Coast to Coast

Image source: IN Noosa Magazine

Ever heard of the Cradle Coast as Australia’s newest wine region? Thanks to an upcoming wine lunch, Tony Cox has discovered the beauty of this emerging region – and you can too!

Ghost Rock Wines is teaming up with the Peregian Beach Hotel for a wine lunch showcasing wines from what winemaker Justin Arnold states is Australia’s newest wine region, the Cradle Coast.

Now your scribe is from an era where if it wasn’t in World Book Encyclopedia then it didn’t exist so what better way to find out Ghost Rock’s story than to pick up the phone and go direct to the source.

Ghost Rock is 100% Estate-grown fruit and Estate-bottled and sits east of Devonport near Port Sorell. With the oldest plantings approaching 20 years of age the Arnold family are developing greater knowledge of their vineyard which is situated four kilometres from Bass Strait. This acts as a moderating influence providing cooling breezes in summer and more stable temperature influences through winter. The cooling breezes in summer help maintain the acidity in the grapes and ensure the growing season is long, further assisting flavour development.

The winery produces three ranges: Supernatural; Ghost Rock Range; and the Single Vineyard Series.

The Supernatural range, sourced from younger vines on the estate, is more than a nod to the natural wine movement. Think low sulphur, wild ferments, small batch production, no filtering and no fining. What you get is a range of eminently drinkable wines at great prices. Think fruit-driven and unadulterated Pinot Noir; a Pet Nat to get the hipsters excited (beards and tattoos all welcome); the Supernatural Summer Skins blend where skin-contact Riesling and Pinot Gris blend with a Pinot Gris/Pinot Noir co-fermentation that has been matured in “bad-ass old oak” to provide an added textural element. Finally, the Supernatural Pinot X is a white Pinot Noir which is described as a ‘sort of reverse orange wine’.

The Ghost Rock range is more mainstream in the winemaking approach, think older vines, classic varietals with Pinot Noir at the forefront complemented by Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Riesling and Pinot Gris. Throw in two sparklings, Zoe Brut Rosé being Pinot Noir dominant and more powerful; and the Chardonnay-dominant Catherine Cuvee with more precision and a focused acid line, and you have fantastic drops.

Justin’s intimate knowledge of the vineyard has seen the emergence of the Single Vineyard Series where individual sections of the vineyard are kept separate to showcase the unique site-specific characters.

The Oulton Vineyard Pinot Noir is the lowest section of the vineyard and is more protected from the cooling breezes and is more powerful. In contrast, the Bonadale Vineyard Pinot Noir is the most elevated and exposed section of the vineyard providing a slightly finer wine with a more prevalent acid line. The Oulton Vineyard also produced a Chardonnay in 2019, which runs a fine balance between power and finesse.

Speaking to Justin got my mouth salivating to enjoy some of his wines from across the range at the upcoming wine lunch at Peregian Beach Hotel, where he and his wife Alicia, will be in attendance to discuss the wines in finer detail. He did let slip that Pinot Noir drinkers will be well catered to. From what I’ve tasted, the wines will pair perfectly with the fresh Asian-fusion flavours of Peregian Beach Hotel’s Head Chef Matt Holt.

The synergies between Ghost Rock and Peregian Beach Hotel both being independent and family-owned in a world full of franchises and multinationals should make for an authentic and entertaining afternoon of fine wine, good service and great
food with a distinctly coastal flavour.

About the Author /

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After 25 years of sniffing, swirling, spitting and slurping various vinous temptations our wine writer has decided that his future lies firmly planted on the consumption and storytelling side. Tony not only still enjoys consulting about wine and other beverages but is now part of the successful Kate Cox Real Estate Team at Reed & Co. Estate Agents.

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