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WINES BY REGION

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Mornington Peninsula

mornington-pen.jpgWith more than 60 wineries and over 200 vineyards, the Mornington Peninsula has transitioned from being thought of as little more than a playground for doctors and lawyers who liked the idea of a small patch of vines from which they could produce their own wines, to a world-class viticultural region making high-quality, cool-climate wines.  Certainly an active vignerons association (the MPVA) and a biennial 'International Pinot Noir Celebration' has both raised the profile, and improved the quality of the local wines.

It is indisputable that Pinot Noir is the standard-bearer for the region, with styles ranging from fine, elegant and subtle through to powerful, ripe and forthright...and everything in between!  Yet there are also magnificent Chardonnays produced on the Peninsula too, as well as noteworthy examples of Shira, Pinot Gris and other varieties as well.  A maritime and relatively temperate climate, a range of soils, and expanding clonal diversity add complexity to the range of specific sites, each with their own idiosyncracies.

Whilst small plantings have existed spasmodically on the Peninsula since the 19th century, current viticulture traces its roots back to the early 1970s and Baillieu Myer at Elgee Park and commercially, to Nat and Rosalie White at the magnificent Main Ridge Estate, which was established in 1975.  Throughout the 1980s a number of important vineyards were planted and wineries created, which today form something of an 'old guard' for the region - the likes of Paringa Estate, Stoniers and Dromana Estate.

mornington-peninsula-vines.jpgRecent years have seen quite distinctive regionality emerge - or more precisely, be recognised.  The wines from, say, Main Ridge and Red Hill are quite distinct to those grown in Teurong, or Merricks or Balnarring.  Altitude, sun exposure and the influence of winds mean that the higher areas often harvest a month to six weeks later than those lower down.  Soils are also quite different too, but perhaps most important is the combination at each specific site (and clonal selection at each) as one vineyard can produce substantially different characters in its wines than its neighbour, despite an absence of obvious differences.

The Mornington Peninsula, however, generally experiences a moderate climate, whislt cool, with relative even rainfall and a temperate, maritime climate. The winds from the three bodies of water surrounding the Peninsula - Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay and Bass Straight - tend to be the largest climatic variable.

One of the most beautiful and tourist-friendly regions, with a plethora of bed-and-breakfast accomodations and ample fine dining options, at less than 90 minutes drive from Melbourne it's too accessible not to explore.

And, of course, it's our home!  Drop in and see us whilst you check out the vineyards.

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