The Mornington Peninsula Vignerons’ Association, supported by Wine Australia, hosted a trade tasting of Australia’s Morning Peninsula wines this month. The event included a Pinot Noir masterclass presented by Matthew Jukes which showed wines from estates including Ten Minutes by Tractor, the award-winning Paringa Estate, Nazaaray, Scorpo Wines, Yabby Lake and Crittenden Estate. 12 of the region’s winemakers and principals were also in attendance, giving participants the chance to gain a deeper insight into these mould-breaking, premium Australian Pinot Noirs.
Mornington Peninsula: the vanguard of Australian Pinot Noir
To many in the wine trade, Australian Pinot Noir conjures up thoughts of Tasmania, Yarra Valley, maybe even Geelong or Gippsland thanks to a string of emerging premium producers. But ask Matthew Jukes and he’ll say Australian wine has added another region to its line-up of Pinot superstars, Mornington Peninsula.
‘Mornington Peninsula is in the highest global echelon of Pinot Noir regions… These are wines with uncommon perfume, purity, minerality, precision, savoury tannins and longevity – these are Pinot’s traits and every Mornington Peninsula wine shows them.’
Mornington Peninsula: more than just world class Pinot
Pinot wasn’t the only thing that got the trade excited, the Chardonnays on show reinforced the wider view that these too are wines to watch. Celebrated for their well-balanced elegance, the region’s wines range from delicate, unoaked crispness, through to medium-bodied wines with toasty notes and rich complexity. Australia’s favourite white grape is currently gaining fresh momentum across many cool climate regions and is becoming increasingly renowned for its evolutionary style. This is certainly the case on the Mornington Peninsula. The trade taster’s feedback certainly indicated a positive impression of Mornington Peninsula Chardonnays. Attendee, Roger Jones, reporting on the tasting in The Buyer was quick to extol the virtues of Mornington’s Chardonnays as well as their Pinots, concluding:
‘…. if you are not listing Mornington Peninsula get on the bandwagon before it leaves you behind.’
In total 21 different varieties are now planted in the area, including Sauvignon Blanc, Shiraz and Pinot Gris. Pinot Gris in particular is another Mornington Peninsula varietal that is making waves on the international wine scene.
Mornington Peninsula: cooperation breeding boutique quality
Mornington Peninsula is by no means large, and the 200 or so small wineries co-exist in a spirit of innovation and collaboration. Willow Creek Vineyard winemaker, Gerladine McFaul, commented on the region’s camaraderie saying, ‘We all work well together to further the best interests of our tiny industry…’ and noted the UK trade’s burgeoning thirst for these truly boutique wines, ‘…the trade and media that came showed a real enthusiasm for the wines that realistically are only available in tiny quantities.’ Mornington Peninsula Vignerons’ Association Executive Officer, Cheryl Lee, echoed these sentiments by saying the tasting had given the UK wine trade the opportunity to see how other wines, alongside its world-class Pinot, were primed to make a splash on the UK market.
After years of welcoming visitors to our region, and of individual vignerons coming to the UK to meet their supporters in the trade, there was a lot of enthusiasm to have a focused regional event in London…. There’s a huge contrast in sites, and the vignerons’ main interest is in seeing those expressions of difference.
The tasting did just that.
Mornington Peninsula: meet the winemakers
To bring the region to life, twelve Mornington Peninsula winemakers and principals attended the event. These included:
* These wineries are currently seeking UK representation
Mornington Peninsula: Australian wines’ next hot cool climate region?
The consensus of opinion from the trade was not just uniform in its praise for the quality of the wines of the Mornington Peninsula, but also in its excitement as to what the region can offer beyond Pinot. Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Shiraz all won plaudits and as the passionate, inquisitive and talented winemakers’ understanding of the region deepens so demand for Mornington Peninsula’s wines will continue to flourish. Our advice: follow Roger Jones and ‘get on the bandwagon before it leaves you behind.’
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