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Lindsay and Margaret McCall began their incredible journey in 1984 with the purchase of a derelict orchard on Paringa Road at Red Hill Mornington
In the search for a new vineyard property, their requirements included a north facing slope, a permanent running creek and adequate wind protection. The shade thrown by the enormous 60 year old pine trees that surrounded the property proved to be a negative, but when the trees were removed it revealed the stunning views that are now such a recognisable feature of Paringa Estate. The first vines were planted in 1985 and by 1990 the 10 acres (4.2 hectares) were fully planted.
The early success of Paringa Estate wines was a testimony to founder Lindsay McCallâ€™s passion and intuitive feel. Lindsay managed the ten acre vineyard and made wine, while maintaining a full time teaching job. First vintage in was in 1988 processing a mere three tonnes of fruit. With no previous winemaking experience, it involved a very steep learning curve. The 2000 vintage was made up of 32 tonnes of Estate grown fruit and 46 tonnes of purchased fruit from a number of local growers.
After a redevelopment of the winemaking operations allowing production to expand to much higher levels, the total crush in 2005 was 155 tonnes, with the majority of fruit coming from two leased/ managed vineyards in Callananâ€™s Road and Paringa Road. The estate's ten acre home vineyard is set to a distinctly unique Lyre or â€śUâ€ť trellis system using an elaborate steel frame assembly, and is now producing some of the Mornington Peninsula's best quality fruit.
In the first few years the young vines displayed serious vigour problems caused by the fertile basalt clay soils of the Red Hill region. Several trellis methods were trialled with the Lyre system being most effective at allowing a bigger vine to develop and assisting the vine to find its own natural balance. The divided canopy helps open the vine foliage up allowing better airflow and light penetration to both the leaves and fruit, assisting the ripening bunches to develop good colour and varietal flavours.
The current winery and restaurant building was constructed in 1998 on the same site as the original smaller winery shed. The winery is made up of a barrel room built partly below ground level and with the restaurant on the second floor level above. This natural insulation ensures a cool stable temperature needed for barrel maturation. Double storey height allows very tall, narrow 10,000 and 15,000 litre storage tanks, and maximises the remaining floor space that is used to house the temporary 2 and 3 tonne open stainless steel fermenters used during vintage.
"Throughout Australia and New Zealand there are special winemakers who have received a level of respect that gives them iconic status above their peers. After producing a succession of consistently superb wines over a number vintages, Paringa Estateâ€™s Lindsay McCall has more than earned iconic status!" -Winestate
â€śWinemaker Lindsay McCall has shown an absolutely exceptional gift for winemaking across a range of styles, but with immensely complex Pinot Noir and Shiraz leading the way. The wines have an unmatched level of success in the wine shows and competitions Paringa Estate is able to enter, the limitation being the relatively small size of the production!" -James Halliday
"Lindsay McCall has made the top wine in the strongly contested Pinot Noir class of the Winewise Small Vignerons Award four years in a row. Each wine received an outstanding rating. If thatâ€™s not enough to convince you that he is one of Australiaâ€™s finest hands with Pinot Noir nothing will!" -Winewise
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