Our Top 5 Wineries on the Mornington Peninsula
The Australian state of Victoria is heaven for the wine lovers out there. With wine regions scattered all over the state, you could visit a different winery every day and not run out of choices for months. Living in Melbourne, we are lucky to have several wine regions just over an hour’s drive from the city centre. The closest one to us is the Mornington Peninsula. The Mornington Peninsula has a lot to offer, with wildlife spotting, gorgeous surf beaches, and stunning coastal walks. But one of the highlights of any trip to the peninsula is visiting its boutique vineyards. This scenic peninsula is renowned for its cool-climate wines and is home to fifty cellar door wineries.
As you drive around the area, you will be bombarded with field after field full of grape vines, tempting you to stop and try a glass or two of vino. In the eleven years that we have lived in Melbourne, we’ve visited the peninsula numerous times to try out new wineries. But being regulars, we also have our favourites, the ones we love going back to.
Here are our current five favourite wineries on the Mornington Peninsula. Give them a try the next time you’re planning a leisurely lunch or a day of wine tasting:
Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
Montalto is one of the most popular places to visit on the peninsula, especially in summer. It has some top-notch Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. I personally give their Pennon Hill Pinot Noir a five-star rating.
Not only is the wine good, but the estate has unsurpassed views out over rolling hills, and is home to a trail of twenty-six permanent sculptures that are dispersed throughout its grounds.
The outside Piazza is a great place for lunch. It serves delicious wood-fired pizzas and platters, including ingredients sourced from the garden next door. But get there early for lunch as it fills up really quickly.
With a glass of wine in hand, a delicious meal in your belly, as you gaze out over those rolling hills, you’ll quickly feel like you’re in Tuscany!
While you are there, try the Olive Tapenade; it’s to die for!
Location: 33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
Yabby Lake Vineyard
Yabby Lake’s cellar door and restaurant is newly renovated and offers both indoor and outdoor dining. Surrounded by a native garden, it has stunning views out over the vineyards and the nearby hills. They also have some unique large-scale sculptures and a few interesting pieces of art inside the restaurant.
The vineyard focuses on single vineyard wine, and visitors to the cellar door can taste single vineyard Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, along with my personal favourite, the Pink Claw Grenache Rose.
The restaurant has a relaxed atmosphere, and is great for families, with plenty of space for the kids to run around.
Location: 86-112 Tuerong Rd, Tuerong
Even though at weekends, Foxey’s rustic cellar door will no doubt be jam-packed with visitors, it is not a very commercial winery, but rather a place where you’ll want to hang out with friends for a long lazy lunch.
Nestled amongst gum trees, and with a deck that overlooks the vineyard, it certainly is a fantastic place to spend a few hours. The restaurant has an open kitchen, with a blackboard menu of tasty dishes. Prices are quite affordable, and the whole place has a very relaxed vibe. In summer, lunch on Foxey’s outdoor deck is the best!
Of course, the views over the vines are delightful, and their award-winning wines are truly delicious.
Location: 795 White Hill Road, Red Hill
We love Quealy because unlike many wineries on the peninsula it is quiet and relaxed; so you don’t have to fight your way through to the tasting table. You get an intimate service and even a short tour of their cellar, along with detailed information about all the wines you try.
Not only this, but Quealy is all about experimentation. They have a few surprising wine varieties that we had never tried before, such as the Friulano and Pobblebonk. Quealy only has a cellar door, so you can’t lunch there, but their interesting and tasty wine makes them nonetheless worth the detour. One final thing, their wine labels are really cool!
Location: 62 Bittern-Dromana Road, Balnarring
Tucks Ridge Vineyard
Tucks Ridge is located right next door to Montalto (you can walk between the two) and is our all-time favourite winery. It’s our favourite because it’s where we were married, eight years ago. We chose to get married at Tucks Ridge mainly because it’s an ideal setting for a wedding. It has beautiful, green lawns that flow down the hill towards rows of vines, with lovely landscaped gardens surrounding a rustic weatherboard restaurant and cellar door.
Sadly, the restaurant closed this year, but the small cellar door remains open, and Tucks Ridge’s wines are very good indeed. For starters, give the Tucks Ridge Buckle Pinot Noir a try. The staff are very knowledgeable and will chat to you and explain all about the making of their wines. They’ll often have funny wine quotes on the walls of the cellar door as well.
Location: 37 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South
So those are our five favourite wineries on the Mornington Peninsula, but there are many, many more to choose from. If you’ve been wine tasting down the peninsula, comment below and let us know your own favourites wineries. We always love to hear about new places that we can try.
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