Hoddles Creek Estate

Hoddles Creek Estate

 

"The estate is located in the Upper Yarra Valley which experiences a cooler climate which leads to greater freshness and finesse in the wines. Franco’s notes his experiences in winemaking across the world as having significant influences on his style, learning something new from each place."

 

Hoddles Creek Estate is owned and run by the D’Anna family who first established a vineyard in 1997 on the property that had been in the family since the 1960’s. The vineyard consists of predominately Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with additional blocks of Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Due to the steeply sloping aspect of the vineyard, machine harvesting is not possible and all pruning and harvesting has to be done by hand which ultimately ensures minimal fruit damage and a higher quality of fruit. The estate is located in the Upper Yarra Valley which experiences a cooler climate which leads to greater freshness and finesse in the wines.

The viticulturalist and winemaker at Hoddles Creek Estate is Franco D’Anna who begin his career at the age of 13, working in the family liquor store, becoming the chief wine buyer by the age of 21. After completing his Bachelor of Commerce degree, Franco went on to study viticulture at Charles Sturt University whilst helping to maintain a newly planted vineyard, and working a vintage at James Halliday’s Coldstream Hills and two years at Witchmount, gaining further experience in subsequent years in France, Sicily and Northern Italy. Franco sought mentoring from Mario Marsen from Mount Mary who consulted on Hoddles Creek’s first vintage.

Inspired by how his Grandfather did it back in Italy, Franco’s philosophy is about simplicity and making traditional wines with minimal intervention. The winery is split level with the tanks upstairs and the barrel store located 3 metres underground allowing the wines to be gravity fed, using no artificial cooling or heating, simply opening the doors of the winery at night to let in the natural cool air all leading to a gentler winemaking process.

Franco’s notes his experiences in winemaking across the world as having significant influences on his style, learning something new from each place. His experience at James Halliday’s Coldstream winery taught him how fundamental a rigorous hygiene practice is in the winery, his time spent in Gevrey-Chambertin with Pierre Naigeon about monitoring tannin levels to produce gentler, finer tannins that help the wine to age. His time in Barolo working with Nebbiolo furthered his understanding on tannin management and at Mount Etna in Sicily, Franco gained a deep understanding of the natural wine movement.

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