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Update on the Release of the 2019 and 2021 Vintages

Updated 1 November 2021 -

We have decided to delay release of our 2019 wines due to the loss of the entire 2020 vintage due to smoke. Our pre-release our 2019 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir to our Gold and Silver Status members, unfortunately for everyone else, sold the wine out. The good news is that 2019 Maipenrai Vineyard Pinot Noir will be released in May 2022, and while there is not heaps of wine, there should be enough for non Gold and Silver status members to get an opportunity to order some, although it will sell out quickly.

The 2021 vintage is very small - we made just over 2 barrels of wine (about 750 bottles worth), with the vine fruitfulness compromised by the smoke and drought of 2020. We expect to release these wines in September 2023, but we will need to restrict availability to 3 bottles per person, and I would expect it only to be available to people with Gold and Silver status on the mailing list. I am sorry - we are doing our best to combat the challenges of Mother Nature.

Budburst has come a bit early for the 2021/22 vintage, and I live in hope we will get a good high quality crop of grapes this vintage. The soils are saturated with water like never before, so they will get a good start!



Release of the 2018 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir - SOLD OUT
Our 2018 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir is unfortunately now sold out.

Mother Nature has made it hard for us to make as much wine as we would like.
Unfortunately we did not make a Maipenrai Pinot Noir for 2018 due to kangaroos destroying our crop, but the good news is the Amungula Creek Pinot Noir is awkwardly good to be my second wine, and is certainly one of my all-time favourite Amungula Creek Pinot Noirs (2009 being perhaps the other). If you want to wait for the next Maipenrai, our 2019 Maipenrai Pinot Noir will be released in September 2021. We, like the rest of the Canberra district, lost our entire 2020 crop due to smoke taint.

2018 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir

The 2017/18 vintage started off with dry winter with normal temperatures. Because 2017 had been quite wet, water stress was not particularly acute given the lack of rain. Budburst occurred around 1st of October as per usual, but disaster struck Maipenrai as the very abundant numbers of kangaroos had no grass to eat, and resorted to munching on the emerging shoots in the vineyard. Essentially every plant was eaten, and while the green growth returned, these new shoots had essentially no fruiting buds on them, and the year’s crop was a complete loss.

For the rest of the district, 2018 remained significantly warmer than the historical average throughout spring, with very little rain, until a major deluge in December provided much needed moisture. The heat continued throughout summer and autumn – although it was in the form of being consistently hotter than average, rather than being savagely hot. This entire period was accompanied by lower than average rainfall. In the end 2018 was, after 2016, and 2007, the 3rd hottest growing season in Canberra’s history. Like 2016, it was a relatively gentle heat, that produced very good wines throughout the district. Given our lack of fruit, we purchased Pinot Noir from 3 district vineyards located on our Lake George side of town. The blend of the three wines ended up being better than any of the individual lots - I love it when it works like that.

The wine is a bright garnet colour with cedar, mixed berries, and a hint of spice on the nose. The 2018 Amungula Creek features a savoury palette, with a hint of sour cherries - glycerin and tannins provide structure into a lingering finish. It is a formidable wine that wins on sophistication rather than wow. You really want to age it for a couple of years and it will drink well for the coming decade or two.


Release of the 2017 Maipenrai Pinot Noir - SOLD OUT

We have sold OUT as of 9.30pm

I am pleased to release our 2017 Maipenrai Pinot Noir which will sell out quickly.

The 2016/17 season began with the wettest spring in memory, and the vines got a great start in a cool/mild spring, that turned warm by December. January was dry and the hottest on record (a record that was shattered again this year), with the conditions continuing warm and dry through the first half of February. We ended up losing a lot of the fruit that had set on the vines due to lack of water. The weather moderated mid-February with the ripening period post veraison picture perfect - mild temperatures, not much rain, but just enough to keep things ticking a long. We had a very low crop again off the vineyard, and purchased some outstanding fruit from two nearby vineyards.

Our ferments were uneventful, although peak fermentation temperatures were a little cooler than normal. We used 20% whole bunches and pressed the wines after 14 days after they were crushed. Stored in French Oak (50% new) for 22 months - the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

Deep ruby in appearance, on the nose the 2017 Maipenrai Pinot Noir has some sweet raspberries along with the quintessential forest floor. Medium bodied, very sophisticated, the wine has some berries, dried meat, oak all supported by a lingering line of tannin. A wine that will benefit with some aging, it should really start to show off in a couple of years, and age gracefully for 10-20 years after that. This wine is in the mould of the 2009 and 2010 vintages, perhaps a bit more sophisticated, although not quite as big.

