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.
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.
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
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.
BIRD IN HAND SENIOR WINEMAKER
Dylan lee is recognised as one of the young guns of the Australian wine industry. Dylan has completed wine-making vintages in Canada, France and many Australian regions. He is also a regular panel judge at Australian national wine shows.
BIRD IN HAND SENIOR WINEMAKER
Sarah has worked as a winemaker in many regions including Australia, New Zealand and France. Born and raised, now settled in the Adelaide Hills with her young family, Sarah has a passion for sparkling wine and a family hospitality background. She is a regular panel judge at Australian national wine shows.
MASTER OF WINE
The second Australian ever to receive the distinction of master of wine, Kym has been a long-standing advisor to Bird in Hand.