Mornington Peninsula is home to a range of fine local attractions and organic produce. And while it maintains a humble reputation for domestic tourists, the Mornington Peninsula is actually home to a range of world-class wines – including those produced from Pinot noir. Pinot noir is a red wine grape variety that is grown in many wine regions around the world. But in Mornington Peninsula, you can be sure to find Pinot noir that stands up against wines from the renowned Burgundy region of France.
The Pinot noir name can be translated directly to pine and black in English. The name refers to the grape’s dark colouration and its tightly clustered and pine cone-shaped bunches of fruit. They a grown in cooler regions in various global regions including the Americas, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand Australia. Mornington Peninsula’s location at one of the most southern points in mainland Australia makes the area idea for these cool climates required to grow Pinot noir.
Pinot noir is renowned for its ability to produce the finest of wines around the world but this comes with its difficult cultivation and transformation. Being grown as tightly packed clusters means that it’s easy for vine disease, mould, fungus and/or pests to hide between and within the fruits. That is why diligent canopy management is critical to reduce the Pinot noir’s susceptibility to these viticultural hazards. To add to this, the Pinot noir is a grape that ripens earlier than other varieties, making spring frosts a hazard. If picked too late, the thick-skinned fruits will shrivel up and lose its flavour.
There are other issues with the plant itself which makes Pinot noir a difficult grape to grow. Genetically, it is an unstable plant species, where its parent plant can produce a plant with a wide variation of grape size, shape and even flavour.
When fully ripe, the Pinot noir fruit is actually a very light purple colour, and careful handling is required to make the most of its colour. Moreover, its make-up shapes the Pinot noir to be a medium bodied low tannin wine that can often go into phases of muted flavours and aromas and uneven aging.
But once Pinot noir grapes overcome these obstacles in production, they sure do know how to work the tastebuds. A young Pinot noir wine will display its fruity flavours and aromas, characteristically similar to that of cherries, plums, raspberries and strawberry. But as the wines start to age, Pinot noir will start to show more complex flavours and aromas, which one may liken to chocolate, earthiness, smoke and truffles.
Other than in Pinot noir wines in Mornington Peninsula, you can discover the flavours of Pinot noir in bottles of Champagne, Chardonnay, Pinot Meunier, some rosé and even vin gris white wines where the Pinor noir juice is uncoloured. Pinot noir wines are crowd pleasers for any occasion, being a flavour that pairs well with all types of food, yet light enough to be enjoyed on its own. So the next time you are visiting the Mornington Peninsula, do not forgo the chance to taste the world-class Pinot noir wines available throughout the region.