We love wine, that much is for certain, but more than that we love the people behind the wine. The great side of Aussie wine - that is, the small, independent side - is packed with personalities and stories of tiny producers making extremely special wines that march to the beat of their own drum.
This class of DD Classified producers have build a rabid cult-like following, with their wines getting snapped up by devotees with the same fervour that would usually be reserved for the latest iPhone or tickets to a Beyoncé concert.
So in no particular order, read on below about some of our favourite producers who have carved out their own niche in the Australian wine world and have been celebrated for it!
The newest Spring release from Adelaide Hills' revolutionary producer, Ochota Barrels, has just dropped - and we couldn't be more in love with these wines!
They're the epitome of rockstar wine labels, with a grungy, minimalist attitude towards winemaking and they've gained huge cult status internationally for their boundary-pushing ways.
Amber Ochota has faithfully continued on the legacy of the family label since the untimely passing of her late husband, Taras Ochota in 2020. Their signature energy and freshness of their label is delivered in spades with this release.
The 2022 releases are lively and brimming with charisma, uniqueness and liveliness. As always, stocks are extremely limited - so if you want to get your Ochota fix, jump in while they're still here.
The Bloody Hill label is made by the charismatic Timo Mayer, in cahoots with his son Rivar Ferguson-Mayer. Rivar has been working with his dad for a few years now, contributing to crafting some of the Yarra's most sought-after cuvées under the Timo Mayer label.
But for Bloody Hill, they source fruit from their own farm and grower friends around the Yarra to craft a range of wines prime for drinking in their youth. It's an impressive lineup - and excellent value considering the quality.
You know the deal here - small volumes, high demand. If you blink, you'll miss them - so get them while you can!
"Twenty-two years ago when I started, everybody thought I was crazy," says Julian Castagna, but it just goes to show that sometimes genius and craziness are closer than we'd like to admit.
Castagna is now a Beechworth institution, and one of the great family-owned producers in the country. Originality, power and class are their signatures, and if you love Beechworth wines these are at the top of their echelon and simply are a must-buy.
We have a limited amount of their brand new release of their most sought-after reserve reds, all with fantastic reviews from The Wine Font. Check them out while you can!
Luke Lambert is one of the most gifted winemakers of his generation - and he hates us saying things like that, but sometimes the truth hurts.
He crafts what is currently Australia's most coveted Nebbiolo, and we'd wager that in a few years his family vineyard named Sparkletown will produce the one that supersedes it.
We've loved his wines for almost a decade now and we can't recommend them enough!
The first vines on Bindi vineyard were planted in 1988 by vigneron Michael Dhillon and his father, Bill. This family farm in the Macedon Ranges today plays home to some of the most precious Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vines.
It's all about a deep connection to family and place for Michael Dhillon. His fastidious vineyard management and precision in the winery make for some of this countries most noteworthy wines. We have just a small handful of Michael's 2015 Dhillon Col Mountain Shiraz available, with new Bindi releases due in the next few weeks.
So watch this space...
The name Sorrenberg needs no introduction.
If you were to make a list of the Top 50 Cult Wines of Australia, it's likely they'd have two or three on there. Jan & Barry Morey have made a special thing from their small patch of Beechworth and are, without question, one of the producers we would hold as an example of "this is how you do it".
Due to bushfires, small crops and the vagaries of farming, we sadly have no Sorrenberg available. But, if you're interested in what the Sorrenberg off-spring are up to, we highly recommend checking out the Juliard Chardonnay made by Jan & Barry's son Bernard, and his wife Julia.