MCLAREN VALE, South Australia, July 23, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After 11 years of award-winning winemaking at Two Hands Wines, Chief Winemaker Matt Wenk will focus on his private label, Smidge Wines, where he will create original, small batch, barrel-selected wines.
In 2002, in Two Hands Wines' infancy, and as their first employee, Matt Wenk took on the role as Two Hands' Chief Winemaker. Since then, over the past 11 years, Wenk has gone on to become an internationally recognised powerhouse in winemaking. As Chief Winemaker at Two Hands his wines have achieved the globally-unmatched honour of 10 consecutive spots in Wine Spectator's top 100, including five positions in the top 11 and a number two position, plus hundreds of wines rating greater than 90 points in other esteemed publications such as the Wine Advocate, International Wine Cellar and Halliday's Australian Wine Companion.
Beginning this month, Wenk will focus on his private label, Smidge Wines.
"Why the change? I've achieved more than I could have imagined at Two Hands, and now I'm excited to focus on Smidge," said Wenk. As he wrote on Smidge Wines' Facebook page, "I am enormously proud of my achievements during my time at Two Hands... As I reflect on the many achievements there, the time has now come for me to close this memorable chapter. I wish everyone at Team Two Hands the very best, and am sure the success will continue."
Two Hands Wines wrote on Facebook, "Matt bought a lot of passion and commitment to making wines of world class quality at Two Hands and we wish him the best of luck with his new venture."
For the past several years while at Two Hands, Wenk has gradually built the Smidge portfolio in small batches, further defining his reputation for finding distinguished vineyards and crafting the very best fruit into stunning parcels of Australia's best wine. With his focus now turning to Smidge, Wenk aims to expand production over time and extend his vision for the remarkable wine Australia can produce.
The current wines of Smidge include the beloved Houdini Series, The White Label Series, 'S' Flagship Barossa Shiraz, Magic Dirt, an exploration of single vineyard terroir, the Pedra Branca project series and Rutherglen Grand Muscat. Matt and his wife Trish, decided to name their venture 'Smidge' to celebrate their passion for making wine in small batches.
"I think we just row our own boat, really. We never want to emulate anyone else, or do what they're doing. We have our own philosophies," Wenk said.
While growing up around a strong food and wine culture with a Spanish grandmother with a love for cooking, it took helping good friend James Tweddell and his family establish their Nepenthe winery and vineyards in Lenswood, for Matt to discover his true passion for wine and a love for making it. After this taste of the industry, he went on to graduate from Roseworthy with a degree in oenology with Honours in yeast microbiology. On completing his study he became a winemaker and later production manager at Nepenthe, working with head winemaker Peter Leske. During this time, he also made wine in McLaren Vale, Hunter Valley, California and the South of France, deepening his experience and developing his appreciation for different winemaking techniques.
Since then, Matt has enjoyed working with a range of winemaking talents such as Tim Knappstein. A personal highlight of his achievements thus far was being a recipient of the Shaw and Smith/Len Evans Tutorial Scholarship, led by the late Len Evans and industry leaders such as James Halliday and Brian Croser.
Smidge Wines are available in fine establishments throughout South Australia, distributed throughout Australia, China, Singapore, Korea and Canada. A Chinese language website for Smidge is available.
About Smidge Wines
The winemaking philosophy at Smidge is to find the finest parcels of fruit and transform them into limited production, world-class wines that show exceptional varietal and regional definition.
Red Cup Agency
SOURCE Smidge Wines