Bindi

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, Jasper Hill's Emily's Paddock in Heathcote 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 demonstrates how well certain varietals can be grown on sites which happen to be perferctly suited for those varietals. In the case of Bindi, the varietals are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. 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.

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 Classfication of Australian Wines. There are five wines in the Bindi portfolio which come from vineyards made up of quartz with organic, volcanic topsoil. There is also a Shiraz made from purchased fruit sourced from neighboring Heathcoat.