Off the Beaten Vineyard (4 Uncommon Varietals Produced at Melbourne Wineries)

As Melbournians, we love our wine, and nothing beats a medium–full-bodied shiraz or crisp sauvignon blanc. But sometimes it pays to step off the beaten track (or vineyard, in this case) and venture into a lesser-known world where other varietals dwell. Melbourne is home to some fantastic and lesser-known wines, but, before you hire a private coach and begin your wine tasting venture, we’re going to give you a head start and highlight four curious varietals across Melbourne. Let’s begin with a well-known vineyard.

1.     De Bortoli — Yarra Valley Single Vineyard Section D4 Nebbiolo

De Bortoli has a rich history in Australia and has produced some top-tier wines — most notably their Noble One dessert wine range. But they also produce a number of other high-quality wines and, nestled amongst their most revered single vineyard range, is the Section D4 Nebbiolo. The Nebbiolo grape originates from Northern Italy, particularly (and exclusively) in the Piedmont region.

Nebbiolo typically appears light like pinot noirs but features a tannic-heavy, full-bodied flavour profile. This is represented in De Bortoli’s Single Vineyard D4 Nebbiolo which is said to have a “Fine, plump palate of pepper, spice and smokey, textural, grainy tannins.”. Nebbiolo is not a wine you often see on a wine list and yet, the grapes are typically used in Barolo and Barbaresco varietals — which are considered to be quite high-end wines.

2.     Levantine Hill — 2019 Estate Sémillon

If you’re looking for a white varietal that is truly unique then you should chat to our private coach hire specialists about taking a trip to Levantine Hill in the Yarra Valley. Levantine Hill is home to a white wine that is 100% sémillon. This is impressive as the sémillon grape, whilst being the third most grown white grape in France, is often used for blending and rarely gets to occupy its own bottle.

Levantine Hill’s 2019 Estate Sémillon is a unique opportunity to explore this zesty varietal in its purest glory. Whilst the grape can be compared to a sav blanc or pinot grigio, this particular varietal is said to feature “Meyer lemon; nashi pear, and olive brine flavours” and is aged and fermented in 100% French oak.

3.     Mitchelton — 2020 Single Vineyard Roussanne

We understand that sometimes a trip beyond the regular locales is preferred and that’s why our next pick goes a bit further out of Melbourne to a truly escapist vineyard, Mitchelton. Mitchelton is home to breathtaking vineyards, an art gallery, architecturally stunning accommodation and, of course, great wine. 

We want to talk about their 2020 Single Vineyard Roussanne, which is an affordable and flavour-rich white that boasts a yellow peach, melon and nashi pear palate. Roussanne grapes are typically on the drier side with little tannin (as is common of whites) and medium acidity. Mitchelton’s varietal promises to be powerful and flavoursome and is a must-try for all fruity white lovers.

4.     Montalto — Tucks Savagnin 2019

We know what you’re thinking — “they’ve made a spelling mistake”. We assure you, we did not. Savagnin is its own type of white wine that is said to have been planted in France for over 900 years. Contrary to its late ripening habits, it is still able to produce dry whites with good acidity. Montalto’s Tucks varietal is actually a curious one as the winery thought they were planting albariño grapes (which is a highly acidic white grape native to Spain and Portugal). Through what appears to have been a clerical error — the wrong grapes were imported into Australia. 

The error was not discovered until after the grapes had been planted, however, so the initial planting was performed with albariño grapes in mind. Though Savagnin is native to France and, most notably, considered the signature grape in the country’s eastern department, Jura, Montalto identified that the origins of their Savagnin grapes are from Spanish cuttings and promise a “Red Hill” style white. The curious origins behind this particular varietal are reason enough to hire a private coach to take yourself and some friends down the Mornington Peninsula.

Are you looking to hire a private coach for a winery tour?

You could spend weeks or months, even, just exploring the Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula and other regional winery wonders in Melbourne. We know these getaways can become tiresome, though, which is why Melbourne on the Move’sprofessional private coach hire service is ready to simplify your travel plans and get you where you need to go in comfort and style.

If you would like to enquire about our services, then please give us a call on 1300 55 86 86 or fill out our online contact form so we may get back to you as soon as possible.