The highly acclaimed Mornington Peninsula was our focus for Thursday. Situated just 70km south-south east from Melbourne, this area has received a lot of press coverage for its highly acclaimed cool climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The topography is markedly different to that of the Bellarine Peninsula – with greater elevation and a lusher verdancy.
We stopped at the Red Hill Collective – a wine shop in Red Hill run by Tom Portet whose father and brother own and make wine at Dominique Portet. We were joined by David Carey of Foxeys Hangout and David Chapman – a boutique wine maker with a stellar reputation in the region. This was a different approach to the tour and allowed us access to some top names in the area and gave a focus that you might not get at a winery.
David Carey was up first and showed three Chardonnays from different parts of Victoria and contrasted the different levels of elevation. David Chapman then presented his Pinot Noirs which were fabulous. He also gave us some brilliant insights into canopy management and the battle with phylloxera.
We rounded off the tasting with the Paringa Shiraz 2018 which had just won the Shiraz Trophy at the Royal Melbourne Wine Show and a rather delicious Vermouth from David Chapman.
It was just a 5 minute drive to Polperro. This winery, with its acclaimed restaurant, has a wonderful position overlooking vineyards down a hill. Regrettably, it was 40 degrees and blowing a gale so we had to sit inside but what a meal we enjoyed…..a fabulous array of starters including pumpkin arancini, salmon tartlets, cold caramel popcorn; a pork belly creation and slices of wagyu beef; Wagyu beef cheek, apple, wood sorrel granita and avocado and a yoghurt parfait with grapefruit jelly and white chocolate.