Q&A with Many Hands owner and wine-maker Tony Indomenico

From soil to the bottle, Tony's passion is abundant at Many Hands. 183130_01. Picture: Rob Carew.

Situated on the slopes of the Yarra Valley at Coldstream, Many Hands Winery is a family-owned and operated boutique vineyard.

Planted 26 years ago, the well-established vines, hand-harvesting and ageing in French oak barriques are just a few of the things that make Many Hands’ wines unique.

Tourist News did a Q and A with owner and wine-maker Tony Indomenico.


Q: How long have you been in the industry?

A: As young as five, it became an adventure; the whole family in the FB Holden driving up the line to Nyah West, and the journey began. In a nutshell from grapes to wine, wood fired ovens for pizzas and a feast of fresh food.

Q: And what prompted you to start Many Hands?

A: Great wines begin in the vineyard. Much like a cook and his wood-fired oven and the quest to create great wines from this great vineyard (established in 1982) and beautiful landscape and soil.

Q: You’re a boutique winery – where do boutique wineries fit into the Yarra Valley experience?

A: It’s a craft, understanding the art and science. Wine-making is a process of passion from grapes and working with flavours, aromas and barrel-ageing. It’s a pathway from soil to the grapes to the bottle.

Q: What is your most memorable meal?

A: This is serious stuff. A traditional wood oven will bring out the great taste of fresh food – pizzas, calzones, vegetables, meats and fresh in-house Italian sausages. It’s what’s in season in the valley that makes it the most memorable meal.

Q: What makes for a memorable Yarra Valley dining experience?

A: lovely wood-fired calzone with fresh Yarra Valley produce and a lovely salad with a glass of wine.

Q: What qualities do you look for in hospitality staff?

A: They must be friendly, have a real passion for the food we serve and it’s important to have good knowledge of our wines.

Q: How important is it to a winery restaurant to have a good barista these days?

A: Fresh 100 per cent Arabica beans, grounded fresh, real coffee and a choice of style depending on what mood you’re in.

Q: What is the biggest challenge in establishing a new winery?

A: Grapes from the vineyard, ageing after fermentation and Mother Nature, that’s the biggest challenge. The rest is the beginning of a great adventure.

Q: What do you enjoy most about your job?

A: Passion, love and the freedom of the valley.

Q: You’ve invited friends to join you for a picnic lunch at one of our many beautiful parks in the Yarra Ranges. What Yarra Valley wine would you take along?

A: I’d take a chardonnay and a cabernet blend…and a smile, just to love it and enjoy.

Q: Keeping in mind that you ARE on a picnic…is it ever acceptable to drink wine from plastic?

A: Drink in moderation, stay safe and do it your way. Drink your wine from paper cups, not plastic and enjoy. If you’re serious about the flavours, a curved-rim glass top helps to hold the aromas, swirling the wine improves the tasting of aroma, its acidity, sleekness and astringency by mouth feel. Then, taking in the air and be kind to each other…you’re on a picnic!

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