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Paringa Celebrates Thirty Vintages

16th November 2017

Gourmet Traveller WINE Oct / Nov 2017 Issue 

A pioneering spirit and good instincts led to Paringa

Estate being established on the Mornington Peninsula.

Now it produces some of the best wines in the country

 

PARINGA ESTATE CELEBRATES THIRTY VINTAGES

With winemaker Lindsay McCall celebrating

his 30th vintage in 2017, the corks are

popping at Paringa Estate. As part of the

celebrations, Paringa Estate chef has collaborated

with TeageEzard of Ezard to cook two memorable

dinners matched with rare back vintages

and stunning current releases. The dinners were 

held at Ezard in Melbourne on

16 November and at Paringa Estate on

17 November. Make a booking and come

and celebrate with them.

 

THE AWARDS KEEP COMING

With dozens of trophies adorning the

display cabinets at the cellar door, a hatted

restaurant, and two wines in the Langton’s

Classification, Paringa Estate has certainly

come of age.

Lindsay received his first gong a few

decades ago at the Yarra Valley Wine show, where he was awarded gold for his 1990 shiraz. Many awards have followed. In 2007, the geography teacher with no formal

training in wine was awarded the inaugural Best Winery in Australia in the James Halliday Austrlaian Wine Companion. In

Lindsay’s words, it was like being chosen

to captain the Australian cricket team.

In recent years, however, it’s the

Provenance trophies that have been the

most significant for him. The Estate Pinot

Noir was awarded Trophy at The National

Wine Show of Australia in Canberra in

2014. At the 2015 Mornington Peninsula

Wine Show, the Estate Chardonnay was

awared the Chardonnay Provenance

Trophy, and in 2016 the Estate Pinot Noir

won the Pinot Noir Provenance Trophy.

 

THE RESTAURANT’S NEW LOOK

There have been many changes since 1999

when the restaurant first opened, but the

renovations last year have added a touch

of glamour. Once loved for its rustic

charm, the Paringa restaurant now has a

sleek new look. A striking façade, topped

with a statement sign, makes for a sophisticated

exterior. Once inside the weighty

door, the mood is warm and intimate.

New banquettes and floor coverings give

a luxurious feel. Diners can look out over

the vineyard, or down into the winery.

In a region known for fine dining, Paringa

is at the pinnacle.

Head chef Julian Hills arrived in 2013.

His genius and vision have resulted in the

restaurant being awarded a Chef’s Hat in

The Age Good Food Guide every year since

then, and “Best Restaurant in a Winery”

in Australia at the Savour awards in 2014.

The menu is a celebration of locally

sourced, seasonal produce. Julian works

with whole fish and beasts, rather than

individual cuts, thus reducing waste. The

beef is sourced mainly from Gippsland;

the pork from the Western Plains; and

the majority of the seafood is Victorian,

too. Vegetables and herbs are sourced

from the Paringa garden and other local

farms. Foraging also plays a major role in

Julian’s culinary style. The paddocks,

woodlands and shores of the Peninsula are

a rich source of wild ingredients, such as

mushrooms, sea herbs and other native

flora. He can often be seen early in the

morning, basket and knife in hand,

gathering the different seasonal delicacies.

 

HUMBLE BEGINNINGS

Having a ‘wine epiphany’ has become

something of a cliché. However, for

Lindsay it led to the creation of one of the

finest wineries in Australia. The wine was

a 1980 Seville Estate Shiraz. Until that

moment, he hadn’t realised that Victoria

could produce a wine of such calibre.

In 1984, he bought a derelict north-facing

orchard and began clearing it. In 1985 he

began planting the ten-acre property with

vines. He sought advice on planting shiraz

in the region, but was told by a local

vigneron that it wouldn’t ripen in the cool

maritime climate of the Peninsula.

Not to be deterred, he planted it in the

warmest spot. Numerous trophies later

and a Langton’s Classification, his hunch

has struck gold.

 

A SPECIAL PLACE

The Paringa Estate vineyard, in the cool

climate subregion of Red Hill, is a very

special site. North-facing, on 10 acres of

unirrigated rich red volcanic soil, it’s at an

elevation of 140 metres. It curls around the

slope like an amphitheatre, protected from

cold south and south-westerly winds.

 

THE NEXT THIRTY YEARS

In 2015 Lindsay bought the seven-acre

property next door. He has already planted

some Abel clone pinot noir, and plans to

put in some chardonnay soon. The extra

space will also allow him to expand the

infrastructure of the winery. Son Jamie

McCall joined the winemaking team in

2012 after completing winemaking and

viticulture at the University of Adelaide,

Waite Campus. He was put in charge of

winemaking at the end of last year. The

next generation of Paringa has begun.

Gourmet Traveller Oct/NOV 2017  issue