Garagiste: Pure Mornington
Tuesday, July 7, 2020 in News
Garagiste: Pure Mornington
Garagiste is all about securing highly prized vineyards and bottling their fruit to make a little Mornington Peninsula magic. The duo behind the label—Barnaby ‘Barney’ Flanders and Cam Marshall produce wines that retain to the last sip the very essence of the land they came from. Explore our Garagiste portfolio.
On the release of the latest vintage from Garagiste, we were fortunate to pick the brain of chief winemaker Barney Flanders about a friendship forged in wine, the three distinct faces of Garagiste (the flagship label, Le Stagiaire, and Range Life), and the enduring allure of Mornington Chardonnay.
What makes the partnership between you and Cam so successful for making wines? How do you work together?
A great friendship and respect make things work well. Cam’s background is in Sales and Marketing, and mine in Viticulture/Winemaking, so we complement each other well.
You make wine under three distinct labels: Garagiste, La Stagiaire, and Range Life. Tell us a bit about the different ethos behind each label.
Garagiste is all about site expression of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the sub-regions of Mornington. We’re representing site and year in their purest forms.
Le Stagiaire is given all the same attention we apply to Garagiste, but has the flexibility to be multi-site Mornington, hopefully, a great introduction to our style and wines. Range Life is focused on the King Valley and comes from our love of Italian varieties. We’re capturing how delicious, fun, and exciting wines can be from a very different terroir to our coastal home.
Talk us through your picks of the new releases.
2018 Le Stagiaire Pinot Noir is delicious. It’s multi-site, grown on different soils, elevations, and aspects. Batches are treated individually and techniques that suit each parcel applied individually. There are whole bunches from Merricks, concrete-fermented and aged in another Merricks parcel, then large-format foudre oakaged. The layering of these techniques and vineyards mesh incredibly well.
We have a soft spot for the 2018 Merricks Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as they come from our home vineyard. The detailed farming and winemaking gathered over time let us craft wines with purity, intensity, and length.
The first Garagiste vintage was 2006–going on 14 years! How has your approach evolved over this time?
We are now leasing or share-farming all of our sites and have full control over all decisions regarding the viticulture and winemaking. We have our own winery where our grapes arrive and only leave as finished bottled wine.
Attention to detail is very important in all aspects of what we do. As we understand our sites more and more each season, we aspire to farm as sympathetically as possible and craft wines that represent Mornington and its subregions.
Having kicked off your respective careers elsewhere, what is it about Mornington that has kept you interested over the years?
The diversity of the landscape and soils in a relatively small wine region. Having three bodies of water—Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay, and Bass Straight—surrounding us and influencing our seasons keeps us on our toes.
Currently, you’re making distinct varieties in both Mornington and the King Valley. Have you got your eyes on any other regions?
No other regions at present, just working harder and better in the ones we are focused on.
You can only make one variety of wine for the rest of your life: which one?
Chardonnay, I love the purity of expression from grape to site. Whether it be in Mornington or the other great Chardonnay regions around Australia. Yarra Valley, Adelaide Hills, Macedon.
Finally, favourite fun wine, favourite serious wine, and favourite place to enjoy a bottle?
Fun Wine: Pinot Gris with whole bunch skin contact that looks more like a Rosé! So much perfume, texture, and complexity.
Serious Wine: At the moment, high altitude Nebbiolo with purity, detail, and long tannins.
Favourite Place: No better place than on the beach anywhere in Mornington!
We’re captivated by the latest releases from Garagiste. Our pick of the bunch is the 2018 Garagiste Le Stagiaire Pinot Noir–it’s just a little bit richer, a little fuller of body, a little riper than your standard Mornington Pinot, and it’s likely won’t have tasted a Pinot quite like it before. Contact a broker or shop online.