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Different Drop
Classification

What is the Classification?

The Different Drop Classification highlights the very best independent wine producers that we believe define the vanguard of the Australian wine industry.

These artisans hail from all corners of the country, and make wine in all styles, from established icons, small cult labels and up-and-coming stars. They qualify for this list by demonstrating the following criteria.

CLASSIFICATION CRITERIA:

  • The producer must be family owned & operated.
  • Produce no more than 20,000 cases per year.
  • Have consistently produced wines of exceptional quality, originality and value.
  • Have been listed on the Different Drop platform for a minimum of three vintages and proven to have elicited a high level of historical demand from the Different Drop customer base.
  • Continue to set benchmarks for their regions in the areas of quality, sustainability and innovation.

This is our definitive list of Australia's most exemplary, forward-thinking, and sought-after artisan producers, incorporating both established icons of the industry and the future leaders of tomorrow. This list captures the current state of play across the independent side of the Australian wine industry.

SEE THE FULL LIST OF WINES AVAILABLE FROM THE CLASSIFIED PRODUCERS HERE.

2022 Inductees to the Classification

Given the hundreds of excellent small producers we are lucky enough to work with across Australia, deciding on just a small handful of new entrants to the Classification this year was extremely difficult.

This year sees a total of 60 wineries in the Classification. The producers for the 2022 class of Different Drop inductees are as follows:

 

  • Aphelion

  • Bannockburn

  • Domaine Naturaliste

  • Stargazer

  • Stefano Lubiana

  • Yeringberg

 

Each of these producers has displayed an impeccable track record for quality over recent years and has been beloved by Different Drop customers, making their inclusions undeniable. We are thrilled to welcome the new entrants to the Classification and look forward to sharing their wines with you for many years to come.

The 2022 Classification  

  • Adelina
  • Aphelion
  • Bannockburn
  • Billy Button
  • Bindi
  • BK Wines
  • Blue Poles
  • Bondar
  • Brash Higgins
  • Brave New Wine
  • By Farr
  • Castagna
  • Clonakilla
  • Crawford River
  • Cullen
  • Dappled Wines
  • Domaine Naturaliste
  • Dormilona
  • Dr. Edge
  • Eastern Peake / Latta Vino
  • Eperosa
  • Frankland Estate
  • Garagiste
  • Gentle Folk
  • Giaconda
  • Head Wines
  • Helm Wines
  • Joshua Cooper
  • Koerner
  • L.A.S. Vino
  • La Violetta
  • Lambert Wines
  • Mac Forbes
  • Marius
  • Mewstone
  • Mount Mary
  • Murdoch Hill
  • Ochota Barrels
  • Pooley Wines
  • Ravensworth
  • Rieslingfreak
  • Ruggabellus
  • S.C. Pannell
  • Sailor Seeks Horse
  • Sami-Odi
  • Si Vintners
  • Sorrenberg
  • Spinifex
  • Standish Wine Company
  • Stargazer
  • Stefano Lubiana
  • Stoney Rise/Holyman
  • Thomas Wines
  • Timo Mayer
  • Tonic Wines
  • Two Tonne Tasmania
  • Unico Zelo
  • Vanguardist
  • Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown
  • Vinden Estate
  • Yeringberg

Different Drop Producers of the Year

2021

Producer of the Year:
Mac Forbes

As one of the first producers we worked with back in 2013 it's deeply satisfying to award this to Mac in 2021. It was a monster year for the Mac Forbes label on the DD site. We were lucky enough to offer you all each and every new wine that emerged from his cellar as well as a few exclusive museum verticle packs of some of his rarest and most sought-after wines. Judging by how much Mac we shipped over the year, you all could not get enough!

The Mac Forbes Yarra Valley range wines were up there with our most popular and best value all year. The single-vineyard wines were supremely poised. The Experimental Batch wines brought with them surprises at every turn and the gorgeous Rieslings reminded us that truly great Aussie Rieslings don't need to be mouthwateringly austere.

