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Five of the Best Mornington Peninsula Wineries and Cellar Doors

Exceptional Pinot GrisChardonnayPinot Noir, and boutique cellar doors abound as we present the best Mornington Peninsula wineries to visit.

Just an hour drive from the centre of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula has long been known as the home of beaches, colourful swimming boxes and holiday houses. Since the early 1980s Mornington has emerged as one of the Australia's premier cool-climate wine regions. With its many sheltered valleys and a maritime cool climate, it's now home to over 200 wineries producing award-winning Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris.

To help plan your trip, we've selected a collection of Mornington Peninsula wineries we feel provide the best cellar door experience, plus we've included a handy interactive map down below.

Crittenden Wine Centre

Crittenden Wines are an icon of the Mornington Peninsula, helping to establish the region's reputation for superb cool-climate wines since the early 1980s. Today, the new Crittenden Wine Centre is the perfect place to sample a wide range of wines. Sit back and enjoy relaxed table service and be guided through a customized flight of wines by knowledgeable and friendly staff. There is a superb range of over two dozen wines on offer, from excellent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir through to innovative alternative varietals such as Vermentino, Savagnin and Tempranillo under their Los Hermanos and Pinocchio labels.

25 Harrisons Rd, Dromana, VIC - View on our Mornington map

Open daily 10:30 am to 4:30pm

Visit the Crittenden Wine Centre website

Quealy Winery Cellar Door

If you're a fan of Pinot Gris then a visit to the Quealy Winery Cellar Door should be the first cellar door on your list -  Australian wine lovers can arguably thank Kathleen Quealy for introducing us to this vibrant style.  At this charming cellar door, passionate hosts are on hand to guide you through the eclectic range of wines each with a characteristic and innovative winemaking style. You'll enjoy an amazing collection from sparkling wines and skin-contact whites to single vineyard Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir,  and cool climate Muscat dessert wines. You're in good hands here.

62 Bittern-Dromana Rd, Balnarring, VIC - View on our Mornington map

Open daily 9am to 5pm

Visit the Quealy website

Red Hill Estate

Established in 1989, this salt of the earth winery and cellar door was one of the first in the region and helped establish the Mornington Peninsula's reputation for outstanding cool-climate wines. There is a superb range of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Shiraz and Sparkling available to sample, with fruit sourced from their three estate vineyards. This is a great way to contrast the subtle differences that each vineyard imparts and to also appreciate the talents of winemaker Donna Stephens. Make sure you take the time to step outside and take in the magnificent view - it's one of the best in the region and looks over the vines out towards Western Port Bay.

53 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South, VIC - View on our Mornington map

Open daily 11am to 5pm

Visit the Red Hill Estate website

Rare Hare

Rare Hare is the Peninsula's latest restaurant, wine bar, produce store and the new home of Willow Creek Wines and is not to be missed during your next visit. Enjoy a casual wine tasting at the wine bar or call ahead to book a guided tasting with one of the cellar door team in the barrel room. Afterwards, take in the panoramic views over the Willow Creek vines and enjoy innovative modern Australian fare in the restaurant courtesy of executive chef Guy Stanaway. Why not book a room and stay a night at Jackalope Hotel, the region's latest luxury offering, that's just a short hop from the cellar door.

166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North, VIC - View on our Mornington map

Open Mon to Thur 11am to 5pm and Fri to Sun 11am to 9pm 

Visit the Rare Hare website

Yabby Lake

This charming cellar door is the perfect place to spend the afternoon sampling a host of award-winning single vineyard Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris. Enjoy stunning views over the vineyard and a light lunch on the verandah, or perch yourself at the slick tasting bar and be guided by the always friendly cellar door staff through offerings from their Yabby Lake and Red Claw labels.

86-112 Tuerong Rd, Tuerong, VIC - View on our Mornington map

Open Daily 10am to 5pm

Visit the Yabby Lake website

Mornington Peninsular Cellar Door Map

Planning a trip to Mornington Peninsula? Download our interactive Mornington Peninsula winery map. To save on your browser or device, click here

For more information on visiting the Mornington Peninsula, be sure to visit the official Mornington Peninsula Website or stop by the visitor information centre in Dromana. If you'd like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit, explore our selection of Mornington Wines and find out more about the wineries listed here in our Meet the Makers section .

