Dexter Wines

Location Description

Located in the heart of Merricks North, Victoria.

Contact

Fax: 61 (0)3 5989 7007

Features

  • One of Melbourne's premium wine merchants.

Additional Information

  • Meeting / Conference Facilities:
  • Caves:
  • Wedding Facilities:
  • Picnic Facilities:
  • Dog Friendly:
  • Winery Tours:
  • Wine Tasting:
  • Art or Architecture:
  • Organic / Biodynamic:
  • Awards:
  • Wine Club:
  • Lodging / Bed & Breakfast:

History

During a formative trip to France in 2000 when they visited the most famous Pinot producers in the world, Tod gained a new respect for the concept of terroir and the responsibility to future generations in caring for the land. He also had reinforced to him the importance of attention to detail in both the vineyard and winery. This trip was what encouraged Tod and Debbie to take the next step and produce their own wine. Thus Dexter Wines was born.

The Team

Tod Dexter grew up with wine. Along with his parents' considerable interest in wine he had a childhood friendship with the Crittendon family, one of Melbourne's premium wine merchants who further introduced him to the world of wine. It was then no surprise that in 1974 after a skiing trip in the US, Tod ended up in the Napa Valley where he spent a seven-year apprenticeship with one of California's premium family wineries, Cakebread Cellars.

Tod moved home to Australia in January 1987, and after an extensive search he and his wife Debbie bought a vineyard site at Merricks North on the Mornington Peninsula. Later that year they planted their first 1.6 hectares of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Tod then joined forces with Brian Stonier at Stonier Wines where, over the next ten years, he grew the company to become one of Australia's premium producers of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. During this decade the wines Tod created received many accolades both at home and internationally.

Practices & Techniques

Dexter Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir:

Hand picked fruit is destemmed without crushing and elevated into small open fermenters. The must is left un-inoculated for 2-3 days. When fermentation is observed cultured yeast is added. Fermentation temperatures peak at around 32°c and during fermentation the cap is plunged up to 3 times per day. 2-3 days after fermentation is complete, the must is gently pressed and transferred into French Oak bariques (25% New, 75% second third and fourth use) where it undergoes MLF before winter. The wine is racked once in the spring and put back to barrels for further ageing. It is racked again in January for bottling in February, 10 months after harvest.

Dexter Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay:

Hand picked fruit is gently whole bunch pressed into a tank and settled overnight. It is then transferred into French oak barriques (20% New, 80% second, third and fourth use) and inoculated with a neutral yeast. Fermentation is relatively vigorous and complete within two weeks. From May until spring the barrels are stirred every two weeks until MLF is complete. The wine is left on lees until bottling with filtration in February, 10 months after harvest.

Estate Vineyards / AVA

The Dexter Vineyard is in a small east/west valley. The evening sea breezes from Port Phillip Bay, Westernport Bay and Bass Strait helps moderate the local climate. The vineyard was set out to maximise its qualities and specific site. Planted on the north facing slope, it allows for maximum sunlight interception. This is most important in cool regions as it results in even sunlight on both sides of the vine allowing for even ripening. The slope also provides good natural drainage in the wet seasons. The shallow soil helps in controlling vine growth, resulting in open vine canopies and again even ripening. The site is well protected from the cold southerly winds which is important for protection of the vines during critical stages of ripening.

Growing premium fruit has always been the ultimate aim. Row spacing (2.5 metres) and vine spacing (1.5 metres) optimize the interception of sunlight by the vines and allows a good ratio of fruit weight to leaf surface area. This promotes even ripening and good balanced fruit. The first planting was one clone each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Subsequent plantings have resulted in 3.54 hectares of each variety and a multitude of clones.

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Address

210 Foxeys Road
Merricks North, Victoria 3926
Australia

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