Garry Crittenden has always had a great passion for wine and during the 1980s he was able to swap a career in horticulture for winemaking. Garry was a pioneer of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula and his family’s land in the foothills benefits from the region’s maritime climate.
During the 1990s, Garry further enhanced the Peninsula through his introduction of Italian varieties, which have gone on to become a mainstay in the local restaurants and homes, not only in the region, but also throughout Australia.
Garry is today joined by his family in tending the vineyard with his son Rollo in charge of winemaking and his daughter Zoe taking care of the marketing. Expanding their international range of grapes, the brother and sister team have introduced Spanish varieties under the “Los Hermanos” label, which means ‘siblings’.
What new wines is Crittenden producing?
We recently launched a new label called ‘Oggi’, the Italian word for ‘today’. It’s an experimental label that will see a unique wine released every year. The 2012, our first vintage, was a blend of Friulano, Savagnin and Arneis that was made like a dry red wine in that it was fermented on skins. The range also includes a Savagnin made in the Jura style, a Vermentino and a Verdejo. Given our love of experimenting, it’s been very exciting to create these new wines.
What is your favourite wine, both to make and to drink?
Despite the enjoyment we get out of working with alternative varieties and blends, our hearts lie with the traditional varieties that thrive in Mornington Peninsula – Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Although Pinot is a challenge, it’s worth it for the satisfaction of the finished product and we currently have five different Pinot labels. Every wine is unique thanks to the different clones and the Peninsula’s myriad sub-regions. Sunday meals with the family often feature a Pinot Noir from Burgundy or the latest release of the Zumma Pinot Noir – a particularly great wine!
Did you know...
When Garry planted his first five acres vineyard in Dromana in 1982, the actually doubled the number of plantings on the Peninsula. Today the region’s vineyards cover more than 1,915 acres.