Mornington Peninsula is a cool climate wine Region about 1 hour South West of Melbourne. The region has a variety of sub-regions and soils. From Volcanic, to Sand & Brown Allivial. While largely known for Pinot (All of them, Noir, Grigio, Gris, Munier etc…) Notable producers in the Region include Quealy, Kerri Greens and Avani (Amrit). Quealy have extra history as the first planters of Pinot Grigio in Australia, and combine an excellent range off natural and commercial techniques to create some of the region’s most interesting wines.
Quealy’s Friulano cuttings came from the vineyard of Denis Pasut in Mildura. His planting material was the original Allan Antcliff collection at Merebin which famously was removed for a parking lot. Denis knew the variety from his Slovenia homeland and planted a few rows. At the time of us meeting Denis, we knew of no other Friulano, and interestingly new clones are yet to be imported into Australia. Kevin Mc learnt about Friulano from his travels and vintages in Friuli and the reverence local winemakers attend this variety. Friulano produces a big bunch of big berries with a thick, waxy skin. This attribute requires strategic bud selection, shoot selection in Spring and Summer as well as careful fruit selection of wholesome berries and bunches at harvest. Friulano ripens late in Autumn, and as the leaves fall away, the fruit is entirely exposed to the cool sunshine. The bunches, ever so slightly, dehydrate, becoming lighter and looser as they hang, darkening to a copper gold, becoming perfect for skin contact wine.