Wine production on the Peninsula dates back to 1886, when Dromana wine won an honourable mention in the Intercontinental Exhibition. In 1891, fourteen Peninsula grape growers were mentioned in a Royal Commission into the Fruit and Vegetable Industry. In the 1920s, many of the Mornington Peninsula's vineyards were abandoned or uprooted. In the 1950s, Seppelt and Seabrook operated a vineyard in Dromana, but this was destroyed by fire in 1967.
The renaissance of the region's wine industry began in 1972 when a number of aspiring vignerons independently recognised the potential of the unique maritime climate of the Mornington Peninsula for producing high quality cool climate varieties, similar to those of the great wine producing regions of France. The maritime influence provides relatively high summer humidity and rainfall. The coincidence of late ripening and a prolonged gentle autumn, result in fully ripe grapes with outstanding fruit flavours, high natural acidity and fine tannins.
The main grape varieties grown in the Region are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz. Some of the more innovative plantings include Pinot Gris, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc.
Today, there are more than 170 vineyards, of which over half are less than 5 acres and two thirds less than 10 acres. The area continues to expand, the growth being driven primarily by the larger vineyards of more than 20 acres, which now represent 42% of the total area planted. The Region also boasts 40 wineries with cellar doors.
The Mornington Peninsula Wine Region continues to develop and is rapidly
becoming recognized as Australia's leading producer of high quality maritime,
cool climate wines.
| Last updated:
March 2, 2005
© 2003 Yrsa's Vineyard Pty Ltd