The Langton’s award reflects Nat’s unwavering commitment over 40 years to develop the highest quality Pinot Noir at Main Ridge Estate, and supporting Mornington Peninsula’s evolution as leading producer of the varietal.
Here is a brief summary of Nat’s achievements by Tim Sexton:
Nat White is a pioneering winemaker who gave up the security of a public service civil engineering job to plant one of the first new era Mornington Peninsula vineyards – in what was a tiny lemon orchard with no road access.
Living and travelling in Europe in the 60s fuelled a dream of creating a Burgundy style family vineyard and winery in Red Hill, where the climate indicated Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (then relatively unknown in Australia) might flourish. With limited capital and huge toil and determination Nat and Rose gradually established Main Ridge Estate vineyard. In 1981 they released their first wines – including Pinot Noir at $5.50 a bottle!
Nat’s winemaking philosophies evolved from scientific training at Charles Sturt University, following proven practices of Burgundian winemakers, and experimentation in both the vineyard and winery. His reputation as a winemaker grew steadily to the highest levels due to his ability to consistently increase his understanding of his land, seeking to extract greatness from the unique terroir.
Nat has been described as the ‘Yoda’ of the Peninsula winemaking industry for the practical support and guidance he has given to innumerable successful winemakers, and for the collaborative wine community culture he and Rose fostered. He continues at Main Ridge Estate as a consultant, and mentor to James Sexton.
Always humble, honest, considered and quietly charming in giving his views, Nat is warmly regarded by everyone who knows him, and much deserved of the Order of Australia Medal awarded in 2017 for his services to the wine industry.