Mt. Monster is synonymous with premium wines grown to the Padthaway region being awarded over 80 medals in International and Australian Wine shows in recent years. The vineyards are planted on their own rootstock to some of the world’s oldest mineral rich soils and in the most temperate of maritime climates. The Mt. Monster vineyard consistently produces excellent fruit quality from low yielding vines. Only the best parcels of fruit are carefully selected and utilized for the Mt. Monster label. Great attention to detail is paid, the integration of fruit flavours and fine oak barrels helps produce classic handcrafted wine styles. The wines express full varietal flavours, taking full advantage of the Padthaway’s maritime climate with its long slow ripening season and unique soils.
The success of Coonawarra Terra rossa wines led viticulturalists to seek out similar ground. Back in 1944 the CSIRO had recommended the Padthaway region for horticulture due to its rich soil and underground water supply. The climate is maritime with coastal influences. The vineyards here produce fruit for red and white table wine and sparkling wine. Regional statistics are heat degree days of 1610. Sunshine hours per day is 8.2. Annual rainfall of 530mm. Growing season rainfall of 180mm. Mean January temperature is 20.4°C. Harvest is from early March to late May.
The plains of Padthaway produce wines of consistent quality and style. Although famously known as Chardonnay country, the region produces excellent examples of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon from old vine material. The gently undulating country of Padthaway is neighbour to the famous Coonawarra. It has climatic similarities and a good slice of terra rossa, the famed soil of the Limestone Coast.
Sited to rich Terra Rosa soils, the Mt Monster vineyard benefits from excellent sun exposure producing grapes of optimum flavour, colour and tannin development. The warm summer days are moderated each evening by coastal winds that cool the vines and result in a longer ripening period. This extended period allows for the grape tannins and seed to fully ripen prior to being harvested, thus creating wines that are rich and supple on the palate.
At Mt. Monster, the sole objective is to produce the best wines possible from a unique vineyard site. The team concentrate their energies and skills on producing the classical wines that are most recognised and suited to the region’s viticulture. The team use traditional winemaking methods, complemented by modern technology with minimal processing to ensure the purity, integrity, texture and flavour from the vineyard.
Mt Monster's resident viticultralist grew up on the family property at Padthaway and was instrumental in setting up the 210 acre Morambro Creek Vineyard in 1994 with the help of other family members. Monster also employ the specialised services of Ben Riggs who has had many years of wine making experience, 14 years being at Wirra Wirra where he made such great wines as RSW Shiraz and Angelus, which are without doubt Australian benchmark wines. Ben has also presided over 8 international vintages in countries such as USA (Napa Valley), France (Bordeaux and Southern France), Greece and Italy. His extensive experience with a broad range of wine styles gives Ben the unique position of being a true Master Winemaker.
The pursuit of great wine can also be seen in the meticulous management of the vineyard. Winemakers strive for low crop yields and small grape bunches of intense flavour, and whilst the latest technology is employed in the vineyard to achieve vine balance and reduced vigour, harvest is commenced only when the fruit reaches full flavour development. These are wines by people, for people who value quality, style and the efforts of a family owned business.