Onannon 2022 Single Vineyard Release

Capturing the Sub-Regional Differences in Mornington

Few know the Mornington Peninsula like Will Byron does. After a long stint as winemaker at Stonier and being somewhat of a local legend, he’s been able to get access to some incredible sites across the region – and his hands on some special fruit. Known for its world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Mornington Peninsula is the perfect playground for Will to do what he does best.

Here, texture is the holy grail with the cool climate fruit allowing Will and his experience to find the optimum balance between tannin, texture, and acidity in each site – with each wine carrying plenty of flavour and shape but at the same time are thirst-quenching and moreish. This year, Will really got to let his hair down as he focussed on Onannon full-time, and we get to experience a full range of Mornington expressions from high-octane Chardonnay from a site in Tuerong and a 100% whole-bunch Red Hill Pinot Noir from Harrison’s Road where the boys started this journey more than a decade ago.  

“I source from 18 vineyards now in total, some of them tiny and some of them larger… and the whole idea of the single vineyard wines was to capture a couple that seemed to constantly perform really well,” said Will Byron during a Team CellarHand visit to the Mornington last week. “The Flinders is only two barrels – it’s more to capture a little expression of that unique place – and to showcase what the Peninsula has to offer.”

“What a lot of people don’t realise about the Peninsula is that it’s very sub-regional. The difference between the Tuerong Chardonnay and the Main Ridge – it could be different regions. It’s completely different aspects, different bodies of water that have a huge influence on it as well.”

The Onannon 2022 Single Vineyard Release captures these sub-regional differences in 4 distinctive vineyards: ‘Tudibaring’ in Main Ridge, ‘Robinson’ in Tuerong, ‘The Orchard’ in Flinders, and ‘Harrisons Road’ in Red Hill. Due to the small quantities coming out of these vineyards, the stock will be limited, and any order requests remain subject to confirmation.


2022 Tuerong ‘Robinson’ Chardonnay RRP $68

A collaboration of three likely lads, Sam Middleton, Kaspar Hermann and Will Byron. There’s more definition and detail in the ‘22s, perhaps due to Will coming onboard full time to oversee this excellent enterprise. Fruit off the 35-year-old Robinson vineyard, hand picked and pressed to barrel, 30% new French oak plus a portion to 1000L stainless steel eggs; 50% undergoes mlf. Expect stone fruit and invigorating lemon flavours, lots of blossom and ginger spice, flint, and the funky sulphides entice immensely. The fuller-bodied palate gives way to creamed honey and lemon curd with the oak neatly integrated adding shape and spicy flavours, too. This turns out moreish and savoury. Another glass please. 95 points. Jane Faulkner, Wine Companion

Plenty of struck match, ginger snap biscuits, cardamom, curry leaf, aniseed, so much spice, pink grapefruit and stonefruit, lots of flinty texture, a buttery white mint chocolate richness, and a very long grippy finish. This is so complex and engaging. Caramel with citrus bite. So lovely. 95 points. Gary Walsh, Wine Front 

2022 Main Ridge ‘Tudibaring’ Chardonnay RRP $68

Owner Gary McGibbon and family planted 16 acres to both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir on an incredible wild site looking out across the ocean around 10 years ago. 95 clone. Pressed straight to older puncheons and one new barrique, final blend was 10 months in new oak. 100 MLF. Left on gross lees without sulphur until just prior to bottling. Three barrels produced. This is so complex and engaging. – Will Byron, Onannon

2022 Flinders ‘The Orchard’ Chardonnay RRP $68

Onannon produced an impressive range of single-vineyard chardonnays in ‘22 and this, well, is stunning. Fruit is pressed to barrel and left on full solids with 100% mlf; aged nine months in used oak and unsulphured until bottling. The result is a moreish, tight and linear drink, yet layers of flavour within taking in lots of seductive sulphides, lemon and ginger cream, super-bright acidity, and it stays in the savoury spectrum with a hint of oatmeal biscuit. Alas, just two barrels made. 96 points. Jane Faulkner, Halliday Wine Companion 

2022 Tuerong ‘Robinson’ Pinot Noir RRP $71

The Pinot Noir brief at Onannon is generally lots of whole bunches and extended maceration (6 – 8 weeks on skins is typical). And, in order to get the brightest fruit from Carbonic Maceration, foot stomping and pump overs. They always favour using very savoury French Oak. Tannin is good. No fining.

2022 Main Ridge ‘Tudibaring’ Pinot Noir RRP $71

So pretty and appealing thanks to its up-front red cherries and spice flavours. At first quite fruit-sweet, then other elements come into play: tangy, tart, pomegranate-like acidity, a touch of menthol. The oak is oh-so-subtle, adding some background nuances to the lighter-framed palate with lacy tannins. This is lovely. All fruit is destemmed, cold soaked for seven days in a carbonic environment and spends six weeks on skins, then pressed straight to oak, 15% new. 95 points, Jane Faulkner, Wine Companion 

Red fruit, pimento, cinnamon and spice, poached strawberry and rhubarb. a little cedar oak. It’s all red fruit, some pomegranate and tamarind tang, light dusty and peppery tannin, a quiet sappy succulence, with a bright and zesty finish of excellent length. Very good. 94 points. Gary Walsh, The Wine Front 

2022 Red Hill ‘Harrisons Road’ Pinot Noir *12 bottle limit RRP $71

There’s plenty of whole bunch character, though the fruit here is up to the task. Dark raspberry, cherry, peppery and spicy, cardamom pod perfume, with a little toasty oak. Good flavour, density and weight, a dry grip to tannin with the graphite character of whole bunch as a positive, and the finish is long and firm. Nicely done. Very good wine. 95 points. Gary Walsh, Wine Front