And, with the Wine Selectors Regional Release program me, you'll experience a different wine region each Release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel, plus you'll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our Regular Deliveries page to find out more!

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Coonawarra - the Cult of Consistency
Words by Nick Ryan on 29 Sep 2017
While other Australian regions may have caught up to Coonawarra in the red wine stakes, the commitment of this region’s passionate locals will see it shine well into the future. Coonawarra is an enigma wrapped in a red dirt riddle. We all think we know Coonawarra because it seems like it’s always been there. When you set out on the journey to discover Australian wine, Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the first checkpoints you reach, a foundation stone for building an understanding of what this country can do with its vineyards. But does familiarity breed contempt? And where do the classics sit when the market seems obsessed with the cool cutting edge? Is it enough to continually do a few things well when the consumer has the all the loyalty of a stray cat and the attention span of a goldfish? Is Coonawarra’s glorious past impeding the region’s push into a bright future? A famously close-knit community
Coonawarra is a place where many of the names on the bottles have been there for generations. While its biggest players are corporate, Wynns most notably, the majority of producers are family owned, including names like Balnaves and Bowen Estate. Vineyards are tightly held and rarely change hands and its comparatively small size – just 5,500 ha – ensures the region’s prized fruit is all taken up by those domiciled there and virtually nothing is available for winemakers from other regions to have a crack at making Coonawarra wine seen through outsider eyes. There are obviously benefits in a strong sense of community. “There’s certainly a combined sense of purpose,” says Peter Bissell from Balnaves, a transplanted Kiwi and relative newcomer, having arrived in Coonawarra in 1989. “There’s also a long collective memory of winemaking traditions going back to the 1950s and beyond, that gives us as winemakers a real sense of carrying on something important.” Dan Redman is as Coonawarra as they come, having joined the family business exactly a hundred years after his great-grandfather made his first wine from grapes grown in the famed terra rossa soil. It’s been his nursery, his playground, his backyard, his home. “To me, this community is a source of great friendships and some pretty good times with people I’ve known all my life,” he says. “One of the real strengths of this place is the shared common goal we all have to promote Coonawarra. There’s a united front when any of us talk about the region.” But Redman is not totally blinkered. “It’s probably fair to say that some of the ideas and thinking from the wider wine world might take a bit longer to get here than some other places,” he admits.
That’s pretty understandable in a way. You can’t talk about Coonawarra without considering its physical isolation. It’s halfway between Adelaide and Melbourne, but not on the direct route to either. New blood flows through Coonawarra the way it does through a statue. Kate Goodman is uniquely placed to comment on the region’s uniquely singular focus. She makes wine under her own label in the Yarra Valley and was appointed consultant winemaker at Coonawarra’s Penley Estate a couple of years ago. “The Yarra is vast with a huge diversity of sites, while  Coonawarra is a small area with a tight focus on carefully defined vineyards,” she says. “I’m not saying one is better than the other, I’m just saying the diversity of the Yarra’s landscape lends itself more easily to a diversity of winemaking approaches.” Goodman relishes the opportunities Coonawarra presents, and has quickly learned what makes the place special. “Dear God, the fruit this place can produce is just bloody sensational,” she says. Evolution, not Revolution
​ It would be wrong to see Coonawarra as a wine region trapped in amber. There has been significant change over the last decade, but those changes have been subtle and have taken place within the well-established framework of the classic Coonawarra style. Most notable of these has been the widespread reworking of the region’s vineyards, a sustained exploration of how best to manage its most valuable assets with fruit quality the singular aim. This focus certainly underpins winemaker John Innes’ philosophy and, he says, he spends time in his vineyard, “continually tasting the fruit for optimal flavour and textural ripeness.” The minimal pruning regimes that dominated the region in the 1980s have given way to practices more conducive to vine health and various flirtations with both over and under ripeness have given way to a more comfortable middle ground. A wider clonal mix is now present in the region’s vineyards, offering new angles from which to view the Coonawarra Cabernet picture we think we know so well. Coonawarra has so far been immune from invasion by hipsters who harvest while howling at the moon, so remains untouched by the outer extremes