Boxhead Winemakers

South Australia
Justin Lane
Vine Street Imports

Basic Info

The Australian wine world, unlike most of Europe, is based upon regional blends as wines. In the past ten to twenty years, a few remarkable individuals started the trend of making individualistic wines from specific sites. Such examples are Henschke's Hill of Grace Shiraz in the Eden Valley, Torbreck’s RunRig Shiraz in the Barossa Valley, and the Wendouree wines of the Clare Valley. These are wines that come from a certain site, terroir driven wines made by terroirists. Michael Dhillon from Bindi wines is also an example of how well certain varietals can be grown on sites which happen to be perfectly suited for those varietals. In the case of Bindi, the varietals are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Bindi winery was established near the town of Gisbourne in 1988 by Michael's father Bill Dhillon. The name Bindi came from the meaning of the word which is the ornamental dot worn on the foreheads of women in India, Bill Dhillon's native home. The cool climate of the region made it clear to the Dhillons that the only thing that could possibly ripen on their property would be Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The first vines planted were Pinot Noir and the wine from these vines is now called "Original Vineyard" Pinot Noir. In 2005, the Original Vineyard Pinot Noir was acknowledged in the Langton's Classification of Australian Wines. The vineyard is made up of quartz with a thin layer of volcanic topsoil that makes these wines instantly recognizable. Bindi's original winemaker was Stuart Anderson, the man responsible for making the wines of Bendigo Wines, which were excellent when he was at the helm. Michael Dhillon served as assistant winemaker until 1998 when he took over the reins. Michael learned his craft working vintages in Europe, where he spent time with the Champagne house of Jean Vesselle in Bouzy, with Allain Graillot in Croze-Hermitage and in Tuscany at Tenuta di Valgiano. He also did a stint in Amador Country with Shenadoah Vineyards.