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Mornington Peninsula

The cool climate Mornington Peninsula is now internationally lauded for producing much of Australia’s finest Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Australian Geographical Indication “Mornington Peninsula” was entered in the Register of Protected Names on 18 March 1997.

John Gladstones, in his definitive book ‘Viticulture and Environment’ says the region…

“…has arguably the best ripening climate in Victoria for light to medium bodied table wines…this would appear to be one of the few regions of Australia where the precise characteristics of the great Burgundy wines (both red and white) might reasonably be aspired to.”

Almost half the vines planted on the Mornington Peninsula are Pinot Noir, followed closely by Chardonnay. A smaller amount of Shiraz and other cool climate varieties are planted, but it is the more recently introduced Pinot Gris which is fast creating an exciting reputation for fine quality and regional distinctiveness.

There are now more than 200 vineyards, 60 wineries and at least 50 cellar doors on the Mornington Peninsula. Most are concentrated around Red Hill, Red Hill South and Main Ridge, with clusters at Moorooduc and Tuerong in the north, and Balnarring and Merricks towards Western Port Bay.

THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA
THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA
TOP FIVE VARIETIES 2010 (BY AREA)

Variety

Bearing Area (ha)

Tonnes

Pinot Noir

325.4

43%

1598.4

Chardonnay

190.4

25%

946.4

Pinot Gris

88.6

12%

590.3

Shiraz

42.4

6%

158.9

Sauvignon Blanc

24.9

3%

120.8

Other

80.2

11%

386.9

Total

751.9

100%

3801.7

(More information on Mornington Peninsula vineyards can be obtained from the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association)

MAIN RIDGE

There are no official sub regions on the Mornington Peninsula though locally there is a clear understanding of the differences between the northerly, “down the hill” and the southerly, “up the hill” areas.

Key differences between the two are altitude, soil and climate…

Sub Region

"Down the hill"

"Up the hill"

Altitude

Generally <100m

Generally >100m

Soil

Poorer, sedimentary soils

Richer, volcanic soils

Climate

Warmer, drier

Cooler, wetter, greater exposure to cool sea breezes from Bass Strait

The difference can be very easily summarised in the fact that all our Main Ridge Pinot Noir is harvested, on average, 23 days later than that of our colleagues “down the hill” at Moorooduc Estate at about 90m elevation; our lowest Pinot Noir block on the Wallis Vineyard (about 120m) is harvested 21 days later than Moorooduc Estate.

TOP FIVE VARIETIES 2010 (BY AREA)

Variety

Bearing Area (ha)

Tonnes

Pinot Noir

325.4

43%

1598.4

Chardonnay

190.4

25%

946.4

Pinot Gris

88.6

12%

590.3

Shiraz

42.4

6%

158.9

Sauvignon Blanc

24.9

3%

120.8

Other

80.2

11%

386.9

Total

751.9

100%

3801.7

Overview

“Wines…allow us to eavesdrop on the murmurings of the earth.”

— Making Sense of Wine, Matt Kramer
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