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Meet Mulline: Geelong’s Rising Star

Meet Mulline: Geelong’s Rising Star

Introducing Mulline Vintners, out of Geelong. First thing’s first, it’s pronounced to rhyme with ‘divine’ (like the brand’s killer Pinot Noir), and it’s a portmanteau of co-founders Ben Mullen and Ben Hine’s surnames. Shop the Mulline Range

Co-founders Ben Mullen and Ben Hine

The ‘two Bens’ only established Geelong-based Mulline in late 2018, but their debut 2019 vintage is already generating a buzz. James Halliday has been generous with his praise for the introductory bottlings, awarding two 97-point scores (for the Portalington Chardonnay and Bannockburn Syrah, respectively). Three cuvées have made the list at dining mecca Quay. ‘For a first brand, having three wines there is a great step,’ says Ben (the former) Mullen. Not bad for a label that hasn’t even entered its terrible twos.

It’s not exactly a bolt from the blue that has set Mulline to hit the ground running. It’s hard graft, and a lot of learning from the greats. Mullen graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Viticulture and Oenology back in 2012. Then, he got his hands dirty, working at the illustrious likes of Torbreck, Yarra Yering, Domaine Dujac (Burgundy), Craggy Range (New Zealand) and Clyde Park. ‘Each Mulline wine is a representation of what I’ve made at different places,’ he says. ‘They’ve all given me something.’

Each Mulline wine is a representation of what I’ve made at different places–they’ve all given me something.

Mullen grew up in one of Australia’s iconic wine regions—Barossa—so it might seem unexpected that he set up shop in Geelong. As is often the case, circumstance conspired to make the choice for him.

Co-founders Ben Mullen and Ben Hine

‘It wasn’t the place I was going to go,’ he says. ‘A job came up at Clyde Park at the right time. There’s also a connection between Dujac and By Farr. I had quite a lot of By Farr wines when I was working in Burgundy and had met Nick [Farr, winemaker] a few times. Knowing the quality of the wine you could make [in Geelong] was another drawcard. I saw a really good site that I could make some amazing booze from so I took it.’

This ‘amazing booze’ consists of a six-strong debut range that encapsulates the grand trifecta: Mullen’s expertise, the uniqueness of Geelong terroir, and exceptional vineyards. The Geelong region may seem like a wildcard for someone who has worked across Barossa and Burgundy, but to Mullen, the genesis of Mulline wines make perfect sense. ‘The quality of the fruit and being from a region people don’t normally gravitate towards is a really cool thing,’ he says.

...the quality of the fruit and being from a region people don’t normally gravitate towards is a really cool thing.

So, where to start? Mullen is quick to direct wine drinkers new to Mulline (hey, that’s all of us!) to the single-vineyard Sutherlands Creek Pinot. ‘The Pinot is the narrative of what Mulline is all about,’ he says. His dark horse pick is Bannockburn Fumé Blanc. ‘I call it my sommelier wine–it’s the one that they love, and love to show to the punters just to see how much they enjoy it.’

...the pinot is the narrative of what Mulline is all about
Co-founders Ben Mullen and Ben Hine

For his part, Mullen has embraced the challenge of getting a fledgling wine label off the ground. ‘I’m lucky that it’s my first priority,’ he says. ‘It’s a nice step forward in my career. I’ve always wanted to do something for myself, and so far, it’s been really rewarding.’ Judging by the 97-point Bannockburn Syrah, selfishness, this time, seems to have worked for the greater good.

We have been so taken with the wines of Ben Mullen that we are offering up the entire debut portfolio of Mulline vintners, including a sunset-hued stunner of a Rosé.’

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ABN: 77 159 767 843
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ABN: 77 159 767 843. New South Wales: Liquor Act 2007. It is against the law to sell or supply alcohol to, or to obtain alcohol on behalf of, a person under the age of 18 years. License Number: LIQP770010303 Victoria: Victoria Liquor Control Reform Act 1998: It is an offence to supply alcohol to a person under the age of 18 years (Penalty exceeds $17,000), for a person under the age of 18 years to purchase or receive liquor (Penalty exceeds $700). License Number: 32055289