Varietal: Pet-Nat (Chardonnay)
Moondarra is the brainchild of Neil Prentice, one of Walhalla’s more eccentric winemakers. Not that eccentricity is by any means a bad thing in the wine industry; indeed, it is from the oddballs and lone voices that most of the interesting and groundbreaking produce of the wine world comes. To give you an example of Moondarra’s singular vision and sense of humour, just take a look at the name of their leading Pinot Noir - ‘Conception’ - so called, due to the fact that Prentice’s eldest son was conceived in the middle of the vineyard. Nice!
It isn’t all jokes and oddities, though. Moondarra is a leading winery in the field of natural, zero intervention viticulture, and is blazing a trail throughout this scene due to the determination and dedication the vintners have; dedication for producing highly characterful wines packed full of features, which really could only come from this corner of the planet. Prentice and his brood proudly state that their vines have never seen a single chemical fertiliser, have never been irrigated, and are cropped and trimmed as infrequently as possible. Why? Because this winery is on a personal mission to produce wines which contain the very essence of the land the grapes are grown on, and are full of expression and unique features, with nothing lost along the way.
Chardonnay is actually extraordinary as a grape, and never fails to surprise us. Here's another delightful banger to add to the list. A 'Pét Nat' made from Chardonnay that whacks you with an unfriendly hello screaming at you to wake up. Just when you think you've tried it all...
This is wine, technically, but plays that natural dance where it's so unadulterated it could be sour beer, or cider... it doesn't matter because why? It's utterly delicious, that's why. Crack the seal and notice the banana skin aromatics that soften into talcy florals, a little like a charming ginjo sake, but with creamy bubbles and zippy refreshing acidity that apologises for the smack, it was only being playful. Don't think, just drink.