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The Story Is In the Soil

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We began Bird in Hand in 1997 with the ambitious goal of making wines that rank among the world’s finest. Inside of a generation, with four tiers of wines for every occasion, we have achieved our objective, more or less.

Along the way, we’ve learned so much about everything else we love. We’ve discovered great art, and commissioned some of our own. We’ve collaborated with some of our favorite fashion designers, created a line of luxury accessories, home goods and tabletop treasures. We run a farm-to-table restaurant and sipping cellar and host some of Australia’s best loved musicians for outdoor concerts at our farm. We also host parties as far away as the Hamptons. Every day, we meet incredible people, who we continue to bring into our world as friends and collaborators. To us, wine is a vehicle, a connector. It opens up other worlds.

We’ve found that life is good, but that wine makes it even better. And vice versa. It’s why we wake up every day and breathe the same air as our vines. We walk the fields and soak up the abundant south Australian sun. We stoop down and scoop up the soil of the Adelaide Hills and let it sift through our fingers, just to experience its distinctive texture one more time. There is nothing like it on earth.

Here, from the land we love, we create cool-climate wines with a global reach, each its own special tribute to pleasure. We like to think we’re giving the world a taste of the good life. The world seems to agree and reward us well.

Experience Bird In Hand
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Bird in Hand began in earnest in 1997 when our founder, Andrew Nugent, and his father Michael Nugent, happened upon a run-down dairy farm in the emerging Adelaide Hills wine region of south Australia. The site of a gold mine in the late 1800s, its 80 fertile acres enjoyed the ideal growing conditions for stellar cool-climate wines. The seaside influence of the Gulf of St. Vincent, the cloud-trapping rise of the Mount Lofty Ranges and plenty of Australian sun all combined to create a special diurnal temperature shift that our grapes love.

An agricultural college graduate and vineyard apprentice who grew up next to Penfolds at Magill and spent his formative years in McLaren Vale, Andrew wanted winemaking to be his life’s work, and he had a strong feeling this was the place to do it. He was correct.

Today, we make four tiers of wines. Shiraz, of course, but also pinot noir, chardonnay, riesling, sauvignon blanc, and Italian varietals like nero d’avola, montepulciano, and arneis. Over the years, the land has yielded a collection of wines that cover every imaginable occasion, from everyday sipping to the absolute heights of life.

Explore the Wines
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What I love about winemaking is the aspirational side. The combination of agriculture and science and art – the ability to be creative while pursuing quality and excellence. — Andrew Nugent, founder
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Family Vibes

Bird in Hand is a family winery, literally and metaphorically. Andrew began the company with the support of his parents, Michael and Joy while his brother Justin assisted with marketing and export. Andrew lives and works on the grounds with his wife Susie, who tends the gardens, and their three children, Lalla, Edward and Oscar. The larger Bird in Hand family also includes a winemaking team, restaurant staff and marketing and events arm.

Kym Milne, Master of Wine

A local treasure with a globalist point of view and international renown, our chief winemaker, Kym Milne, has worked in the wine industry for over 30 years. A winemaking graduate of Roseworthy College, he worked in Australia for a stint before moving to New Zealand to be chief winemaker for Villa Maria winery from 1983 to 1992. (In 1991, he become the second Australian ever to receive the distinction Master of Wine.)

Kym spent the next decade working as Director of Winemaking Operations for UK importer International Wine Services, running winemaking projects throughout Europe, South Africa and North and South America producing wine for the UK market. He joined Bird in Hand in 2003, bringing an exciting international perspective to the local winemaking community.

Kym has extensive international wine show judging experience, and is currently Chairman of Judges at the Sydney International Wine Competition. He resides in the Adelaide Hills, with his New Zealand wife and three English-born sons.

In 2014, Kym was named Australian Winemaker of the Year by Winestate Magazine.

Dylan Lee, Senior Winemaker

Born in outback Western Australia, Dylan spent much of his childhood in the Great Southern region. On a high school geology field trip, he visited some of the area’s vineyards, igniting an interest in grape growing and winemaking. In 2005, he moved to Adelaide to complete a degree in winemaking at the University of Adelaide. Later, he worked on vintages in the Northern Rhone Valley, Niagara Peninsula, Margaret River and McLaren Vale, learning a diverse range of techniques and philosophies. He moved back to Adelaide in 2010 with his wife, Lillian, bringing his already wide store of knowledge to Bird in Hand, beginning as a cellar hand for the 2011 vintage.