Quealy: A vintage tale

7th April 2017

Vintage is believing.

She claims she transmutes to a bunch of grapes, whose heart beats with anxiety, sensitive to visits of the caterpillar, rain, damp mornings, sweltering afternoons, yearning for sunshine.

We all endure the precipice of ripening grapes; before that moment of decline, balancing pressing logistical conundrums and BOM. (Bureau of Meteorology.)

Our freshly refurbished winery, awash with new hoses, pumps, and fittings, creates a workspace that offers what winemakers crave most during vintage – convenience.

Convenience makes their dreams come true faster. Quick reactions, speed of thought and equipment on hand can lift a wine from the death throes of a lazy ferment to a young, winsome wine, replenished by oxygen, exuding perfume.

As the beating heart of the bunch washes down the concrete floor, maréchal Lucas Blanck and sous-lieutenant Alex Buller, with their new New Holland tractor, carefully marshal our intercontinental troop of pickers as they round up the remaining fruit.

Mushrooms in May

We dispatched our first envoy for the annual Australia Day tasting this January, hitting the London scene at an opportune moment.

Even as I left pre-Brexit Blighty in 2015, Aussie wine was struggling under the weight of a ‘big alcohol’ or ‘big oak’ label around its neck and had settled to the supermarket seabed, the reserve of increasingly inventive discounts or promotions.

Australia’s new wave of cool climate, diverse varietal, whole-bunch and skin contact wines have breathed life into this sector. Us Poms have even started to buy at the premium end. The tide has well and truly turned.

Sarah Ahmed, the highly respected UK wine writer and staunch Aussie advocate, celebrated the ‘innovation and irreverence’ on show at this year’s tasting.

The gentle effervescence of Secco Splendido Metodo Ancestrale seemingly went straight to tasters’ heads, a corral surrounding our stand all afternoon. Alternative varieties and production methods were a source of fascination with a bevy of buyers and sommeliers looking for that spark of imagination or re-calibration of traditional styles to exhilarate their kinetic, wine-literate customers.

A date for your diary
Mushrooms in May — Saturday 20th May
12 – 4pm

Slippery jacks and saffron caps foraged by us /
Lunch by Burn City Smokers /
Vibes by our very cool neighbour’s band /
All under the winery roof .

These are the fruits of a wild fungi network foraged from the warm, damp pine needle beds of late autumn.
It’s a rare and seasonal pleasure to eat and drink with Mornington Peninsula Pinot.

Enquiries and bookings welcome to

Our winery Cellar Door is open daily from 9 to 5
offering decorative edibles to complement tastings every Friday through Sunday after midday.

If you would like to be part of Mushrooms in May, please RSVP to with a mobile number and the number of people for your booking. If you wish to know more please email or ring the office on (03) 5983 2483.

Quealy Cellar Door is open every day.  In May, visit us to glean top tips for local foraging and pick up a Pinot for your hunters supper.Louise Lechte, our Friday to Sunday chatelaine, presents a complimentary spiced mushroom shot for tasters and hunters after midday.