Growing up close to and then later working in the Yarra Valley, I’ve always been privy to the great Pinot Noir that Australia has to offer. The cooler regions of the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Tasmania and the Adelaide Hills are but to name a few. When I arrived in NYC in 2006, it felt like the center of the wine world. Wines from all over the world were so accessible – Burgundy, Oregon, Sonoma, New Zealand, the list goes on. Aside from being able to the taste all these amazing wines that I had only ever read about, I was suddenly able to meet the actual makers of these incredible wines. But despite all accessibility of all of this great wine, there was a serious lack of Aussie Pinot on the shelves of stores and in restaurants of the city. Fast forward ten years to today and I still consider Aussie Pinot somewhat of a hidden secret from New Yorkers. Coerce your local wine shop to bring in a couple of cases of Australian Pinot – you won’t be disappointed.
Growing up close to and then later working in the Yarra Valley, I’ve always been privy to the great Pinot Noir that Australia has to offer.
My wife and I headed to Melbourne for Christmas and took the chance to hit up some wineries in my home state of Victoria. Its was great to be back amongst the vines after a solid three years in New York since my last visit home – it’s amazing how time flies in this city. We visited Yering Station in the Yarra Valley and had a great tour of the cellars and winery. In 1998 I worked here in the cellar door laying bricks for the new state of the art winery and was part of the opening team for the restaurant and wine bar that boasts stunning 180 degree views of the valley. This is where I got my my first taste for great Pinot at the hands of Tom Carson, then winemaker at Yering Station Vineyards and now producing great wines at Yabby Lake.
We couldn’t go to Melbourne without heading down Victoria’s south east coast to the Mornington Peninsula, where there are not only amazing surf beaches, but some great vineyards.
When we arrived, Katie and I caught up with our friend and winemaker, Luke Curry the producer of ‘Taturry Wines.’ The name is combination of his parents’ maiden names (Tate and Curry) and the range consists of two Pinots, two Chardonnays and a Shiraz. The wines come from single vineyard sites not too far from each other including two on the property where production takes place. Luke’s wines have incredible finesse, structure and balance with great concentration. There’s something to be said about tasting wine steps away from where it was grown and discussing with the winemaker their vision. The wines are smart – show an element of class and definitely have their own personality. They are all hand picked with wild yeast and I found the wines to have an artisan quality about them, they all told a story. Luke’s goal is to make wines that express the land from which they came and for my two cents I think he’s doing a stellar job!
After some barrel samples we set off with a case of Taturry wine for the BBQ on Christmas Day. On the way we headed to the local bakery where we devoured freshly made steak and mushroom pies and sat in the sun and listened to the local jazz band play, feeling thousands of miles away from NYC and not minding one little bit.