 1800s, its 80 fertile acres enjoyed the ideal growing conditions for stellar cool-climate wines. The seaside influence of the Gulf of St. Vincent, the cloud-trapping rise of the Mount Lofty Ranges and plenty of Australian sun all combined to create a special diurnal temperature shift that our grapes love.
An agricultural college graduate and vineyard apprentice who grew up next to Penfolds at Magill and spent his formative years in McLaren Vale, Andrew wanted winemaking to be his life’s work, and he had a strong feeling this was the place to do it. He was correct.
Today, Bird In Hand make four tiers of wines. Shiraz, of course, but also pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, and Italian varietals like nero d’avola, montepulciano, and arneis. Over the years, the land has yielded a collection of wines that cover every imaginable occasion, from everyday sipping to the absolute heights of life.
Bird In Hand explains:
To the rest of the world, Australia calls to mind images of an arid, treeless expanse, with the occasional bit of tumbleweed blowing by. In actuality, it’s a vast island nation with terrain of varied character. In the Southern Hemisphere, more southerly areas are cooler, and that’s certainly true of the green and fertile Adelaide Hills. People say it reminds them of the European countryside.
Our Way of Winemaking
Situated in the center-bottom of the country, Bird in Hand enjoys some of the best conditions on earth for cool climate wines. The seaside influence of the Gulf of St. Vincent compliments the cloudiness of the Mount Lofty Ranges to create a special diurnal temperature shift beloved by our grapes.
While the climate and soil get much of the credit for our gorgeous grapes, it’s our job to harvest and transform them into wines that express the exceptional character of the terroir. We do that sustainably, by listening to the land, working it as we see fit, using as little chemical interventional as possible.
We use gentle methods like clone selection, which brings a certain subtlety that wasn’t present when the wine industry began in Australia. With our award-winning chardonnay, for example, we selected Burgundian plants that thrive naturally in conditions similar to those of the Adelaide Hills. The fresh fruit is apparent from the aromatics to the palate. And then there’s the texture—soft, creamy, mouthfilling—the result of wild fermentation and limited battonage.
Our careful methods continue to produce award-winning wines of several varietals and blends. Of course we make a mean shiraz, but we’re also known for our sparkling pinot noir, as well as riesling, sauvignon blanc, and Italian varietals like nero d’avola, montepulciano, and arneis, too. We believe our wines represent a rare globalist outlook while extracting consistent excellence from our native land.
Since life presents many occasions that wine can enhance, we focus our offering on four tiers, each with a distinct purpose…