Discovering the wine region of Port Phillip
Port Phillip is a qualitatively significant wine-producing zone in the Australian state of Victoria. Named for the bay it surrounds, it benefits both from its location near the state capital Melbourne and the high quality of its Terroir, which produces some of Australia's most important wines, Particularly in the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula GIs (Geographical Indications).
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are among the most important grape varieties made here with Australia's favorite grape variety Shiraz also figuring in the inventory.
Like most large-scale wine zones, there is considerable variation in both topography and Climate throughout Port Phillip.
Overall, the zone can be classed as cool climate, mostly thanks to the close proximity to the Bass Strait that separates Tasmania from the mainland. Cool winds help to extend the growing season here, offering some respite from high sunshine hours and maintaining levels of Acidity in the grapes. Port Phillip Bay itself also provides this service.
Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula are Port Phillip's most significant regions, but the lesser-known Sunbury, Macedon Ranges and Geelong GIs also fall under the catchment of the zone.
There are more than 200 wineries within these five regions, most of which are small, boutique operations showcasing their produce through the Cellar doors which have become an intrinsic part of the Australian wine culture. Port Phillip's main legacy is one of quality, not quantity.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay dominate the conversation in Port Phillip; these Burgundy classics are responsible for some of the zone's most sought-after wines. Shiraz is important as well and takes on a very different flavor profile in the cool climate, that being more inclined toward spice than rich fruit.