Winemaker’s Hands: Paul Drogemuller

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.


About Dave McIntyre

Wine columnist for The Washington Post, co-founder of, and blogger at Dave McIntyre's WineLine (
This entry was posted in Australia, Wine, Winemaker's Hands and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Winemaker’s Hands: Paul Drogemuller

  1. Norman Holly says:

    So, where in the DC metro area (preferably Montgomery County) can one purchase Drogemuller’s products, and at what prices?

    • Dave McIntyre says:

      Unfortunately, Paracombe wines are not imported to the US at this time. Any importers out there looking for some good Aussies could spend a few productive days in the Adelaide Hills.

      Dave McIntyre

  2. Norman Holly says:

    Bummer! After such a nice buildup. I was a visiting professor at Australian National University years ago, but doubt that I shall be able to return. In lieu thereof, since I have not had continuing access to your Wednesday wine ratings in the Washington Post, would it be possible or you to list your five or ten top reds in lower price ranges, say, 0-$10, then $10-$20?

    Norman Holly

    • Dave McIntyre says:

      Nearly everything I’ve tasted here has been considerably more than $10 and even $20 at Cellar Door, and with the dollars at near parity I think the days of interesting inexpensive Aussie wines are not returning soon. But the Aussies also don’t want to be pigeonholed as producers of cheap wines.

      Sent from my iPhone

      • Norman Holly says:

        Actually, I intended to separate my comments on Aussie wines from the question of good inexpensive red wines in general. You have lauded a few (not Australian) reds in the $10 and $10-$20 range in your Wednesday columns; I was simply hoping to learn of maybe the top five that you regard as true bargains.

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