$210 per case of 6 (includes shipping to NSW, ACT, VIC, Adelaide, or Brisbane - other destinations there is a small charge). Wine will be shipped within 2 weeks by Australian Post.



SOLD OUT - Release of the 2017 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir
SOLD-OUT We are sorry, but we have sold out. The 2017 Maipenrai will be available in September, and there is a bit more available than the 2017  Amungula Creek.

We are pleased to release our 2017 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir until sold out. This wine is available in very short supply, and we are sorry if you miss out. The 2017 Maipenrai Pinot Noir will be available in September.


2017 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir

The 2016/17 season began with the wettest spring in memory, and the vines got a great start in a cool/mild spring, that turned warm by December. January was dry and the hottest on record (a record that was shattered again this year), with the conditions continuing warm and dry through the first half of February. We ended up losing a lot of the fruit that had set on the vines due to lack of water. The weather moderated mid-February with the ripening period post veraison picture perfect - mild temperatures, not much rain, but just enough to keep things ticking a long. We had a very low crop again off the vineyard, and purchased some outstanding fruit from two nearby vineyards. The 2017 wines have a lot of flavour and ample tannin due to the heat/water stress as the berries formed.

The ferments were uneventful, although peak fermentation temperatures were a little cooler than normal. We used 10-35% whole bunches in the different batches of fruit, and pressed the wines after 11-14 days after they were crushed. Stored in French Oak (20% new) for 22 months - the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The 2017 Amungula Creek is made from fruit from both Maipenrai and another nearby Canberra District vineyard. It has a dark ruby colour, with aromas of raspberry and forest floor. The palate is medium bodied, with a little bit of primary fruit overlaying a savoury meaty character, which is rounded out with a moderately firm backbone of tannin. It would be best to give it a year or two, and will be good to drink over the next 10 or even 15 years. This is as serious as Pinot Noir gets for less than $20 a bottle.



Release of the 2016 Maipenrai Pinot Noir -SOLD OUT

I am pleased to release our 2016 Maipenrai Pinot Noir. Very limited in supply, and it will sell out quickly.

2015/16 season started off with good spring rains, typical temperatures, and therefore a welcome return to an October 1st budburst. From there the weather suddenly became abnormally warm, with temperatures in the 30s in the first week of October, with the October average high temps more than 5C warmer than the long-term average - smashing the previous records. The warmth continued through mid December with Temps 3C warmer than average during this period, and we, unfortunately, received very little rain. This caused some unwelcome water stress in our vines and reaked havoc with our yields. The weather moderated from mid-December through mid February, and while still above average, was more or less in the zone of normality. Things heated up again in mid Feb and remained warm through vintage.

The 2016 Maipenrai Pinot Noir is made up from fruit from a blend of our own vineyard fruit and that of nearby Enotria vineyard - formerly known as Domaine Rogha Crois vineyard. We used 30% whole bunches, and aged the wine in 40% new oak for 22 months.

Dark garnet in appearance, on the nose, the 2016 Maipenrai Pinot Noir has some sweet spice, and a touch of herbaceousness. Medium bodied, the wine has some cherry-like fruit, hints of dried meat, and a silky tannin backbone. A sophisticated wine that is easy to drink now, but I suspect will age effortlessly for a decade. To me, seems like a hypothetical blend of our 2008 and 2014 wines.

$200 per case of 6 (includes shipping to NSW, ACT, VIC, Adelaide, or Brisbane - other destinations there is a small charge). Wine will be shipped within 2 weeks by Australian Post.



Release of the 2016 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir - SOLD OUT

Sorry if you missed out, but we sold out at noon of this year's Amungula Creek Pinot Noir. There will be a bit more Maipenrai available in October, and so the time window for getting an order in should hopefully be more than a few hours.

If you live in Canberra, I always give Plonk, at the Fyshwick Markets, a few cases, which they sell by the bottle (2 bottle max, usually). They should have it starting June 16th until they sell out. You should call to check availability (02 6260 6336)


Brian Schmidt


We have started the process of releasing our 2016 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir. Wine availability is tight this vintage, for which I am sorry. If you miss out, the Maipenrai Pinot Noir will be released in October, and should be a bit easier to get as we release it in boxes of 6.  

