A winemaker’s hands tell a story, of working with and sometimes against Nature in trying to produce a vintage, and sometimes a story of life before becoming a vintner. Paul Drogemuller, co-owner with his wife Kathy of Paracombe winery in the Adelaide Hills region of South Australia, was an “Aussie footy” star in his previous incarnation. It is hard not to see that rough and tumble career in his huge and hugely expressive hands. Paul looks like a former athlete, probably closer to seven feet tall than six, and he displays the bighearted bonhomie of someone who still can’t believe he made a living playing a game, or now calls “work” something he loves to do as much as wine. Paul and Kathy make some very good wines, too, including a delicious bubbly, crisp sauvignon blanc, a pitch-perfect pinot gris and an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon. Their shiraz is lovely too, especially when he reins in his enthusiasm and keeps the alcohol below 15 percent.
But you’d expect good wine from hands like these. See all the hard work that goes into them.