Hoddles Creek Estate

Quality and Value from one of the Most Awarded Wineries in Australia

Hoddles Creek Estate was established in 1997 when the D’Anna family decided to establish a vineyard on the property that has been in the family since 1960. The vineyard sits astride Gembrook Road and adjacent to Hoddles Creek. Its steeply sloping blocks prohibit mechanical harvesting, so all pruning and harvesting are done by hand. All the wines are made in their 300-tonne winery, constructed for the 2003 vintage. The split-level facility has a barrel store located three meters underground.

With 130 acres of vines to manage in the northern reaches of the Yarra Valley (and just four full-time staff), no one could accuse Franco d’Anna of taking the easy route. D’Anna is a winemaker at the top of his game, but if you ask him, he will tell you he is a farmer first—he and his team spend 90% of their time in the vineyard, and no one member is specifically assigned to the winery. This approach not only provides a depth of understanding of the vineyards to each member of the tight-knit team, but it also allows them to set the vineyard up according to the vagaries of each season. This site-first approach, along with a supreme work ethic and crazy attention to detail is something that sets this estate—and its wines—apart.

“Hoddles Creek have been perhaps as well known for their premium bottlings as they have been for their dazzlingly economical Wickhams Road range, perennially the best-value chardonnay and pinot noir in the market.” Young Gun of Wine

An expansion in vineyard holdings, from 20 acres in 1997 to 130 in 2022—with more to come—forms the cornerstone of Hoddles Creek’s future. With the threat of phylloxera looming large (it has been identified just over the hill from the estate) the team has acted pre-emptively to ensure continuity of supply. They have planted Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on a variety of different rootstocks, so when the time comes, they will have new vines already established, as well as in-depth knowledge of the correct rootstocks to use. In addition to this, the uptick in estate fruit production will insulate the team from the need to purchase increasingly expensive Yarra Valley fruit.

Hoddles Creek Estate is in the Upper Yarra, which is higher, cooler and more marginal than the Lower Yarra, a set of conditions that suits Franco’s obsession with freshness down to the ground. In terms of viticultural and winemaking priorities, the health of the soil throughout the estate is maximised using organic fertilizers and frequent soil aeration. All fruit is hand-picked in the cool of the morning, there are no enzyme or acid additions, sulphur use is kept to the bare minimum, there is no fining, and filtering is avoided wherever possible.

In his own words, “running your own vineyards results in a far better end product. If you have good ingredients, all they should need is a bit of seasoning.” One need only look at the consistently brilliant reviews in the press to gain an insight into the quality on offer at this address.

The Range

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“It is what it is: the chardonnay you should buy, for any night of the week, for any occasion. It’s chardonnay in a style that somehow manages to straddle various streams; it’s an arthouse chardonnay that crosses over into the mainstream. It does because it has flavour but it also has drive…” Campbell Mattinson

“Hoddles Creek have been perhaps as well known for their premium bottlings as they have been for their dazzlingly economical Wickhams Road range, perennially the best-value chardonnay and pinot noir in the market.” Young Gun of Wine

“Franco D’Anna makes this Wickhams Road wine at his Hoddles Creek winery in the Yarra Valley, where his fellow winemakers are exasperated by his user-friendly prices.” Jancis Robinson MW

Country

Australia

Primary Region

Yarra Valley, Victoria

People

Winemaker: Franco D'Anna

Availability

QLD

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