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Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley: excellence in Chardonnay and Pinot Noir

Distinctions between Old and New World styles have long been obsolete. This should certainly be said of the Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs produced the world over, with cool(er) climate regions on both hemispheres delivering both powerful and filigreed examples, attuned to specific mesoclimates, soil profiles and winemaking approaches.

Among the New World regions that over the years have emerged as leading producers of world class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are Australia’s Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley.


Scroll down to see tasting notes and scores for 20 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs from Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley to try


Two leading Australian cool climate regions

Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley are located in South Eastern Australia, close to Melbourne: The former about 70 km to the south; the latter 45 km northeast of the city.

Mornington Peninsula is surrounded by three bodies of water: Port Phillip Bay on the west side, Western Port Bay on the east, and Bass Strait at the bottom. This makes it one of Australia’s genuinely maritime regions with crisp, cooling breezes blowing all year round this in turn means the growing season is long and balanced and that disease pressure is relatively low. Its topography, with ridges and rolling hills, is a result of volcanic activity 60 million years ago, followed by uplift through faulting in the last 15 million years.

The vast and diverse Yarra Valley is divided into the Lower Yarra and Upper Yarra, with distinct altitudes, soils, rainfall and climates. The Great Dividing Range borders it to the north and the Dandenong Ranges to the south with the Yarra River running through it. The river is also a dividing line between the region’s two main soil profiles (see box below), which, together with elevation and aspect, are a source of much diversity within the region.


Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley – 20 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs to try:

Wines grouped by style and ordered by score, in descending order. 


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