MAPPING AUSTRALIAN PINOT NOIR

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Since the late 90s, there has been a huge surge of Pinot Noir plantings in Australia’s cool climate wine regions – with vignerons from Victoria and Tasmania planting Pinot Noir clones from Burgundy, deep within our ancient soils.

With many of these vines now coming of age, Australia is starting to receive national and international praise as a producer of elegant, unique, terroir-driven Pinot Noirs, which can hold their own among New Zealand, North America and even Burgundy’s finest.

So for those Pinotphiles out there looking to explore Australia’s top performing Pinot producing regions, here is a map of our top 8… just don’t forget your jumper!

VICTORIA

Beechworth

Based in north-east Victoria, Beechworth is a former gold-rush town. Featuring grand architecture and a flourishing food and wine scene, it is packed full of artisans who are making the most of the areas cooler climate to produce outstanding Australian Pinot Noir. Touted by Rocco Esposito, sommelier at Vue De Monde, as a wine region he is “particularly excited about” Beechworth is one little town worth keeping an eye on.

Average growing season rainfall: 370-550mm Mean January temperature: 19.9 – 20.4º C

Mornington Peninsula

The Mornington Peninsula is a cool climate region based in Victoria’s southeast, making it ideal for growing Pinot Noir.

The gentle maritime climate and vastly differing soils allow local winemakers to create a diverse range of terroir-driven wines. One of Sam Neill’s regions to watch, Morning Peninsula is the darling of the Australian Pinot Noir scene.

Average growing season rainfall: 320-386mm Mean January temperature: 18.8-20ºC

Yarra Valley

Yarra Valley is Victoria’s oldest wine growing district – with its first vines planted in 1838. As Australia’s foremost cool climate wine producing region, Pinot Noir is king amongst the Yarra’s red varieties, with fruit driven wines featuring hints of strawberry and plum. Just a 50km drive from the Melbourne CBD, the Yarra is also the perfect day-trippers wine region.

Average growing season rainfall: 400mm Mean January temperature: 17.9-19.4°C

Gippsland

Originally known for its table wines before the turn of the century – a revival in the 1970s led by local family vignerons, put Gippsland back on the wine map after a lengthy hiatus. With greatly varying soils and climates across its expansive geographic region – which runs across the NSW/Victorian border to the coast of Wonthaggi – wine producers in the South of Gippsland are known for making some of the finest Australian Pinot Noir.

Average growing season rainfall: 420-530mm Mean January temperature: 18.1-19°C

TASMANIA

Tamar Valley

With commercial vineyards operating in Tamar Valley as early as the mid-1800s, this cool climate region – which produces 40 per cent of Tasmania’s wine – is said to be the source of cuttings for the first vineyards planted in Victoria and South Australia. With a similar climate to Cote d’Or, Burgundy, the Tamar Valley is best known for Pinot Noir, Sparkling wine and quaint cellar doors.

Average growing season rainfall: 310mm Mean January temperature: 17.2°C

Pipers River

The Pipers River region was brought to international attention by vigneron Andrew Pirie in 1974, and continues to be a widely recognised wine region, producing 30% of Tasmania’s vino. With a climate very similar to Champagne in France, it is also the home of Australia’s most reputable sparkling wines, including Dalrymple Vineyard’s neighbouring producers, Jansz Tasmania.

Average growing season rainfall: 310mm Mean January temperature: 17.2°C

Coal River Valley

A scenic 20-minute drive from Hobart, Coal River Valley is home to the largest concentration of privately owned vineyards in Tasmania. Slightly warmer in temperature than its southern counterparts, it’s also the source of Dalrymple Vineyard’s seductively rich and silky Single Site Coal River Valley Pinot Noir.

Average growing season rainfall: 360mm Mean January temperature: 16.8º C

SOUTH AUSTRALIA

Adelaide Hills

With its patchwork of vineyards atop the peaks and slopes that shade Australia’s Wine Capital, the Adelaide Hills region has an uncharacteristically cool climate for South Australia. The perfect place for local big-name producers to try their hand at making Pinot, you’ll find everything from earthy and spice driven wines to bright, silky and smooth. Ashton Hills is our top Pinot pick from the lofty heights of the Adelaide Hills.

Average growing season rainfall: 310mm Mean January temperature: 19.1°C

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