Travelling along the iconic Seppeltsfield Road, even the most staunch local could easily overlook the turnoff leading to the late 19th Century stone cottage and Bakehouse where Two Hands Wines makes its home.
It was fortunate, however, that owner, entrepreneur and visionary, Michael Twelftree and then business partner, Richard Mintz did happen to drive down that track back in 1999 in their search for the perfect site for their Barossa winery.
What they discovered was a little stone ruin once home to early Marananga settlers, the Arnold family, just beckoning to be brought back to life.
With a building background, Michael naturally heeded the call and created a Cellar Door and private tasting room which was opened in 2004.
Today, a deck overlooks the estate vineyard, manicured lawns and winery “where the magic happens” according to marketing manager, Pippa Merret who says Two Hands Wines has become a must-visit destination for tourists and Barossans are invited to experience the same warm hospitality the team are renowned for.
Pippa said Spring also welcomed the team’s latest recruit, “Brutus”, a fresh new face bringing yet another dimension to the venue through Summer and Autumn.
“Brutus is the new kid on the block,” Pippa says with a smile.
For those not familiar with the charms of Brutus, he’s the Scottish Highland bull living with his two girlfriends and a couple of children in Two Hands’ Holy Grail vineyard on Seppeltsfield Road.
And whilst the big hairy bovine is a valued and much loved member of the team, it’s his namesake, an equally quirky, purpose built outdoor bar in the shape of a vintage caravan, she says is the latest attraction.
“Weather permitting, Brutus is here every Friday to Sunday from 1 p.m. to 6.30 p.m., and is an extension of the experience we offer here,” Pippa says of the wine bar on wheels.
“We have people out on the lawn playing games and when it’s a beautiful day, it’s a lovely space just to put a picnic rug and chairs.
“It’s just a really relaxed, laidback, environment. A lovely place to have relaxed conversations, play lawn games and linger longer.”
Of course the award winning Two Hands range of wines made from fruit sourced from their own vineyards as well as their valued growers across six regions, are available by glass or bottle, but Michael has also curated another special collection.
“We have a selection of imported wines from France, Italy and Spain that have inspired Michael on his journey,” Pippa says. “Wines of the world from his favourite producers.
“We all serve Barossa wines, but it’s important to have that little point of difference, something perhaps no one else is doing.
“We are serving French Champagne at the moment and are about to launch our own sparkling white which is very exciting.”
Coffin Bay oysters were popular when they were in season and now charcuterie plates featuring artisan paté, smoked salmon and cheeses feature on Brutus’ seasonal menu.
Children and those young at heart can indulge in Barossa Valley icecream and soft drink, adding to the family friendly atmosphere of Two Hands Wines which celebrates innovation and working together hand in hand, just like the two friends who founded it.
Michael’s own experiences have provided him with many new ideas in his continued pursuit to rise above the ordinary and help share the story of Two Hands.
For the adventurous, exclusive 4×4 vineyard experience tours offer guests the opportunity to walk among the very vineyards where fruit was harvested to make the wine they are tasting, followed by lunch back at The Bakehouse.
The Bakehouse is also where wine connoisseurs are able to demystify and uncomplicated both the wines and the winemaking process in an intimate yet relaxed setting.
And, of course, the journey always begins at Cellar Door where the scene is set for you to continue the deck where lawns, games and “Brutus” beckons in the sunshine.
From the beginning Michael believed it was important tastings were paid for, just like those he experienced during his international travels, and since the global pandemic, it has been introduced in many Cellar Doors across the nation.
“Michael has travelled a lot throughout America, France and Italy where you pay for those experiences so he wanted to bring something unique here.
“It allows us to tell the story and take people on a journey and that’s always been the key mantra behind what we do at Cellar Door – telling our stories.
“All of the wines have really interesting, quirky names like Gnarly Dudes, Sexy Beast and the like, they all have really interesting stories. Just standing behind a bench doesn’t really enable you to convey that message.
“We have always invited people to come, sit down and taste – you are welcomed into our home.”
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