of winemaking methodology, but that doesn’t mean the place is all ‘set and forget’ when it comes to winemaking approach. But it’s all about refinement rather than re-invention. Concrete fermenters are back in vogue, larger format oak and softer fruit handling are helping shape red wines that are more medium-bodied and supple, yet still retain the region’s famed capacity for ageing. Nick Zema explains it best. “We’re always looking to improve, but we never forget what this place has always done best,” he says. “You can go chasing market trends and change up everything you do, but by the time those changes come through to the wine in the bottle, the market’s moved on and you’re just chasing your tail. When you’ve got something that’s considered a classic, you just keep polishing it.” Looking into the future
So where does the famed terra rossa fit in the Australian landscape? The status Coonawarra once had as arguably Australia’s finest red wine region has slipped – more through the competition catching up than Coonawarra going backwards – but the core of what has made this place great remains and, if anything, the future looks brighter now than it has for a long time. Coonawarra’s biggest challenge is making the market fall in love with Cabernet again, and with the ongoing refinement of the style – small, considered steps rather than radical reinvention – the region’s winemakers are set to take that challenge on. Once that’s been done, the story of the region’s outstanding Shiraz, hugely underrated Chardonnay, and affinity with other members of the Bordeaux brotherhood like Cabernet Franc can be told, too. It will always be a place of traditions and tightly woven community ties and may that always be the case. In a world that flutters on the fickle winds of fashion, some certainty, classicism and Cabernet Sauvignon can prove to be welcome respite.
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Five Of The Best Rutherglen Wineries and Cellar Doors
Explore world-renowned wines and enjoy great country hospitality as we present the best Rutherglen wineries and cellar doors with this guide and interactive map . Forged out of the fortunes of the gold rush era,  Rutherglen   is one of the oldest wine regions in Australia and that history is on display everywhere. From the historic corrugated iron sheds housing dusty barrels of world-class fortified wines, to the old hand-tended vines that have lived through world wars, drought and pests, the whole region embodies the quintessential pioneering Australian spirit. Rutherglen is arguably the unrivalled king of Australian fortified wines, but there is also a great variety of robust reds and crisp dry whites.  Durif   is the region's speciality red wine. It's full-bodied with dark fruit and cola characters and high levels of alcohol and tannin, but there is also a great abundance of Pinot Noir, Gamay, Shiraz and alternative varietals on offer. To help plan your trip, we've selected a collection of Rutherglen wineries we feel provide the best cellar door experience, plus we've included a handy interactive map down below . Rutherglen Cellar Doors List Stanton & Killeen
The charming Stanton & Killeen winery is set amongst established gums and rolling pasture with beautifully landscaped grounds and rustic iron sheds. For over 141 years, this Rutherglen icon has produced full-bodied, robust reds, crisp white wines and luscious Muscats, Topaque and vintage fortifieds and there is a great range available to sample during your tasting. Their fortified tasting flights are outstanding, allowing you to sample different categories of Muscat and Topaque to learn more about the process, the importance of ageing, blending and the difference between each method and variety. The historic bond room, originally added for storing spirit, and the original cement vats and fermenters give a snapshot of what winemaking practices were like at the turn of the century. 440 Jacks Road, Rutherglen -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Stanton & Killeen website Rutherglen Estates
  Rutherglen Estates  is proving to the world that Rutherglen can produce world class white wines in addition to the region's renowned fortified and red wines. There is a great range of traditional, Mediterranean and alternative varietals on offer from Viognier, Marsanne, Fiano, Savagnin and Roussanne through to Shiraz, Sangiovese and Durif. Located on the edge of the town in the Tuileries complex, Rutherglen Estates is the perfect place to base your stay in the region. There is a fantastic newly renovated cellar door, a unique Aboriginal art gallery as well as  boutique accommodation overlooking the vines  , a quality café, bar and a great restaurant. And you're just a stone's throw away from Rutherglen's Main Street to explore more after dark. Tuileries Complex, 13-35 Drummond Street, Rutherglen -  view on our map Open daily 10:00 am to 5:30 pm Visit the Rutherglen Estates website Pfeiffer Wines
