Geelong often gets overlooked in the story of Australian pinot, but this lighter red is the hero grape in the region, which was among the first in Victoria to plant the variety.
For those who know the conditions required for this delicate red grape to thrive, this should perhaps come as no surprise – the region’s long growing season and cooling ocean influence are ideal for producing elegant pinot noir.
According to Oakdene’s Steven Paul, you can distinguish a Geelong pinot from other parts of Australia by its “firm tannin structure and distinctly earthy bouquet”. It is this precise anatomy that makes for complex, long-lived styles.
The different subregions of Geelong – stretching from the windswept vineyards of the Surf Coast to the dry volcanic plains of the Moorabool Valley – also express individual traits. The Bellarine Peninsula sits somewhere between these areas and, on the whole, is home to more moderate conditions. “Our Bellarine Peninsula vineyards are naturally low-yielding, which produces intensely flavoured fruit and balanced wines with unique regional character,” Steven says.
Oakdene produces its wines without yeast or fining, resulting in beautifully pure pinot noir that tastes of its place. There are two labels in the range – the single vineyard Peta’s Pinot Noir, which is from the estate’s original planting and made for ageing, and the Bellarine Peninsula Pinot Noir, which is an excellent introduction to the Geelong style.