On top of overdelivering on value and producing some of Australia's benchmark single site Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Mac's expanded his range to include sub-regional depictions of the Yarra Valley to give a more three-dimensional view of his home. It's arguably Australia's most Quasi-Burgundian (though he'd never use that term) wine program at the moment, showcasing excellent examples of regional, village and cru wines through the looking glass of his beloved Yarra Valley.

We salute his advanced commitments to sustainable viticulture, the continued refinement of his winemaking practices to achieve ultimate site clarity and transparency, and finally, his general championing of the Yarra Valley that makes him one of the region's most important modern-day spokespeople.

Our 2021 Producer of the Year could have gone to no other than Mac Forbes and his incredible team.

Shop Mac Forbes

Best Value Producer of the Year:
Unico Zelo

This spunky duo knocked out some of the best value booze in Aus this year across their tremendous suite of Italian variety vinos.

Pound for pound, there aren't many more interesting/smashable or delicious wines you'll find in the country.

If you aren't yet familiar with varieties such as Fiano, Nero d'Avola, Dolcetto or Nebbiolo, there's no better way to test drive them than snapping up some of these UZ Rip-Tear-Share wines.

On top of that, the new Tropo wines offer perfect BBQ drinking if you're looking for something fun and frisky whilst watching your hip pocket.

Shop Unico Zelo

Avant-Garde Producer of the Year:
La Violetta

AJ Hoadley was making cool wine well before it was cool. His whimsical and eclectic range of Great Southern wines are at once full of joy and playfulness and also extremely delicious.

There are many producers who fly close to the sun in terms of lo-fi or minimal interventionist winemaking, however, few deliver the consistency of quality that comes from the La Violetta cellar.

His list of wines may be longer than a phone book, but you can bet your bottom dollar that no matter what you sample under the La Violetta banner it will be surprising, slurpable, seductive and even cerebral to taste.

Each wine we tasted from AJ this year was equal parts fascinating and fun and that's why he's our 2021 Avant-Garde Producer of the Year.

Shop La Violetta

Breakout Producer of the Year:
Will Gilbert

While the family label has been a staple of Orange and Mudgee for many years, we saw the Gilbert wines blossom over the last twelve months thanks to the energy and creativity of this rising NSW star, Will Gilbert.

Pet Nats, Pinots, Rieslings, gluggable summertime blends, Will does it all. Since taking over from his father Simon in the winemaking department, Will has managed to keep the consistent classic stylings of his father's wines and complement them with a series of more experimental wines that are intentionally built for a new generation of wine lovers.

This approach saw him earn the coveted GT WINE Young Winemaker of the Year award this year and (more importantly, I'm sure he'd agree) our Breakout Producer of the Year.

He's absolutely a producer to watch (and drink!) this year.

Shop Gilbert Family Wines

People's Choice:
Bondar

The People's Choice Award goes to our most popular producer as voted by you all with your wallets over the previous year.

Unsurprisingly, given the outstanding quality and more than reasonable prices offered by Andre and Selina Bondar, that gong this year goes to this wonderful McLaren Vale couple.

We have been massive fans of these guys since their very first vintage and tell anyone who will listen that if you want to taste what modern McLaren Vale wines are all about then this is who you need to try.

It would seem that many of you did, with thousands of DD customers welcoming Bondar into their homes last year. We know both Selina and Andre are very grateful for all of your support and based on how many of you re-ordered their wines, it's clear they've made a lot of new friends from DD customers during the year that was 2021.

Shop Bondar

Imported Producer of the Year:
Luis Seabra

Luis Seabra is a revolutionary winemaker out of the Douro Valley in Portugal, who gained fame as the winemaker at Niepoort before establishing his eponymous label in 2012.

He crafts fascinating and detailed table wines from old-vine, sensitively-farmed vineyards along the famed Douro terraces, as well as Vinho Verde further north. His uses local varieties, often field blends, among them the likes of Rabigato, Castelão, Gouveio, and Rufete.

They are some of the most exciting and delicious things to come across our tasting bench this year. Only small amounts were imported to Australia and they are never available for long. Check out this star of the Portuguese avant-garde wine movement while stocks last - they carry our highest buy recommendation!

Shop Luis Seabra

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