The best part of our jobs is sipping and sifting our way through thousands of wines each year to uncover the best small production producers in the country.
There have been some great new inclusions to the DD store over the last couple of months, but with so much new vino coming in, it's hard to catch them all.
Here are six new-to-DD producers who have really stood out in recent times. If you're one of those wine lovers who love to discover something new, scribble these names down in your 'Little Black Book' for the next time you're on the hunt.
Winemaker Marc Lunt has a wealth of experience earned in the cellars of some of the finest producers in France.
With names like Chateau Angelus, Domaine Armand Rousseau and Domaine de la Romanee Conti on his resume, experience doesn't get much better.
Terrason is his Victorian based winemaking project with partner Leanne, bringing together fruit from the Yarra and King Valleys to make low intervention wines with a traditional feel.
The early results from this label have been excellent. This is a producer to watch closely - there's great potential here and the wines are terrific value.
Arno Wine Co.
Arno Wine Co. is a small husband and wife team based in the Barossa Valley, SA.
Ruby studied wine at Adelaide University, Craig cut his teeth alongside Matt Wenk and Taras Ochota at Two Hands Wines. Craig was working in a wine bar in Adelaide when Ruby walked in - as they say, the rest was history.
Arno Wine Co. (named after their son Arno) is their collaborative project which has been a full-time commitment since 2017. The wines focus on what the Barossa does best - old vine Grenache, Shiraz, Cabernet and Semillon.
Smartly packaged, well priced, made with love and care from good Barossa sites. What's not to love?
Winemaker Andrew Wardlaw has been making low-intervention wines in the Barossa & Eden Valleys since 1996.
His gentle touch is producing gorgeous, seductive wines with a true sense of place. He uses basket presses and gravity to move the juice around, preserving all the natural deliciousness of his Eden Valley Syrah and his wonderfully floral Riesling Gewürz blend.
As Andrew told Mike Bennie in GT WINE article, “I was growing grapes organically – no chemicals, no additives – so it made sense to do the same as organic gardening, to throw everything [undesirable] in the winery away,” he says. “I’ve been doing it for ages. People just thought I was a bit crazy.”
If you feel like dipping your toe into natural wines, this is a safe place for you to start.
Ari's Natural Wine Co.
In 1962, Ari Zafirakos came to Australia from his homeland in Greece.
After missing the wine of his home, Ari began buying grapes from the local market and making wine using the same traditions and techniques he had used back home.
Now, years later, his son Tony has caught the winemaking bug and is turning out some very interesting and delicious wines with one principal at his core, "nothing added, nothing taken away".
These wines are as natural as it gets. "I wouldn't even know how to add sulphur," says Tony.
It's a family tradition that has now become Tony's obsession. A great new name to explore if you're a lover of natural wine.
Corofin is a unique winemaking project based out of Marlborough on the South Island of New Zealand.
Having lived and worked in Marlborough for most of their adult lives, Mike and Anna Paterson always wanted to start their own boutique, authentic wine brand.
Taking their local knowledge of small but incredible sites that were hidden across the area, they wanted to put these special sites up in lights. And so a single vineyard exploration of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from across Marlborough was born.
The wines continue to receive great reviews and are only ever made in very small amounts.
An exciting new Hunter Valley project on the rise here under the Becker banner.
James and Meagan Becker have a small plot of land in the Hunter Valley which is currently undergoing organic certification. They are aiming to release single vineyard wines that express the unique qualities of the Hunter Valley with as little intervention as possible. A rare philosophy in the Hunter these days. Their first releases look very promising.
The Syrah is rich but refined, the Chardonnay has bucketloads of flavour and plenty of poise. One to watch closely in the Hunter Valley, no doubt.