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Five Best wineries on the Mornington Peninsula and Where to Eat Afterwards

… This is a guest post by Lucia Guadagnuolo of Wine Compass Tours … 

Planning a day touring wine regions can be pretty hungry work. A well-planned itinerary to the best wineries and cellar doors should always include a stop or two to refuel and re-energise the palate. The best way to do this is by pairing local wine varieties with the best local produce the region has to offer, after all, what grows together often goes together.

A region gaining in popularity amongst wine enthusiasts of Australia, the Mornington Peninsula with its stunning bay views and rich native surrounds is the ideal location for a wine weekend. The unique maritime climate and landscape of the Peninsula makes for a diverse and rich offering that’s definitely worth exploring, but not on an empty stomach.

So, if you’re planning a trip to the great southern land to indulge in some wine tasting, here are the five best wineries on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, and where to eat afterwards…

Quealy Winemakers

For most, the association of big bold Shiraz and the Australian landscape is an obvious match. However, pioneers of the Mornington Peninsula wine region such as Kathleen Quealy might have a thing or two to say about that.

Quealy Winemakers are one of Mornington Peninsula's best

The first to ever plant Pinot Grigio in this region, and the first producers to grow and sell Friulano commercially, delicate yet delicious Italian varieties are what Quealy does best.

Possibly the best part of your tasting experience when visiting though, is that you have the opportunity to learn about the winemaking first hand from the winemaker herself. Kathleen can often be found taking guests through the winery floor and sharing her winemaking wisdom with those who are keen to listen.

Honestly some of the best wines you’ll taste in these parts, and a no frills, Aussie welcome that you’re sure to remember.

Ocean Eight

Down a long dirt driveway and through a beautifully manicured garden, lies the barn-like cellar door of Ocean Eight. Easily one of the most photographed wineries on the Peninsula, the wines here are nothing short of amazing.

Venture down into the depths of their underground cellar and barrel hall and you’ll be treated to a tasting of their elegant and refined premium range of wines. They don’t have a long list of wines to try here, Pinot Noir; Chardonnay; and Pinot Gris, but that makes their offering all the more special.

Check out these top spots to stay on the Mornington Peninsula

You won’t these wines on the shelves of any stores, only on the lists of the top restaurants in the country, so a visit and tasting here is not to be missed.

Rahona Valley

Hidden away in the Red Hill region of the Mornington Peninsula is the stunning vineyard of boutique winery and cellar door, Rahona Valley.

The Rahona Valley boutique winery and cellar door is a top Mornington Peninsula stop

A breath-taking amphitheatre of trees and native forest surround this property, to make a secluded haven of vines, waiting for the few who are lucky enough to find it and be drawn in by its beauty. The climate and landscape of this vineyard make for equally beautiful wines.

Being in a cool climate region, this vineyard area can be quite a bit cooler in temperature than others on the Peninsula, resulting in wines that are slow to develop delicate and complex flavours, unique to Rahona Valley.

Kerri Greens

Tapping into a new generation of wine drinkers, Kerri Greens is a casual, no fuss winery that likes to do things a little differently.

Here you’ll taste amazing Peninsula wines made with minimal intervention, from the rarely seen in these parts Gewurztraminer and Riesling to the Peninsula staples of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Kerri Greens winery in Victoria's Mornington Peninsula

If you like wines with a real difference, and not looking for your typical stuffy cellar door, then this is the place for you. Kerri Greens has a fresh cool vibe that you’ll absolutely love.

At the cellar door, they’ll tell you as little or as much about their wines as you want to know, but after tasting them, you’ll probably want to know it all.

You can also bring your own picnic or bbq along and enjoy lunch from the slopes of their vineyard. Good vibes and great wines are both in abundance here.

Merricks Creek

With a strong focus on showcasing the two varieties the Mornington Peninsula is famous for, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, Merricks Creek is a one of a kind gem in this region.

Wine maker Peter, along with son Sam, have developed a premium range of wines they enthusiastically and passionately enjoy sharing with guests at their small but charming cellar door.

Merricks Creek cellar door is a top stop on the Mornington Peninsula

Set at vine height so you can truly feel immersed in the vineyard as you taste through the range, you immediately feel entrenched in the winery and welcomed like a local.

If you’re particularly into your Pinot, take a stroll through their close planted Pinot vines, specially replicated to those of Burgundy in France and taste the resulting wine which is both intense in fruit flavour, but delicate and controlled.

Where to Eat when Wine Tasting on the Mornington Peninsula

Merricks Creek

With a dining area that opens out to their impressive estate vines, you can embrace everything that’s great about the Mornington Peninsula in the one location at Merricks Creek.

Fanatical about sharing their amazing range of wines with guests, you can enjoy a shared lunch of mouth-watering plates that are uniquely designed to accompany their premium range of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Lunchtime at Merricks Creek winery on the Mornington Peninsula

From a delicious traditional French raclette served over hot potatoes and cornichons, to a succulent 6 hours braised lamb shoulder with smashed mint pea. Punctuate your meal with the delicious sweet offerings of Kahlua espresso deconstructed tiramisu or Passionfruit curd tart with ice-cream and passionfruit coulis.

While all menu options are designed as a shared experience, rest assured that a meal at Merricks Creek is certain to be a gastronomic delight.

Red Hill Epicurean

Housed in a converted old shed and transformed into a large industrial style eatery, Red Hill Epicurean is a warm and welcoming space that embraces the best fresh local ingredients for their Italian influenced menu.

Their specialty of course, is piping hot wood fired pizzas and a creative assortment of pastas, risotto, antipasto and salads. If you’re after something a little more substantial, there’s a hearty selection of mains that are sure to satisfy even the most discerning palate.

Red Hill Epicurean on the Mornington Peninsula

From Beef Brisket served with celeriac, kale, and a red wine sauce; Slow roasted lamb shank with honey carrot puree, to Pan Fried Barramundi with fennel puree and grilled lemon. While the dining areas are large, the staff are attentive and ensure your every request is catered for.

Tucks Ridge

Tucks Ridge is the perfect location to enjoy a relaxed meal after spending a morning of swirling and sipping. Enter through their recently renovated cellar door (or drop-in for a tasting) and then make your way through to the bright and inviting restaurant floor.

Their outdoor dining area opens out to arguably the best vine views of any cellar door restaurant on the Peninsula. Feast from a mouth-watering rotisserie menu which features a slow roasted pork shoulder, spiced lamb leg, hot smoked salmon and charcoal chicken.

Tucks Ridge winery on the Mornington Peninsula

Complimented by a delicious array of snacks, sides, salads and sweets. The dishes here are an absolute knockout. So full of flavour, so beautifully presented and so delicious.

One visit to Tucks Ridge will have you returning time and time again

 

Want to leave the organising and driving to the experts? Explore and taste your way through the Mornington Peninsula with a private and tailored tour with Wine Compass.

Planning your Aussie holiday? If you love getting behind the wheel then check out these great Australian road trips.

If you’re looking for a great place to stay in the Mornington Peninsula just click here, and if you’re in Sydney for New Year’s Eve then here are some top hotels with a view of the Sydney fireworks.

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