Kooyong was established by the Aylward family in 1995, with vineyards being planted between 1996 and 1998, with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and later on Pinot Gris. In 2004 the property was sold to Giorgio and Diana Gjergja, who also own the Port Phillip Estate; In fact, the wines for both labels are currently made at the Port Phillip winery.
Until 2015, the wines were made by Sandro Mosele, who left in order to pursue other avenues. Taking over from him was Glen Hayley, who’d worked for six years as an assistant to Sandro, and thus knew the vines and wines well. Glen had had much experience with winemaking beforehand, having worked vintages in Central Otago, the Loire Valley, Mosel, Sonoma, as well as in the Yarra and Barossa Valleys of Australia. For this reason, the passing of the torch from Sandro to Glen was no cause for alarm.
The fruit is sourced from three vineyards: Red Hill, planted in 1987, with 9ha of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and small plots of Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz; Tuerong, planted in 1996, 40ha of mostly Pinot Noir, a large amount of Chardonnay, and Pinot Gris; and Balnarring, planted 1997, with 12ha of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The mature age of all the vineyards is thus reflected in the wines.
A number of wines are released under the Kooyong label, as well as Port Phillip Estate, where the wines are made on the Mornington Peninsula. The ‘Beurrot Pinot Gris’ features aromas of honey, apple and pear, with a zesty palate and oatmeal finish. The ‘Massale Pinot Noir’ has a perfume of cherries and rose, with a medium-bodied palate of cranberries and cherry, and a long length. The ‘Ferrous Pinot Noir’ is sumptuous, with plums, cherries and cedarwood on the nose and palate, and can be cellared for years.