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Spotlight on Chardon-Yay

Forget Bridget Jones and the 1980s yellow overly oaked Chardonnays and picture a modern, fresh yet complex wine that truly reflects the varied terroir, is always interesting and identifiable to where it’s grown. On the Mornington Peninsula we love our Chardonnay. It turns out that Chardonnay could be the world’s most popular white wine according to the enormous number of bottles sold each year. While native to Burgundy you can now find Chardonnay grown in countries all around the world from Australia, to Europe, Argentina and the USA to name a few.

Mornington Peninsula – different styles, tastes and techniques

We are a cool climate region renowned for our award-winning Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The grape is so versatile, that wine flavours will vary depending on where it has been grown, the soil type and the winemaker’s preference from fresh and fruity to full and creamy. Below we’ve chosen 4 local wineries each with Chardonnay’s that are worth stopping by to try.

The Crittenden family have been making Chardonnay on the Mornington Peninsula for 35 years, and are seen by many as pioneers in the region. One of their premium Chardonnays, ‘The Zumma’ is a traditional blend from the oldest plantings on the vineyard.  It’s a rich and complex wine that retains a level of finesse due to the Mornington Peninsula’s cool climate. On the nose, you’ll find lemon zest and fig with almond notes providing savouriness to the palate. The Crittenden Wine Centre tasting experience allows you to compare wines and styles and no doubt discover at least a few wines that suit your personal palate. More>>

A must try is the 2016 Montalto “The Eleven” Chardonnay single vineyard wine made from eleven rows of chardonnay on their north-facing slope at the home vineyard site in Red Hill South. This drop offers flavours of lemon, lime, tangerine and grapefruit combined with floral and mineral notes by way of slate and flint, crème brulee and brioche aromas fuse with hints of white florals. There is subtle oak influence by way of roasted hazelnuts with hints of struck match. #delicious. More>>


Polperro winemaker, Sam Coverdale has been making wine since 2009 and sees wine making as an artform which is evident in the way his wine comes out. Here they follow a careful process with their wines which includes a biodynamic formula obvious in their wines. The 2015 Polperro ‘Mill Hill’ Chardonnay has been described by food and wine critic Mike Bennie as, “toasty, gently honeyed, blanched almonds, ripe stone fruit. Lots of character to sniff on. Juicy, fleshy, ripe and full…’. More>>

At Stumpy Gully their Chardonnay is complex and engaging on the nose showing apricot, lemon zest, nougat and vanilla characters with subtle hazelnut note. The palate displays lovely rounded mouthfeel and elegant mid-palate weight, beautifully complemented by fine texture and well-integrated acidity. Discreet and harmonious with a persistent silky finish. More>>

The perfect match – Chardonnay food pairings

Say cheese! Soft cheeses, semi-soft, mild goat and cow’s milk cheeses all go well with our white wine friend. Pick up delicious goats cheese from a local favourite Main Ridge Dairy. This autumn one of their wrinkled rind lactic cheese ‘the Capricious’ is back. It’s mild and creamy when young but develops a complex flavour when matured. Chardonnay also pairs well with lightly cooked steamed or grilled fish, so check out Peninsula Fresh Seafood for the latest catch.

Getting around – Winery tours with a local

Now that you are acquainted with some of what the region has to offer, it’s time to taste test them for yourself. You can always self-drive and uncover places on your own but to really get to experience some behind the scenes action and get the inside scoop we suggest joining a local guide from Elevate Wine Tours or MP Experience. Both offer transport and tour options for small groups giving you an insight to the best of the region and will make sure that you get home safely.

Fun fact

Just in case you needed one more reason to deep dive into a bottle Chardonnay we thought we’d leave you with this… Chardonnay is one of the three grape varieties that go into making Champagne. Now who doesn’t love a good glass of bubbles?!

Want more?

Discover wine at over 50 cellar doors on the Mornington Peninsula HERE>>

Find more inspiration for this autumn HERE>>

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Author: Ebony MPT

Categories: Things To Do, Wine Food Farmgate, Autumn Antics, Food & WineNumber of views: 2984