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Different Drop

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.


  • 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.


The 2021 Classification  

  • Adelina
  • Billy Button
  • Bindi
  • BK Wines
  • Blue Poles
  • Bondar
  • Brash Higgins
  • Brave New Wine
  • By Farr
  • Castagna
  • Clonakilla
  • Crawford River
  • Cullen
  • Dappled Wines
  • 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
  • Stoney Rise/Holyman
  • Thomas Wines
  • Timo Mayer
  • Tonic Wines
  • Two Tonne Tasmania
  • Unico Zelo
  • Vanguardist
  • Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown
  • Vinden Estate

Different Drop Producers of the Year


Producer of the Year:
Dr. Edge

It's a stone-cold fact that the Dr. Edge wines were some of the most excellent vinous creations we tasted this year.

Winemaker Peter Dredge's sense of creativity and incredible precision in the winery produced wines of the highest calibre from both his home base in Tasmania and from Oregon, USA.

Across two hemispheres Dredge displayed a transcendent level of artistry this year. He's constantly striving for a more sustainable, transparent wine industry in Tasmania and his wines mainlined both a sense of purity and playfulness that made them irresistible.

After tasting the breadth of his range - from racy Riesling and nervy, complex Chardonnays to mercurial natural wines and of course his phenomenal Pinot Noirs, he solidified for us the idea that he will be one of the most important Australian winemakers of his generation. Our 2020 producer of the Year could have gone to no other than Peter Dredge.

Shop Dr. Edge

Best Value Producer of the Year:

The Best Value Producer for 2020 goes to Barney Flanders at Garagiste in Mornington Peninsula.

Barney produced our number 1 selling wine this year, the 2018 Garagiste Le Stagiaire Pinot Noir - at under $30 it offers arguably the best bang for your buck of any Pinot Noir in the country presently.

Combine with that the rest of the brilliant value Le Stagiaire range, his wildly experimental Cotier wines that offer intriguing drinking at an approachable price point. Finally, the fact that Barney hasn't risen the prices on his benchmark Mornington Single Vineyard Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays since 2007 made him the obvious choice for Best Value Producer.

If you're going to spend your hard-earned cash on any Australian wine, you can guarantee you will be delivered quality above and beyond if 'Garagiste' appears on the label.

Shop Garagiste

Avant-Garde Producer of the Year:
Ochota Barrels

Taras Ochota has been one of the leaders of the New Wave Australian wine movement since its inception in the early 2000s.

Never one to stand still, Taras has continued to innovate and refine his processes bringing together wine lovers from the worlds of natural wine and fine wine alike.

This year saw new cuvees from Taras and a adaptation during the 2020 Adelaide Hills fires that saw him produce some stunning wines of clarity and energy where others lost much of their production.

He continues to be the benchmark for minimal-intervention winemaking in this country.

Shop Ochota Barrels

Future Leader of the Year:
Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown

The Future Leader award goes to the producer we believe will set new benchmarks for their region over the coming years. This year's recipients are Tessa Brown and Jeremy Schmölzer at Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown.

These two continue to push the envelope in their home of Beechworth, VIC. With a rapidly expanding range that touches nearby regions such as the King Valley and Alpine Valleys as well as a foray into skin contact and no-addition winemaking this year, Tessa and Jeremy have had a stellar twelve months.

With a forward-thinking approach to sustainable viticulture and a hard-line commitment to pristine quality in the winery, we believe they will set the standard for the next generation of Beechworth producers for years to come.

Shop Vignerons Schmölzer & Brown

People's Choice:

The People's Choice Award goes to our most popular producer as voted by Different Drop customers all with their wallets over the last twelve months.

Unsurprisingly, given the diversity and supreme quality across the board of Bryan Martin's Ravensworth wines, he was your choice this year. From his sublime Shiraz Viognier and benchmark examples of Australian Nebbiolo and Sangiovese to his myriad of textural whites, Pet Nats and amber wines, you loved everything from this Murrumbateman master.

Ravensworth is one of NSW's premier producers and one of the beacons of quality, creativity and value in the state.

Shop Ravensworth

Breakout Producer of the Year:
Vino Volta

We were only just introduced to the vibrant and eclectic range of Vino Volta this year and aren't we glad we were.

Vino Volta is part of the exciting new breed of vanguard producers emerging from the Swan Valley region in Western Australia.

Between Garth Cliff and Kristen McGann, they have a collective four decades worth of experience in Western Australian Wine.

During his position as winemaker at WA icon, Houghton, Garth saw the potential of the great old vine fruit in the Swan Valley going to waste. The couple have made it their mission to turn the spotlight on this unsung region through a creative and diverse set of wines featuring the regional hero varieties Chenin Blanc and Grenache.

An ex-Houghton winemaker might conjure up thoughts of conservative wine. These creations are anything but. These are fun, flamboyant, and contemporary wines made with a sense of adventure and experimentation.

Theirs was the most exciting new local addition to the DD range this year and we look forward to seeing what's next from this WA pair.

Shop Vino Volta

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