2021 Murdoch Hill "The Surrey"Pinot Meunier, Adelaide Hills, Australia

This is a rare sight! 100% Pinot Meunier made into a red wine. This reminded us of some of our favorite beaujolais with expressive and vibrant nose of red fruits – sour cherry, rhubarb, and cranberry. The palate is silky and supple, inherently drinkable.



A high altitude vineyard in the Piccadilly Valley of the Adelaide Hills, the Pinot Meunier vines were planted in 1996. A northwest aspect gives plenty of sunshine required to express this grape varietal to its full potential. These vines stand at 525m above sea level, taking a few degrees edge off the summer heat with very cool night temperatures, retaining natural acidity.

Small batch open fermenters with wild spontaneous ferments. 40% whole bunch inclusion. Maturation in barrique and puncheons, with 20% new Austrian Stockinger oak for 6 months.


The Downer family has been farming the fertile soils of the Onkaparinga Valley since 1939. In this time, there have been many cattle grazing, hens laying, potatoes grown, and flowers picked, but in 1998 the family made the transition into grape-growing and haven’t looked back.

The estate vineyard is located behind the township of Oakbank, in the eastern Adelaide Hills. 20 hectares of sandy loam with influences of schist, shale rock-formations, pockets of sandstone and veins of quartz and ironstone, combined with an altitude of over 1100 feet, make for a great home for cool climate varieites: sauvignon blanc, pinot noir, chardonnay, pinot meunier, cabernet sauvignon, and syrah all grow happily – and organically – here.

Michael Downer, the youngest of his generation, studied winemaking at school. After getting a degree in oenology, Michael worked with Shaw + Smith (Adelaide Hills), Vietti (Barolo), and Best’s Great Western (Grampians) before joining the family winery in 2012. Michael is credited with the renaissance of Murdoch Hill, transforming the estate from a venerable wine grower to the producer of some of the most esteemed wines in the region.

He’s brought the winemaking in-house (it was previously done by a neighboring winery) and created a range of single-site, minimal intervention bottlings. He has also introduced into their winemaking native yeast and whole bunch ferments, extended skin macerations, old oak aging, and has eschewed fining and filtration.

The Australian wine industry has taken note: Downer was a Young Gun of Wine finalist in 2014, the winner of the “Winemaker’s Choice” award in 2015 and 2016, finally taking home the top prize in 2017.


Grape(s) Pinot Meunier
Farming Organic