Dec 2016

Local Whites for Summer

Now that summer has thankfully arrived, we can all look forward to warmer days ahead…As clichéd as it sounds, a cool, crisp glass of a local aromatic white wine carries a certain appeal when you’re out enjoying the sun. Not only does our local wine region produce a rich array of traditional red grape varieties, but there’s also some truly outstanding white wine varieties that grow rather well down our way too. So, if you’re in the mood to feel the tingle of a super crisp Riesling, the fresh cut of a zesty Sauvignon Blanc, or maybe the rich textural poise of Pinot Gris, then maybe it’s time to (re)discover our unique cool climate aromatic white wines. Here’s what you can expect from the varieties;


This grape is renowned for its pure, steely citrus aromatics alongside floral/blossom and talc notes – common descriptors seen on the bouquet with fresh mineral zest and lime/lemon tangy acidity on the palate and our region tends to produce wines with these varietal traits yet they can be more subtle and restrained in character. Overall, the wines are well structured with good flavour profiles and presence and show just how well this variety can do in this region. The latest 2016 Riesling release from Leura Park has wowed many with its amazing fragrance and floral aromatics, reminiscent of the styles from Alsace in France. So far it has won a Gold Medal at The Canberra Riesling Challenge 2016 and at 2016 The Victorian Wine Show, which speaks volumes for the quality and class of this wine.

2016 Leura Park Riesling $24

Pinot Gris

Pinot Gris is the French term for the grape, which is predominantly produced in the Alsace region in France. This style is more textural, richer, and fuller with exotic fruit aromas and flavours of pear, honey and lychee on the nose and palate. Some producers also name it Pinot Grigio – the Italian name for it, and the style can have a similar fruit profile, yet they’re usually more restrained, with a distinct mineral/woolly character and can be quite dry and savoury on the finish. Expect to see the tell tale varietal pear and lychee aromatics, so too the rich and alluring textural honey nuance and subtle spice complexity in many of the local examples. Lethbridge Wines from the Moorabool Valley produce a fantastic range of high quality wines, and the 2015 Lethbridge Pinot Gris is rich, delicate and textural with a fine varietal flavour profile and complexity…delicious.

2015 Lethbridge Pinot Gris $30

Sauvignon Blanc

Another very popular variety here in the Greater Geelong region but don’t expect the kind of super pungency of the New Zealand style as our Sauvignon Blanc’s tend to be more elegant and restrained in style yet still show some crunch and punch in the tropical fruit department with fresh, lively vibrancy that is typically representative of the variety. Expect flavours of gooseberry, passionfruit, with a pronounced grassy/herbaceous character yet overall the flavours are subtle and rounded on the finish. Bannockburn Vineyards out in the Moorabool Valley have long produced world class wines, helping put Geelong as a wine region back on the wine map and their 2015 Sauvignon Blanc is a French styled sauvignon that is quite dry, with mineral and savoury citrus aromatics, coupled alongside a textural barrel fermented mid palate that is elegant and very fine on the finish.

2015 Bannockburn Sauvignon Blanc $30

Jon Helmer.