This charming winery is set inside a historic old distillery complex by the bank of the Sunday Creek. The father and daughter winemaking team of Chris and Jen Pfeiffer produce a world class range of wines that has garnered over 50 trophies and 350 medals from wines shows around the globe. After sampling the full range in the tasting room, you can then relax outside under an umbrella on the century-old Sunday Creek Bridge. With a glass of their world-renowned  Pfeiffer Wines fortified  or aromatic Gamay, you can try to catch a glimpse of a platypus in the creek below. Distillery Rd, Wahgunyah -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Pfeiffer Wines website Cofield Wines
The Cofield family have been an integral part of the Rutherglen winemaking community since Frank Cofield first tendered to the St Leonards vineyards in 1909. Today, that family passion for wine lives on with third generation Damien at the helm of their wines with premium fruit sourced from Rutherglen, the King Valley, Alpine Valley and Beechworth. Cofield is a great choice when travelling with the family with lovely grounds, free BBQ facilities and outdoor games, bean bags, chess and totem tennis. And does spending the night under the stars with a glass of wine beside the vineyard where the grapes in that wine were grown sound like your ideal weekend escape? If so, then you're in luck, as you can camp beside the Cofield vines thanks to Grape Vine Glamping. Distillery Rd, Wahgunyah -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Cofield Wines website Campbells Wines
For over 145 years and five generations, the Campbells family have produced iconic, full flavoured Rutherglen reds and elegant Rutherglen Port, Muscat and Topaque. That heritage is on display as you walk along the 'muscat mews' lined with century-old barrels of ageing fortified wines in their cellars. There is a great range of emerging varietals, Rutherglen stalwarts such as Shiraz and Durif through to their renowned sweets and stickies to taste accompanied by local cheese and olives. Make sure to book ahead for a private tour and tasting or reserve a hamper filled with delicious regional treats to enjoy on the lawns beside the vines. 4603 Murray Valley Hwy, Rutherglen -  view on our map Open daily 9 am to 5 pm Mon to Sat, 10 am to 5 pm Sun Visit the Campbells Wines website RUTHERGLEN WINERY MAP Planning a trip to Rutherglen? Download our interactive Rutherglen winery map. To save on your browser or device,  click here For more information on visiting Rutherglen, be sure to visit the official  explore Rutherglen website  or stop by the visitor information centre in the middle of town. But, if you'd like to sample some of the wineries listed in this guide before you visit, explore our selection of Rutherglen wines and find out more about the wineries listed here in our  Meet the Makers section  . And, with the  Wine Selectors Regional Release program , you'll experience a different wine region each Release with all wines expertly selected by our Tasting Panel, plus you'll receive comprehensive tasting notes and fascinating insights into each region. Visit our  Regular Deliveries  page to find out more!
Wine
Wine Traveler Riverland
Words by Dave Brookes on 28 Dec 2017
While South Australia’s riverland region has always been famous for bulk wine production, innovative local winemakers are changing the landscape by planting a range of grape varieties perfectly suited to the hot, dry climate. As I sit down to pen this brief piece on the Riverland , I’m reminded of the words of that great American philosopher LL Cool J who rhymed, “don’t call it a comeback; I’ve been here for years; I’m rockin my peers; Puttin’ suckers in fear”. Mic drop from Queens. Perhaps I’m getting carried away. I’ve always been told I have a fertile imagination, but who would have thought a decade ago that boutique winemakers from Margaret River to Coonawarra would be sourcing fruit from the Riverland and proudly displaying that fact on their wine labels? The Riverland has always been, along with several other regions that lie along the life-giving artery of the Murray, the engine-room of the Australian wine industry. The Riverland accounts for over 50% of South Australia’s wine crush and around 30% of the national total, some 470,123 tonnes in 2017. It is a very important region for Australian wine. One winery alone, Berri Estates, is the largest grape processor in the southern hemisphere, crushing some 220,000 tonnes of grapes annually or around one-third of the total grape crush of South Australia. Several years ago, I recall driving with the Berri Estates winemaker to the crushers; a journey through a huge truck marshalling area complete with traffic wardens. He turned to me and said, “Can you feel the romance?” Funny, but the sheer scale of the operation was astounding. The Riverland is also a region well aware of the hardships of farming; of extended droughts and the plunging grape prices of boom & bust cycles. But the droughts, while devastating for growers already struggling with low grape prices, have forced some changes for the better. Included among them are sustainable irrigation, drought hardy rootstock and clonal research, and the planting of alternative varieties, or, as one local winemaker described them, “appropriate varieties.” King of grapes
