Chris and Gail Aylward started producing wine on the Peninsula in 1997. Known for having established one of Mornington’s iconic estates – Kooyong – their focus has always been top quality wine that suited the climate of the region.
After the sale of Kooyong in 2004, the Aylward family ventured back into the wine scene with a new set-up on the Mornington Peninsula ‘Ocean Eight’. The Ocean Eight Winery was built into the hillside at the family’s property in Shoreham. This enabled for a temperature controlled, gravity fed winery that would allow them to ensure that their trademark quality driven wines were able to be made at every level of production.
While waiting for the first Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir crops to be picked Mike Aylward, son of Chris and Gail, travelled extensively through Burgundy, Alsace and Champagne to determine styles and quality winemaking techniques, visiting many of the great domaines throughout Europe. A testament to his dedication, Mike was voted ‘Best Young Winemaker’in Australia in 2011 by Gourmet Traveller magazine and today the wines are poured across many of Australia’s best restaurants.
All Ocean Eight’s wines are made in small quantities/batches to ensure high quality and a focused style of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris can be achieved.
Ocean Eight has also released a sparkling wine truly inspired by (Champagne) in France. This Sparkling is made in a very limited supply in ideal seasons for sparkling production.
2012 Ocean Eight, Pinot Noir
“Ocean Eight’s ascent to greatness continues here with a decidedly fragrant Pinot Noir. It has aromas of violets, blueberry, vivid cherry and plum, as well as more savoury underlying earth and spice tones. The palate has immediate flesh and weight, showing impressive volume and depth. It lunges through to a vibrant, driving finish which is fresh, silky and balanced.”
Nick Stock, Decanter
2010 Aylward by Ocean Eight, Pinot Noir
“Mike Aylward raises the bar with his eponymous label increasing the fruit intensity and also the oak impact and the results are staggering. At three years old, this wine is still only a baby, as you would expect, but it shows signs of greatness in the glass. We are privileged to be able to pour this wine at Wine Rules, giving hundreds of people the opportunity to see what only a handful of journos and restaurateurs would ordinarily experience. Aylward proves that Grand Vin Pinot is alive and kicking in Victoria and I would be happy to pour this alongside New Zealand, Oregon and Burgundy’s best bottles.”
Matthew Jukes, Wine Rules