On the northern end of the Mornington Peninsula, just 50 minutes from Melbourne, you’ll find Yabby Lake Vineyard. Since the vines were first planted in 1998, the winery has gone from strength to strength.
The Kirby family, owners of this special site, searched long and hard for the perfect spot on the Peninsula, eventually finding the ideal parcel of land in Tuerong.
The same viticultural team has meticulously nurtured each vine, each row and each individual block from the beginning (nearly 20 years), gaining an intimate knowledge of the site. Vineyard Manager, Martin Sampson, and Winemaker, Tom Carson believe that it is the attention and care in the vineyard that is most critical to allowing the purity and expression of the wines. Together they are dedicated to exploring the subtle nuances of the site and allowing the vineyard to reach its full potential.
Winemaker, Tom Carson, discovered his passion for pinot noir early in his career, working with the first two vintages of Lenswood Vineyards Pinot Noir in the Clare Valley in the early 1990s. His time as assistant to James Halliday at Coldstream Hills, as well as a number of vintages in Burgundy, home of the pinot grape, added to his experiences. This was followed by a highly awarded 12-year stint at the helm at Yering Station in the Yarra Valley.
It is therefore no surprise that Tom joined Yabby Lake in 2008, with a shared focus on the pursuit of great pinot noir. The single vineyard and single block release pinot noir has become well known throughout Australia for its great depth of character and exceptionally fine structure. It’s the perfect match for any duck or game dish, but it’s hard to go past the Aylesbury confit duck leg, a firm favourite at the on-site restaurant, created by Head Chef, Simon West.
If you’re more of white wine fan you’ll be more than thrilled with Yabby Lake’s single vineyard chardonnay. There are also small plantings of pinot gris and shiraz.
During February and March the vineyard is in full swing for harvest. Each parcel is hand-picked and handled separately as Tom identifies the distinct characteristics and personality of each individual block. It is this attention to detail that resulted in Yabby Lake’s most distinguished wine. The Block 1 Pinot Noir from the 2012 vintage was awarded the Jimmy Watson Memorial Trophy, Australia’s most prestigious wine trophy. It was the first pinot noir to win the award after 52 years.
The best way to discover the full range of wines at Yabby Lake is to pay a visit to their Cellar Door, open seven days a week. While you’re there stop in for a spot of lunch. In winter take a seat in front of the roaring fire while in summer you can linger on the deck or under the gumtrees feasting upon big bowls of local greens, salumi or plates of local cheeses.
There’s a reason Yabby Lake Vineyard has produced some of Australia’s favourite wines. Discover for yourself why this little vineyard has made waves along the Peninsula.