"I've always had a love of the sea and a passion for sailing. We took out the '96 Sydney-Hobart on Ausmaid as the overall winner. Even the symbol on Port Phillip Estate's logo, the 'Blue Peter', is maritime code for 'P' as well as the flag that is used to start a yacht race. I think it all stems from my Dalmatian Venetian heritage, as does my fondness for fine wine.
Dianne and I bought Port Phillip Estate vineyard in 2000, then Kooyong in 2004, and I finally retired from Atco, the electrical manufacturing business I had set up decades earlier.
Years on, with over 20 estate and single vineyard wines, it makes sense to bring the two vineyards together at one cellar door, and share this spectacular vineyard vista.
I've always been one for big ideas, so my brief to Wood Marsh Architecture was, "build me a truly outstanding and uncompromising architectural landmark, the most exciting new winery in Victoria. They did. "
Port Phillip Estate winery
Surrounded by mounds of native grasses and indigenous spotted gums, the new Port Phillip Estate winery, designed by Wood Marsh Architecture, emerges from the landscape as a dramatic curved sculpture made of rammed-earth. Inside, a large cellar door and tasting room, and a light-filled restaurant open out on to an expansive outdoor deck. Underneath, state-of-the-art winemaking facilities – a barrel room, bottling line, wine processing plant, cellaring and offices – share space with six luxury accommodation suites, complete with private decks. Views across the vines to the sea are panoramic.
The Port Phillip Estate winery is situated at Red Hill in the heart of the beautiful Mornington Peninsula wine region 80km south of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia and owned by the Gjergja family.
Winemaking is overseen by winemaker, Sandro Mosele.
The landmark building opened in November 2009 as the new home of Kooyong and Port Phillip Estate wines. Many of the design initiatives salute sustainability.
The rammed-earth exterior and wide eaves, particularly on the western side of the building, shield interior spaces from the afternoon sun. This avoids fluctuations in temperature that would otherwise need heating and cooling.
The museum wine store and barrel room are five metres below ground level, forming a natural cellar with ideal humidity and temperature for wine storage. So again, there's no need for heating and cooling. Solar panels heat water and control temperature. Low energy LED (Light Emitting Diodes) lighting reduces energy usage by around 80 percent.
With almost half the property under vine, water needs are significant. An integrated water reclaiming plant converts black water to grade A water for irrigation and bathrooms. The bottling phase of winemaking is also water intensive, so innovative air-washing technology has been installed to clean the bottles.
These initiatives are part of an ongoing philosophy of environmental responsibility at Port Phillip Estate.