The Mornington Peninsula is a sub-region of Victoria State (southeast of Melbourne) that, in recent years, has been identified as the best area in Australia for cultivating classic Burgundian varietals (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir). Situated on a long stretch of land embraced by three bodies of water – southeast of Melbourne — the Peninsula is graced with winds from Melbourne’s Port Phillip Bay and Bass Strait which provide a very cooling effect on viticulture.
Paringa Estate Winery was established by owner and winemaker Lindsay McCall (formerly a school teacher!) in 1985. Situated on the Mornington Peninsula in beautiful Red Hill, Victoria, this winery’s vines stretch across 10 acres (4 hectares). It is most famous for producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, while also creating one of the country’s top-rated cool climate Shiraz (Syrah) wines. On our visit to the winery, we had an opportunity to do a wine tasting with the property manager, joined, just after we began, by the winery’s winemaker and founder, Lindsay McCall.
McCall and Paringa Estate Winery’s first award was at the Yarra Valley wine show where he took out gold for his 1990 Shiraz (Syrah). Over the following years, numerous awards followed. In 2007, the teacher who had no formal training in wine was awarded the Best Winery in Australia in the James Halliday Wine Companion. McCall likens it to being chosen as captain of the Australian cricket team! We thoroughly enjoyed his highly rated and excellent wines and bought a number of them for our “cellar” on the ship. The Paringa Estate Chardonnay proved to be an excellent match with local Tasmanian lobster at dinner!