Winemaker of the Year

By The Tasting Team
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Michael Dhillon, Bindi Wines – Macedon Ranges, VIC

Winemaker of the Year is awarded to the individual whose wines in the Companion this year most exemplify best winemaking practice. It is acknowledged that, even in the smallest winery, credit is never due only to one individual but to a team. In listing each nomination we also recognise and applaud the teams around them. Meet this year's winner below.

Bindi winemaker, Michael Dhillon.

Conjuring a pinot noir that elicited an almost unanimous vote from the tasting team for best of the year, not to mention another three in the top 12, would be sufficient reason to be named Winemaker of the Year, but there is much more to Bindi winemaker and viticulturist Michael Dhillon.
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His wines speak of Macedon and of Bindi, never overworked but with effortless purity and distinctive refinement.
A reflective and insightful thinker, Michael embodies a deep and intimate connection with his land, his history and his community. From vineyards planted by his family high in the Macedon Ranges in 1988, he tends to pinot noir and chardonnay, with shiraz sourced from Heathcote.

winemaker of the year
Michael at work in the vineyard.

Michael credits his sympathetic treatment of pinot noir to his predecessor and mentor, Stuart Anderson. A focus on drawing out elegant fruit from distinguished sites calls for gentle and minimal winemaking, which he is constantly fine-tuning and is inspired by regular sojourns to Burgundy. Ferments occur naturally without nutrients or enzymes, and red wines are worked gently, delicately pressed and aged long with minimal racking, no fining and restricted filtration. His wines speak of Macedon and of Bindi, never overworked but with effortless purity and distinctive refinement – a joy to taste and to drink. – JF & TS.

Tyson Stelzer on our 2022 Winemaker of the Year

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Previous Winemaker of the Year recipients were Robert Diletti (2015), Peter Fraser (2016), Sarah Crowe (2017), Paul Hotker (2018), Julian Langworthy (2019),Vanya Cullen (2020) and Brett Grocke (2021).

*This is an edited extract from the 2022 Halliday Wine Companion, with reviews by Jane Faulkner, James Halliday, Erin Larkin, Tony Love, Ned Goodwin MW, Jeni Port and chief editor Tyson Stelzer.

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