There is nothing better than a beautiful glass of wine, unless it is a beautiful glass of wine with a great view!
Trading Plates headed down to the Mornington Peninsula to check out Port Phillip Estate, one of the newest and most spectacular wineries in the area.
Melissa Gjergja from Port Phillip Estate and Kooyong Wines marketing department gave us some insight into what makes the James Halliday award winning vineyards popular and how the wines have evolved over the years.
“Our viticultural philosophy is to develop and maintain a soil and vineyard biota that produces a balanced vine living sustainably in its environment.
“We employ a biological farming system that places focus on the improvement of soil biology through the use of compost teas, estate produced compost, mulch and other natural soil and plant conditioners.”
All the Kooyong and Port Phillip Estate wines are entirely estate grown, vinified and bottled.
Gjergja graciously ran us through the yearlong process of creating a good wine, starting with pruning in the winter months.
“From June to August we cane prune, as it gives more controllable yields in cool climates. Pruning is performed by hand, as pruning is the beginning of the next season and quality pruning sets up the vine for fruit quality
“From October to November we shoot thin as it improves light interception onto the unopen flower buds, improving potential fruit set at flowering in November. It also improves airflow into the canopy, reducing disease pressure.
“Then December to January we irrigate as little as possible. Our irrigation simply keeps what is there in good shape, so then by the end of January to early February at veraison (the onset of ripening), we crop thin to concentrate flavour.
“Finally, then in March we hand pick all the fruit. Our practises in the winery are non-interventionist and all ferments are natural/indigenous. We use wholly French oak for all barrel-matured wines, red and white. All our red wines are unrefined and unfiltered. Our white wines are all unrefined and at times also unfiltered.
“We bottle all of our wines in-house using our dedicated bottling line.”
The most popular wine on the Kooyong and Port Phillip Estate wine list over the past summer was the Port Phillip Estate ‘Red Hill’ Chardonnay 2013.
And when you head down to the winery, you shouldn’t forget about the food! An example of what you can expect with your wine is the organic suckling pig, fermented apple, oats, grains, seeds and buttered cabbage, which was incredibly well received by diners over the summer months.
Gjergja’s simple advice in what to look for in a good wine is ”deliciousness!” She says as with any aesthetic endeavour, different people will be looking for different things, but if it is delicious to you then that is what is important.
263 Red Hill Road, Red Hill South
(03) 5989 4444