Paul Pinot Noir Mornington Peninsula

Staindl Wines History

Paul and Juliet Staindl started looking at and thinking seriously about pinot noir in Australia in the 1980s. This led to a long quest to produce an example of a wine which would satisfy their dream of putting their own thumb print on a bottle. The great pinot noirs of the world, whether they be from Burgundy, Gippsland, the U.S. or even New Zealand both inspire and create a spark to emulate. We do know that we can’t be like burgundy. We also know that if we learn from others experience we can try and make a wine that represents the site on which it was grown that truly reflects the micro climate which sources its fruit.

It needed to be cool climate. It needed to be maritime influenced. It needed to be easterly and/or northerly facing. It needed to be a special spot.

Mornington Peninsula Vineyard

The peninsula is a special spot. It is a small finger of land surrounded on three sides by water. It has elevated areas down its spine providing the right slope and cooler climate to produce fine, elegant Pinot Noir. We were fortunate enough to find a vineyard that had been established in the very early 1980s and after acquiring the site, set about expanding its size to 7 acres (3 hectares).

Our site near the top of the Red Hill ridge with its east – north east aspect, provides an ideal growing site for the vines. They have the benefit of waking up with the eastern sun warming their leaves and then the opportunity of enjoying the day view out to Phillip Island across Western Port Bay. Being on the easterly side of the ridge, they avoid the worst excesses of the hot western sun as it fades for the day during the long warm days of summer. The soils are composed of classic Red Hill deep chocolate brown earth with iron buckshot through it. This composition provides the bones to the wines with a little iron in the skeleton. The altitude provides the long cool evenings to lengthen the ripening. Long slow ripening allows the fruit to build flavours which provides the fine perfume, delicate red fruit, and the length on the palate which we all look for.

Staindl Wines Vineyard Mornington Peninsula

After acquiring the site in 2003, within 3 years we had planted out the new sections of vineyard and made the decision to eradicate all synthetic chemicals, herbicides and pesticides. We embarked on a biodynamic regime which over the past few years has seen a wonderful improvement in the humus and composition of the soil structure as well as a returning balance to the vines.

Our oldest vines turn 30 this year, representing some of the oldest vines on the peninsula. The depth of flavour in the fruit they provide has been even further enhanced by the natural approach to the viticulture.

Our philosophy is to crop at very low levels (usually between ½ tonne and 1½ tonnes per acre). We will not irrigate. Our belief is that if you do so, by definition you are altering the very specific attributes of the site which ought to reflect in the wine. The challenge then is of course to keep the vines in sufficient good health to ensure that they can survive even the driest, longest periods without water. Of course the 2011 season turned all that on its head by being one of the wettest, coolest summers we have experienced and our challenge there was to manage a canopy that was growing out of control with the resultant shading of fruit and diversion of resources to leaf rather than fruit.

The wines are made with minimal intervention. We seek to have them truly represent what the vintage seasonal conditions provide us and thus, there will be variation from year to year. Running through all that ought to be a consistent gossamer thread of the site as the vines seek to deepen their expression as they grow older and also reflect the seasonal fluctuations.

Mornington Peninsula Winery Landscape