The Mornington Peninsula Winery region attracts wine lovers from all over the world. This cool climate the area produces some of the finest Chardonnay, Pinot, Pinot Gris/Grigio and Sparkling styles of wine in the country, there are plenty of other varieties also, but these varieties are the ones that define the region.
The hospitality of the people at the various cellar doors only compliments your experience, anyone, who loves wine, amazing picturesque scenery and just having a good time will surely find themselves falling in love with this place.
So which wineries are the best ones to visit? Follow this guide, and you will no doubt have a memorable wine, food and travel experience to talk about for years
Ten Minutes by Tractor – Long Lunch
The story behind the name is that it takes ten minutes by tractor to move from the cellar to the winery on top of the hill.
So, to settle into your whole Mornington Peninsula experience, the suggestion of a long lunch should be one that is welcomed with an outstretched empty wine glass.
Ten Minutes by Tractor offers an incredible degustation lunch that you can pair with wine; I can assure you this experience comes highly recommended, but there is a price tag that comes with it. The food is a delight to the senses, and the presentation, service and ambience are a wine and food haven in itself.
Glassware to match the wines, wines to match the food, be sure to experience TMBT.
Before lunch, there is the mandatory wine tasting, and Chardonnay stood out here. With a selection of some back vintages on hand also the texture and full flavoured profile of these wines were incredible. Chardonnay is excellent for food pairing, and the 2014 was drinking beautifully.
Get in early; this place gets busy. It is only a small cellar door, but who cares about size when you have great wine and one of the most peaceful views from the back deck. When looking out across the valley, it is easy to lose the sense of time, especially with a glass of sparkling in hand.
With six or seven wines on hand to try and a buzzing atmosphere make sure you visit Foxy’s hangout
Red Hill Estate
Stunning vineyard views extending out over Western Port Bay, Red Hill makes for a perfect place to get married. Equally impressive is the selection of 12 wines on offer. Pick your favourite wine from the tasting then be sure to order yourself a glass of it and go and get comfortable on one of the outside chairs and watch the world go by in slow motion.
With a boutique feel and an owner talking to you as you taste through the wines always highlights a winery visit. The emphasis on quality fruit is what Panton prides themselves on, and the gorgeous setting of this winery was spectacular. Pinot Noir stood out amongst an impressive lineup of wines, but back to the setting of the winery – wow! This winery has to be seen to be appreciated. Without hesitation, I could grab a book and glass of wine and get real comfortable here for the afternoon.
This winery is a busy, busy spot around lunchtime and it would appear that some people don’t even leave after that, testament to the good food and wine on offer. Tasty wood fired pizza is all the rage here and long share tables too so you can compare your story for the day with complete strangers, although finding a spot can sometimes be a bit tricky, but it is worth the visit!
If you love your wine and love finding out more about it then you will certainly appreciate Tuck’s, Ridge. Winemakers again were on hand to share their passion and knowledge, and you couldn’t help but listen and be intrigued by the information that flowed from their mouths. With some off the beaten path varietals to explore along with the traditional ones, it was hard to pass up their Pinot Gris, and it would be remiss not to mention the 2012 Sparkling Cuveé
Modern architecture meets rustic design the best way to sum it up and to be right next door to Tuck’s; it is walking distance. Pinot Noir is the flavour at Montalto although getting a taste of the high end one’s can be hard, make sure you ask the question as it is worth it. You feel like you are walking through the vines here and backdrop spotted with fancy sculptures adds to the appeal and style.
Red Hill Brewery
After six wineries, beer is certainly in order. Red Hill Brewery is a must, even if you don’t like beer. The vines that you see everywhere are now interrupted by ten-foot-tall hops. A ‘sample paddle’ of beer is the best way to start here. Charismatic and charming describes the feel of Red Hill Brewery, most of which seems to be unchanged from the day it started.
Red Gum BBQ
More food, after a busy day of tasting, talking and walking all around wine, chances are you going to need more food. Tucked behind a petrol station is this massive shed which serves up some of the tastiest BBQ food in the Peninsula. Various options of beer on tap and plenty of delicious options on the menu Red Gum BBQ will certainly provide some closure to a fantastic day. Be warned the food here is lip smacking good.
Hire a driver! This is a must to enjoy the day truly. There are a few options out there but getting the services of someone like Ridge Rider will certainly do the trick for the day.
Anywhere in and around Arthurs Seat will put you right at the heart of it all. Try an AIRBNB for something different.
When you have explored the Mornington be sure to explore Geelong and all that is has to offer too.