The Mornington Peninsula landscape with its gently undulating hills, rolling green pastures and tranquil vineyards is as stunning as the range of wines produced by its wineries. Wine production in this region dates to 1886.
The region has built a global reputation for producing a range of fine wines. Surrounded by Bass Strait, Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay, the Mornington Peninsula is one of Australia’s true maritime wine regions.
The predominance of the surrounding water, and the cooling winds that blow up from the south, east and west, combine to give the region a wonderful climate that makes it ideal for growing the noble, late ripening varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. For what is a relatively small growing area there are a surprising array of soils to be found: from mottled yellow duplex and red volcanic soils to sandier soils around the Peninsula’s geographic centre of Moorooduc. This delightful diversity of soils and an ocean influenced climate creates a complex network of microsites capable of producing famed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Chardonnay, possibly more than any variety, benefits from the extraordinary natural acidity that the cool Mornington Peninsula climate can produce. While for Pinot Noir there is an enormous range of styles to the region’s flagship variety, from a haunting elegance and lingering intensity through to the more complex, structured and rich expression of the land. For all varieties grown here, the constant factor is the clear varietal character which is pronounced throughout the different sub regions of the Peninsula.
The Yarra Valley was Victoria’s first wine growing district with a history stretching back 170 years and is known as the birthplace of Victoria’s wine industry. Vines were first planted in 1838 and viticulture spread rapidly through the 1860s and 1870s.
The Yarra Valley is one of Australia’s coolest regions with elevation varying from 50 metres to 400 metres. Rainfall is winter/spring dominant, with the summer relativelycool, dry and humid. The traditional grape growing areas have soils of sand to clay loam frequently impregnated with rock.
The modern classic Yarra Valley varieties like Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz have been joined in recent years by a selection of emerging varieties. Nebbiolo, Arneis, Gamay and Gruner Veltliner are all showing great promise.
Red soil and warm summers tempered by cool southerly winds help the Heathcote wine region produce robust wines of power and weight with great texture.
‘Heathcote – Ancient Soils, Amazing Wines.’
The region is renowned for its shiraz. The famous ancient red Cambrian soils of Heathcote also produce outstanding examples of Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and excellent Rieslings and Viognier.
The Shiraz grape is the main planting, with the Heathcote Shiraz being renowned for its unique character. Few would argue that Heathcote’s climate and soil produces world-class Shiraz with a unique character. It is deep, rich and velvety, with cascades of dark cherry plum and sweetly spicy fruit. The ripe but fine tannins give texture, sustaining length and a superb ability to age.
Heathcote’s climate and soils are strongly influenced by the Mt Camel Range, providing natural tunnelling for the prevailing cool, south to south-east winds that blow throughout the growing period from October to March.
There are two principal soil types. The first includes quite acidic grey and grey-brown loamy sands and clay loam soils The second comprises a hard yellow soil with structured clay subsoils, which is also quite acidic and requires lime adjustment.
The climate of the region is Mediterranean and the proximity to the Southern Ocean (between 100 -200 kilometres) provides a cooling influence during summer.
Recognised as a cooler climate grape growing region, the growing season in summer is characterised by warm to hot days and cool to cold nights.
Autumn is mild and reliably produces the most pleasant weather, perfect for ripening grapes.
The region is especially well suited to later ripening red varieties, such as Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon.
With a rich vine and wine history dating back to1842, the Barossa Valley is one of the most historic wine producing regions in Australia.
Shiraz is the Barossa’s star performer, but varieties like Grenache, Mourvedre/Mataro, Riesling, and Semillon all have a long and distinguished history of producing exceptional wines.
Main Grape Varieties
Occupies 50% of the vineyard plantings and is the most famous variety in the Barossa. The Barossa has some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world dating back to 1843.The style is typically full-bodied with ripe fruit and plush tannins: the very best examples moderate this natural richness with balanced acidity and a focused pure fruit character.
Tends to do best from the cooler sites and in cooler vintages in this region. The Barossa Cabernet style is generally richer with riper fruit character and softer tannins than Coonawarra and Margaret River.
Often blended with both Shiraz and Mataro (GSM) to produce classic complex and textured red wines. Grenache is also made as a single varietal wine with rich ripe raspberry and peppery spice character.
The region has a Mediterranean climate ideal for full-bodied red wines, excellent fortified wines and generally robust white wines. The climate ranges from warm on the valley floor to cool at the higher altitudes in the hills surrounding the Valley.
The complex system of valleys and twisting hills results in a variety of slopes, aspects and sites. The soils vary widely, but fall in a family of relatively low fertility clay loam
Today Coonawarra is, perhaps, Australia’s most famous cool-climate region for Cabernet Sauvignon.
The terra rossa strip is just one-kilometre-wide and runs for 12 kilometres northwest through Coonawarra.
This tiny stretch of land is among the most valuable– and controversial – patches of earth in Australian wine.