The Port Phillip Estate vineyard is planted to 8.7 hectares of predominantly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, with smaller parcels of Sauvignon and Shiraz all forming a continuous site lying between an altitude of 140 and 160m. The first vines were planted in 1987 and whilst the Kooyong landform is slightly warmer and more gently undulating, the Port Phillip Estate site is a decidedly cooler suntrap site nestled amongst folds of the hilly country near Red Hill.
As is the case at Kooyong, the viticultural practices in the Port Phillip Estate vineyard are very much hands on with cane pruning, shoot thinning, shoot positioning, green thinning and harvest all carried out by hand.
Although the bedrock found at great depth is the same Ordovician sandstone found throughout the Mornington Peninsula, the soils of Port Phillip Estate exemplify the tholeiitic basalts of the Eocene period (35-50 million years BC), where volcanic activity extruded thickly throughout the Red Hill, Main Ridge and Merricks areas. Being smaller than Kooyong, there is less opportunity in the Port Phillip Estate vineyard to explore sub-site differences between parcels of Pinot Noir but we keep the most ethereal and structural parcel separate to represent our Morillon Pinot Noir. Also in the warmer years, the mature Shiraz vines on the vineyard produce the aromatic and spicy Serenne Shiraz.
Morillon Pinot Noir
The Morillon Pinot Noir is the oldest fruit parcel on the Port Phillip Estate vineyard. These are beautifully mature vines in exceptional balance. The iron and magnesium-rich but otherwise weathered basalts confer a savoury, earthy minerality to the wine, which supports the aromatic red cherry fruits and often a layer of asian spices. Those who know our site well may discover in Morillon's earthiness an echo of the saffron milk cap mushrooms which grow in autumn around the roots of the old conifer stand below the block.
The Serenne Shiraz is produced only in the better vintages. Being a cool site, the fruit produces a wine of perfumed plum and mulberry fruits, slinky tannin and hints of pepper and charcuterie aromas, along with the site's hallmark minerality, natural acidity and savoury character.