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Pinot Noir, Geelong

Pinot Noir is a red grape that is one of the most challenging to grow in any part of the world. Due to its thin skin and tight bunches, it is susceptible to both mould and disease. However, when it is successful, it produces some of the most amazing wines in the world. Although its home is Burgundy, it has emerged as a popular variety in Australia. Representing only 1% of grapes crushed, it has built a high profile with a number of world-class, distinctly Australian wines being produced. The greatest examples coming from the cool climates of the Adelaide Hills, Tasmania, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong and the Yarra Valley.

Pinot Noir performs well on the deepish limestone based subsoils that are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or. However, yields need to be kept in check. Pinot Noir's concentration and varietal characters disappear rapidly if yields are excessive. Some of the best and most expensive wines in the world are still found in Burgundy.

Pinot Noir also plays a key role in Champagne, being blended with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier. In the US, Oregon and Washington state are producing outstanding wines. In New Zealand, great Pinot Noirs are crafted in Martinborough and in Central Otago, New Zealand's only true continental climate.

The thin skins of Pinot Noir mean the wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However, the best wines have grippy tannins, fragrance and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, but as it matures, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouthfeel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey nuances emerging.
The wine regions surrounding the town of Geelong are varied and diverse, from the subregions of the Surf Coast and Otways to the Bellarine Peninsula and Moorabool Valley.

Historically, Geelong was the largest grape-growing region in Victoria (in the 1800s) and in more recent times has undergone somewhat of a renaissance. In the last few decades, winemakers have been rediscovering the rich soils and a climate that is somewhere (some say halfway) between France's Bordeaux and Burgundy regions.

The region is known for boutique, family owned winegrowers producing quality hand crafted wines, more so than any bigger winery operations. Varietally speaking, Geelong is renowned for its superior Shiraz, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Whilst these 3 are the staple of most winegrowers and makers, the more adventurous have been known to grow and make Riesling, Gewürztraminer and Merlot and even some of the more left-field types like Primitivo, Gamay, Carmenere and Langrein.
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  1. Provenance Geelong Golden Plains Pinot Noir 2020
    2019 Best Value Winery of the Year: James Halliday's Wine Companion, 94 points. "Scott Ireland is the man behind Provenance, a wine brand based in southern Victoria’s Geelong. Ireland was the winemaker at prominent Geelong district winery, Austin’s of Barrabool, ... Learn More
    pts
    Campbell Mattinson
  2. Brown Magpie 'Single Vineyard' Pinot Noir 2018
    Another award winning Pinot Noir from boutique 5 star winery, Brown Magpie. WINNER; Best Geelong Pinot Noir, Real Review Panel 2020 A lifted bouquet of spicy, musk, cherries and raspberries. There are now some strong bottle development characters appearing of forest floor ... Learn More
  3. Provenance Henty Pinot Noir 2018
    This wine displays fruit aromas of black cherry, sage and blueberries. A dusting of clove-like oak completes the bouquet. With flavours true to the promised aromas, a highlight of this wine is its graceful core weight that carries from start ... Learn More
    pts
    James Halliday's Wine Companion
    pts
    Campbell Mattinson
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