Home to a range of spectacular natural wonders, including Phillip Island and Wilsons Promontory, Victoria’s south-east produces extremely high-quality wines. Cooler and windier than the east due to its proximity to Bass Strait, Southern Gippsland is a treasure trove of cool-climate wines, from pinot noir to pinot gris and chardonnay. With its Mediterranean climate and less rainfall than the region’s southern area, Eastern Gippsland is known for its pinot noir, riesling, cabernet sauvignon and chardonnay. Western Gippsland generally has a cool climate with a warm, dry autumn, which supports chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, riesling, pinot noir, shiraz and sparkling wine.
Eastern Gippsland is one of the cool-climate regions where, almost without fail, fruit of the highest quality is grown and wines of the highest quality are made – subject, of course, to the vicissitudes of nature. The dominant wine variety is chardonnay, and as it prospers, so too does the great red variety of pinot noir. Both wines made here are best served with some local produce – be it fish, beef or lamb, or some of the world-renowned Gippsland cheeses.
As the region’s vineyards age, they are producing fruit of great complexity, which is being reflected in flavour with refined textural wines of great structure that are available throughout the region. The mild maritime climatic influence allows shiraz that is spicy/peppery, finely textured, and long in flavour to be grown and made without any suggestion of ‘heaviness’.
Most years also allow production of refined elegant styles of merlot, cabernet sauvignon and, of course, a blend of each when appropriate. Visitors to Eastern Gippsland will find an extensive range of local wine and food to be enjoyed and assessed.
The winemakers, and their families, look forward to seeing you at the cellar door or at one of the many functions held throughout the year. – Ken John, Narkoojee Winery & Restaurant