Wines will be released to

  • Gold and Silver Customers on 3 June
  • Bronze Customers on 11 June

2016 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir

2015/16 season started off with good spring rains, typical temperatures, and therefore a welcome return to an October 1st budburst. From there the weather suddenly became abnormally warm, with temperatures in the 30s in the first week of October, with the October average high temps more than 5C warmer than the long-term average - smashing the previous records. The warmth continued through mid December with Temps 3C warmer than average during this period, and we, unfortunately, received very little rain. This caused some unwelcome water stress in our vines and reaked havoc with our yields. The weather moderated from mid-December through mid February, and while still above average, was more or less in the zone of normality. Things heated up again in mid Feb and remained warm through vintage.

The ferments were uncomplicated, and we used 15-25% whole bunches given the ripeness of the stems, and pressed the wines after 15 days. Stored in French Oak (30% new) for 22 months - the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The 2016 Amungula Creek is made from fruit from two nearby Canberra District vineyards. It has a ruby/garnet colour, with a potent and spicy nose. On the medium bodied palate, a wild and complex savoury character is rounded out with a medium backbone of tannin and spiced fruit. A pinot noir through and through, the wine is really meant to be consumed with food. It will provide immediately drinking pleasure, and remain at peak over the next 5 years.



Release of the 2015 Maipenrai Pinot Noir

Release of the 2015 Maipenrai Pinot Noir  (Sold Out)

We have now sold out of the 2015 Maipenrai Pinot Noir

it will be available for purchase in small quantities at Plonk, in the Fyshwick Markets, until sold out

Also will also be available at the following restaurants

  • Aubergine (Canberra)
  • Boffins (Canberra)
  • Chairman and Yip (Canberra)
  • Grazing (Gundaroo NSW)
  • Silo (Canberra)

We will release our latest Vintage of Maipenrai Pinot Noir as follows

Oct 23, 2017: Gold Members

Oct 30, 2017: Silver Members

7am - Nov 6, 2017: Bronze Members

While we made more wine than in any previous vintage (or subsequent), it will likely
still sell out quickly on November 6th. If you have signed up for our Mailing list, you will receive an email from brian@maipenrai.com.au

The 2015 Maipenrai Pinot Noir has a complex, intense, earthy nose that jumps out of the glass. On the palate, savoury and meaty, with some plums, the wine is supported by a bit of grippy tannin which will ease over time, and provide a 10 year+ drinking window. Good to try now, but will be even better in a couple of years.

Limit one case of 6 per customer



Release of the 2015 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir -

We are in the process of releasing our 2015 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir. The good news, we have more wine than in previous years. 

Wines will be released to 

  • Gold Customers on 28 May
  • Silver Customers on 6 June 
  • Bronze Customers on 13 June (We Sold out at 6:20pm on 13th of June - sorry for those who missed out)

If you have signed up to our mailing list, You will be emailed when the wines are available to you.

The 2015 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir

The 2014/15 season was one of the least complicated vintages in a long time. Good winter rains, normal budburst, and warm, but not hot weather. Indeed, the hottest day of the vintage, was on November 23rd when we hit 37.4C, and the temperature never again exceeded 33C. A huge fruit set - not just on our vines, but throughout the district - meant we had to remove excess fruit - a welcome change to the previous 5 vintages! We picked 5.5 tonnes of close to perfect fruit on March 15th - our largest crop ever (but still only 2.2 tonnes/acre). Our vintage (as well as some astronomy) was featured on ABC Landline

Vinification was very easy for these wines with the wild ferments sailing through in record time. We used approximately 30% whole bunches given the ripeness of the stems, and pressed the wines after 10 days. Stored in French Oak (1/3rd new) for 22 months - the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.

The 2015 Amungula Creek is a 50:50 mix of fruit from Maipenrai vineyard, and another nearby vineyard. It has a brickish red hue, and a brambly nose with some dried meat and spice. On the palate, its complex gamy and savoury character is set within a medium body of plummy fruit. The wine has a nice tannin line that defines the palate, but due to 22 months in barrel, is ready to drink now. I expect it to continue to improve over the next 5 years, and be drinking well for at least a decade.



Release of the 2015 Wines - May and October

We made 18 Barrels of wine in 2015 - the most ever - so there is a lot more wine to go around than normal.

We will release the 2015 Amungula Creek Pinot Noir in May, and the 2015 Maipenrai in October. 

Those who are mailing list members will receive an email when they are released. 

The 2015 wines show lots of vibrant fruit - and will be approachable young.



Release of the 2014 Maipenrai Pinot Noir -SOLD OUT

The 2014 Maipenrai Pinot Noir Rogha Crois Vineyard is now available to our Gold and Silver members, and will be made available to Bronze members on the afternoon of November 24th, 2016. You will receive an email reminder.