The Winemaker - Matt Wenk
Matt Wenk has become recognised as one of Australia’s foremost winemaking talents. He came to prominence as the Chief Winemaker at Two Hands Wines. In 2002, in Two Hands Wines’ infancy, Matt Wenk first took on the Chief Winemaker role at Two Hands. Since then, over the past 11 years, Wenk has gone on to become internationally celebrated in winemaking, with a globally-unmatched achievement of 10 consecutive spots in Wine Spectator’s top 100, including five positions in the top 11 and a number two position. He has had more than more than 300 wines rating greater than 90 points in esteemed publications such as the Wine Advocate, International Wine Cellar, Wine Spectator & Halliday’s Wine Companion.
Since July 2013, Matt has focussed on his private label, Smidge Wines, where he creates original, small batch, barrel-selected wines. The wines of Smidge include the beloved Houdini Series, The White Label Series, 'S' Flagship Barossa Shiraz, Magic Dirt, an exploration of terroir, the Pedra Branca project series and Smidge’s Rutherglen Grand Muscat.
"I think we just row our own boat, really. We never want to emulate anyone else, or do what they're doing. We have our own philosophies," Wenk said.
Matt and his wife Trish, decided to name their venture Smidge to celebrate their passion for making wine in small batches.
While growing up around a strong food and wine culture with a Spanish grandmother with a love for cooking, it took helping good friend James Tweddell and his family establish their Nepenthe winery and vineyards in Lenswood, for Matt to discover his true passion for wine and a love for making it. After this taste of the industry, he went on to graduate from Roseworthy with a Degree in Oenology with Honours in yeast microbiology. On completing his study he became a Winemaker and later Production Manager at Nepenthe working with head winemaker Peter Leske.
Since then, Matt has enjoyed working with a range of winemaking talents such as Tim Knappstein. A personal highlight of his achievements thus far was being a recipient of the Shaw and Smith/Len Evans Tutorial Scholarship led by the legendary late Len Evans and industry leaders such as James Halliday and Brian Croser.
Smidge Wines are available in fine establishments throughout South Australia, distributed throughout Australia, China, Korea and Canada and also online via special order.