Our Winemaker for a day tour began with an exclusive visit to the Myer family property, Elgee Park, home to the region's first vineyard and private sculpture collection. We met Baillieu Myer AC outside his vineyard where we also spotted the Santa Gertrudis cattle that graze at Elgee Park.
We then drove to Somers to join winemaker David Chapman for a regional picnic and tasting. David's Allies wines are made from two Pinot Noir vineyards, one in Tuerong the other in the hills of Merricks. The 2013 Assemblage is about the best priced Pinot Noir going around. With the 2013 vintage now sold-out, David ran a top-notch tasting, explaining the very distinctive terroirs that give his wines their character.
We then visited Stonier where we enjoyed a tasting and private audience with legendary wineman, pioneer and founder, Brian Stonier AO and his wife Noel. They were keen to meet Anne Clarke as she is friends with Stonier's Hong Kong distributor, Annie Stonier-Watson.
Onward to Willow Creek Vineyard and a private tutored tasting with Geraldine McFaul who makes the Willow Creek and Elgee Park wines. The place was bubbling with fermenting wines- in open fermenters and barrels.
Having worked in the Mornington Peninsula for almost twenty years, Chardonnay and Pinot are like putty in Geraldine's hands. She guided us through a tasting showing how to plunge wine in vats before rolling up the trousers for pigeage in the Pinot Noir; an experience few will forget.
George Greenough’s cinematic classic, The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun is all about the unbridled joy of surfing perfect waves. Squishing grapes between your toes is about the closest you'll get to this feeling on land. Any film about wine and fun should feature the bliss and harmony of stomping rich, fragrant Pinot Noir on a Plunge Tour.