Where: Mornington Peninsula
What: Fancy your Pinot Grigio? Then you’ve got Kathleen Quealy to thank. She’s this country’s Queen of Pinot Grigio and has pioneered the variety here since the 1990s. But never one to sit still, she’s forever pushing the boundaries to create stunning wines of impeccable quality.
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There are few winemakers who could get away with naming a wine after their favourite chicken, but Kathleen Quealy has done just that. Her new Pinot Grigio label is eponymously named Fionula, after her fetching black Australorp hen.
It’s this quirky, exciting, boundary-pushing nature of Kathleen’s that has helped make her one of Australia’s most highly regarded winemakers. But that doesn’t mean you’ll find her hobnobbing it with the uber elite. She’s far more at home on her vineyard in Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, surrounded by her devoted team and her beloved chooks and dogs.
Innovation and quality is what Quealy Wines is famous for, and a focus on Italian varieties. Whether that be pioneering Pinot Grigio in Australia (who’d have thunk we’d like that Italian stuff, huh?) or mixing various Italian-style grape types together to produce new and fabulous blends like her gloriously named Pobblebonk, (is that not the best name for a wine in the history of the universe!?!) Kathleen never rests on her laurels and is forever on a quest to create new and interesting wines. Wines which are always of the most impeccable quality and speak of the vineyard they come from.
Kathleen has achieved all her winemaking and business success while raising five (yes, 5!) children and also co-running the nearby Merricks General Store (which she recently sold). If she wasn’t amazing enough already, this just about tips her into the stratosphere.
But, back to Pinot Grigio for just a moment. Yes, it’s true. Kathleen and her husband Kevin McCarthy were the ones who saw the potential for Pinot Grigio in Australia, and have introduced countless wine lovers to the variety. So on behalf of fabulous wine loving women everywhere, allow me bow down before Kathleen and offer her our eternal gratitude!
Okay, now the other important stuff. While Kathleen’s own label, Quealy Wines, has been going since 2004, it’s only this year that they’ve opened a Cellar Door, located on their famous Balnarring Vineyard. It’s a gorgeous, rustic shed adjacent to the fully functioning winery. Just being there makes you feel like you’re part of what’s going into the bottle, as everything continues to push on around you.
Don’t let the humble surroundings fool you though. Quealy Wines are contemporary, exciting and cutting-edge. Kathleens continual experimentation means you can often pick up small batch concoctions from the cellar door, along with the usual fabulous wine they produce under their Quealy and Balnarring labels.
A visit to the Quealy Cellar Door is a must do on your next trip to the Mornington Peninsula. They’re open every day from 10am – 5pm and winery tours are also available on prior request.
62 Bittern-Dromana Road, Balnarring
(03) 5983 2483
Try Quealy Wines in the online wine club!
Quealy Wines is our winery of the month for November 2014 in the online wine club!
This is your chance to try two of our favourites from their range – the exquisite Pinot Grigio 2014 & the edgy Nebbiolo 2011– all with FREE delivery anywhere in Australia!
Interested? Then go ahead and…
Decided already that these are for you? Then don’t delay!