One of the larger producers is Kingston Estate, established by Greek immigrants, Nina & Steve Moularadellis in the mid-1980s after they met picking grapes in the early 1960s. Today, you can still find them in the winery most days, but it is son Bill who steers the ship. Kingston Estate produce a range of wines that offer great value for money and drinking pleasure. Their portfolio centres around the European classic varieties, but for me, when I think of the estate, it is their Petit Verdot that springs to mind and it is certainly a variety they have hung their hat on. Deeply coloured and laden with rich fruit and spice, it possesses an ample structure with plenty of ripe tannin and is a variety that seems to thrive in the warmer climes of the Riverland. Salena Estate, another of the larger operators, has around 520 acres under vine, roughly half of which is certified organic. Their range includes classic varieties, across different price points that provide great drinking, and their ‘Ink’ series concentrates on the ‘appropriate’ varieties with some great examples including Montepulciano , Graciano, Bianco d’Alessano and Vermentino . The Banrock Station cellar door is top-notch with the complete range of wines available for tasting, a great little restaurant if you are feeling peckish and the amazing wetlands ecosystem with walking trails if you need to stretch your legs. The Angove cellar door in Renmark is another must visit for the quality and diversity of their range of wines with fruit sourced from the Riverland and further afield across South Australia. In recent times, the interest in sourcing fruit from the Riverland by winemakers based outside the region has been pleasing to see. There are several factors at play here. Better farming practices and increased interest in some of the varieties that end in ‘O’ that seem well suited to the region are certainly in the mix. Another is the tireless efforts, boundless energy and great farming nous of Ashley Ratcliff of Ricca Terra Farms, who has done much to raise the profile of the Riverland as a source of well-farmed, alternative varieties. Part of this nous was knowing when to take a risk on doing something new. As he explains, “During the boom times in the Riverland, grape prices were up and getting people to change their practices was hard. Why would you decrease your yields and plant new varieties? When things turned, however, others panicked, but we were brave; buying up vineyards and planting alternative varieties that now fetch sustainable prices.” Ashley’s Ricca Terra Farms is just outside Bamera and is planted with many of the varieties that are now sought after in the region – Nero d’Avola , Fiano , Vermentino , Montepulciano , Zibbibo, Muscato Giallo and the curiously named, Slankamenca Bela. As well as supplying grapes for other winemakers, Ashley has his own ‘Ricca Terra’ label featuring inventive blends of these varieties. Another producer riding the wave of the alternative varieties that are well-suited to the Riverland is Alex Russell Wines. Viticulturist and winemaker Alex Russell crafts a range of delicious wines from Montepulciano, Vermentino, and Lagrein to Nero d’Avola, Saperavi and Graciano. Alex’s range of wines hold true to the tenet that a wines ‘raison d’etre’ is to be above all else, delicious to drink and they have picked up a swathe of awards at the Australian Alternative Varieties Wine Show in Mildura . small names, big impression
Other small local producers who farm in a thoughtful, sustainable fashion to seek out include Whistling Kite, whose biodynamically farmed range includes a fantastic Petit Manseng and a Montepulciano that is a benchmark for the region. The organically farmed Bassham Wines is another, with delicious, racy whites including Vermentino and Fiano, along with lovely examples of Lagrein, Nero d’Avola and Graciano. Also check out 919 Wines, whose range of table wines provides beautiful drinking across both the classic and alternative varieties, including a killer Pale Dry Apera style. And last but not least, the Delinquent Wine Co has a fantastic range of funkily packaged wines for “drinkin, not thinkin”, featuring new wave varieties, including the very drinkable Bianco d’Alessano Pet Nat Sparkling. Of the producers from further afield who proudly source fruit from the Riverland, the list is growing. Sue Bell from Bellwether Wines in Coonawarra produces a fantastic, award-winning Nero d’Avola Rosé and crisp, textural Bianco d’Alessano; Margaret River based winemaker Brad Wehr of Amato Vino produces a dangerously drinkable Riverland range including a wonderful Slankamenca Bela. In the Adelaide Hills, Unico Zela features amazing Fiano, Nero d’Avola and an enchanting skin-contact white blend. And from McLaren Vale, ex-NYC sommelier Brad Hickey of Brash Higgins Wines crafts a heady, textural Zibbibo using grapes from Ricca Terra Farms vineyard. a bright future
Riverland is on the up and up and if you haven’t sampled its wines, now is the time. Perhaps its reputation has been unfairly tarnished as a source of lower-end, bulk wine offerings, but today the wines have never been better and there is an undercurrent of innovation, sustainable viticulture and experimentation that bodes very well for its future.
Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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