Our Story

Who is Purple Hands?

When two good mates get together, one the Chief Winemaker with a major winery from the Barossa Valley and with his own vineyard, the other with a passion for wine, the inevitable had to happen and Purple Hands Wines was created. Craig Stansborough and Mark Slade started Purple Hands in 2006 with a humble start, making just 100 dozen in the first vintage. Just over a tonne of hand picked Shiraz was crushed and barrel fermented in Craig’s shed and then came the hard part, to find a name for the label.

And the name and label?

Anyone who has made red wine will know what a pair of purple stained hands looks like. A red wine makers hands become stained purple during vintage due to the constant contact with grape skins and the juice. Of course when winemakers are busy, they wipe their hands on their shirt, and this was the inspiration behind our name and wine label. We experimented with some white t-shirts, some red wine and some fun in the garden. The rest was left to the label designer to translate our concept to the label.

Where are we?

We are situated in the Southern Barossa just north west of Williamstown, a stones throw from the Whispering Wall reservoir. The 32 acre vineyard is planted on perfect Shiraz dirt, friable red clay over limestone. The vineyard plantings include Shiraz, Montepulciano and Aglianico. The southern end of the valley is recognized as the “cooler” end of the valley, with slightly lower temperatures and longer ripening periods to develop flavours.

What are we about?

Our aim is to produce fruit driven wines with elegance and texture that reflect the vineyards they are sourced from. We aim to make balanced wines so they can be consumed as young wines, but will also become interesting and enjoyable older wines. So that really means you can enjoy them now, but we are confident our wines have the potential to cellar if you have the patience. Our first vintage was in 2006 where we started with our Barossa Valley Shiraz. We now have a range of wines that showcase different varieties and vineyards from the Barossa Valley and an Adelaide Hills Pinot Gris.

Awards & Recognition

In 2013 Purple Hands Wines was first entered into the James Halliday Wine Companion book and was awarded a 5 star rating and included in the top 10 new 5 star wineries. 2015 saw Purple Hands Wines transition into a red 5 star winery. This is awarded to wineries ‘regularly producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity and who have at least two wines rated at 95 points or above, and had a five-star rating for the previous two years.’ That places us in the top 10% of wineries listed on Wine Companion.

James Halliday published a review of Purple Hands in 2011 and stated:

“Both the Shiraz and Grenache have a common theme of elegance, and a voice distinctly different to that of mainstream Barossa.”
– James Halliday Weekend Australian Magazine Oct 2011

Other awards include gold medals and a trophy at the Barossa Wine show, selection in the Adelaide Review top 100, and the 2012 Old Vine Barossa Valley Grenache was selected in James Halliday’s Top 20 reds over $20.

Craig Stansborough was awarded the 2014 Barossa winemaker of the year by the Barons of the Barossa. The Barons of Barossa was founded in 1974 by a group of influential Barossa wine industry personalities. The focus of the Barons of Barossa has remained unchanged since its foundation and it continues to proudly and enthusiastically support Barossa wine, viticulture, gastronomy, heritage and the arts.

Craig and Mark from Purple Hands

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