Region Wrap - Mornington Peninsula
The protective arm of the Morninton Peninsula welcomes wine enthusiasts to small, but well populated wine region with a climate very similar to the Mediterranean, and with similar scenery too - dancing olive groves, rolling hills lined with vines, sheltered beaches, waterfront dining, and lively local markets.
This variable maritime climate places a distinctive stamp on Mornington Peninsula wines. Some seasons are warm and dry, others cool and damp, which creates difficulties for local winegrowers. However, the ever-creative winemakers produce a range of varietal wines from cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, which have become stars of the region, to later ripening Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon. It also is becoming known as a pioneer region for Pinot Gris.
Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay has cool climate characteristic - citrus, melon and fig. Pinot Noir is more dependent on the season - strawberries, blackberries in cooler years, and full-bodied plum characteristics in hot seasons.
According to the Morning Peninsula Vigneron's Association, wine production on the Peninsula dates back to 1886, when Dromana wine won an honourable mention in the Intercontinental Exhibition. In 1891, fourteen Peninsula grape growers were mentioned in a Royal Commission into the Fruit and Vegetable Industry. In the 1920s, many of the Mornington Peninsula's vineyards were abandoned or uprooted. In the 1950s, Seppelt and Seabrook operated a vineyard in Dromana, but this was destroyed by fire in 1967.
The renaissance of the region's wine industry began in 1972 when a number of aspiring vignerons independently recognised the potential of the unique maritime climate of the Mornington Peninsula for producing high quality cool climate varieties, similar to those of the great wine producing regions of France. The maritime influence provides relatively high summer humidity and rainfall. The coincidence of late ripening and a prolonged gentle autumn, result in fully ripe grapes with outstanding fruit flavours, high natural acidity and fine tannins.
The region really is a wine and food lovers paradise, so use the VisitVineyards.com browse and search functions to explore some of the producers and attractions in the area, or visit some of our recommendations in the links below:
- Melbourne Surrounds (VIC)
- Mornington Peninsula (VIC)
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