Italian native Carlo Monichino was the first immigrant to hold an Australian vigneron’s license after World War II. He first brought wine to the small town of Katunga in 1962, but these days his son Terry and daughter Anna Sergi run the 25-hectare estate, with a focus on wild yeasts, whole-bunch fermentation, and minimal use of preservatives.
The family is all about boosting their grapes’ natural intensity, which is achieved through heavy pruning and light supplementary watering. And rather than stick to a handful of styles, Monichino produces more than two dozen varieties. Pinot grigio, sauvignon blanc and a single-vineyard chardonnay comprise some of the white grapes, while Shiraz, merlot, a single-vineyard Durif, and a traditional Italian Barbera bolster the reds.
On the sweeter side of things, you’ll find a strawberry-kissed rosé and a low-alcohol Moscato Bianco. Fortified styles are well represented thanks to a muscat, tawny port, and the lesser known aromatica, which is derived from a traditional recipe from Carlo’s hometown of Casale, Italy.
All those wines come out to play at the comprehensive cellar door, where you’re invited to bring a picnic along and take in the scenic vineyard while you taste. With a half-century history in the region, Monichino Wines remains a perennial fixture.
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