Best Mornington Peninsula Wineries
Nestled just an hour's drive from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula stands as a shining jewel in Australia's wine tourism crown. This coastal paradise has become synonymous with world-class cool climate vineyards, stunning beaches, top-notch dining establishments, and charming holiday accommodations, making it a magnetic draw for travellers and wine enthusiasts alike.
Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the Mornington Peninsula boasts a true maritime climate, with the small differences in aspect, elevation, soils, and microclimates each contributing to the varied and captivating character of the wines. This unique blend of elements has propelled the region into the spotlight of the winemaking world, now home to over 200 vineyards, including both well-established labels and many family-owned boutique wineries.
Curious about the best places to explore wineries and vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula? Wondering what wines Mornington Peninsula is known for? Eager to uncover the best places to stay, dine, and experience the Peninsula's treasures? Look no further.
In this comprehensive guide, we'll unveil the region's premier wineries and lead you to the most exquisite places to indulge your palate, rest your head, and savour every moment. Whether you're a seasoned wine aficionado or a curious traveller, embark on a journey through the Mornington Peninsula, where extraordinary wines, culinary delights, and unforgettable experiences await.
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MORNINGTON PENINSULA WINERY MAP
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The Crittenden family has been producing wine for over 40 years, making it one of the oldest wineries on the Mornington Peninsula. Crittenden Estate is a true family operation with founder and living legend Garry continuing to contribute to the business while son Rollo is the general manager, winemaker, and vineyard manager, and daughter Zoe runs the marketing.
Such is their passion, they renovated their original family home into the very stylish Wine Centre and cellar door where your wine tasting experience is guaranteed to be experimental, educational and engaging.
There are over 20 wines on offer, including their highly acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot, and Spanish and Italian varieties including Tempranillo and Sangiovese, plus the expert cellar door team are also on hand to guide you through the different varieties.
And, if you can’t tear yourself away from the beautiful setting, you can settle in for a delicious long lunch at the Stillwater Restaurant. The restaurant offers both indoor and outdoor dining and the menu delivers modern seasonal dishes featuring the region’s produce.
25 Harrisons Road, Dromana
Open daily 10:30am-4:30pm
Visit the Crittenden Wines website
Garagiste is a distinctive warehouse winery on the Mornington Peninsula. Founded by Barney Flanders, the winery is inspired and named for the Bordeaux garagistes, champions of low-volume, high quality winemaking. Garagiste’s wines highlight the unique terroir of the Peninsula, focusing on a selection of varietals including Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir.
With a passion for the vineyard, Barney’s approach involves cultivating Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from three different sites, allowing the distinct sub-regions of the Mornington Peninsula to influence the final product.
Tastings at Garagiste take place within the winery, offering an opportunity to sample wines from various tanks, including steel, concrete, and oak. Additionally, guests may have the privilege of tasting their artisanal gin.
Tastings are by booking only, and are $45 per person with $10 redeemable on purchase.
Visit Garagiste’s website
Paringa Estate was established in 1984 by Lindsay McCall, a geography teacher at the time and one of the pioneers of the Mornington Peninsula wine region. Savour their exceptional wines at the award-winning cellar door, guided by the experienced cellar door staff all while overlooking the beautiful vineyard surrounds. Varieties available to taste include Shiraz, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir enthusiasts will be especially delighted by the Estate and flagship Single Vineyard examples of the charming varietal.
For dining experiences at Paringa, visitors have options. Nestled near the cellar door, the Paringa Garden boasts trestle tables shaded by large umbrellas, providing the perfect setting for a delightful meal paired with their wines. The garden menu encourages sharing and features a range of mouth-watering dishes that change regularly. For something more upscale, Paringa Restaurant is a culinary gem, earning consecutive Chef Hats and numerous wine awards. The restaurant boasts an elegant and luxurious ambiance, overlooking the picturesque vineyard, and a menu that celebrates locally sourced, seasonal produce.
44 Paringa Road, Red Hill South
Open daily, 11am – 5pm
Visit the Paringa Estate website
You’ll definitely be able to taste the difference between Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio after a visit to T’Gallant’s Mornington Peninsula cellar door. T’Gallant pioneered Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio in Australia back in the 1990s and continues to produce a fabulous range of food-friendly wines inspired by the Italian and provincial way of life.
The friendly cellar door team will teach you the differences between the more mineral Grigio and the luscious and complex Gris, plus you can also enjoy their fantastic Pinot Noir, Rosé, Moscato and Sparkling.
With a large outdoor piazza overlooking the T'Gallant Estate Vineyard, and offering an Italian-inspired menu full of classic provincial-style dishes including wood-fired pizza, the delightful blend of contemporary elegance and rustic charm makes it the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon.
1385 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge
Open daily, 10:30am - 5pm
Visit the T’Gallant Vineyard website
Quealy Winemakers offers an authentic cellar door experience, where guests enjoy wine tastings surrounded by barrels and terracotta amphorae. Here you’ll embark on a tasting journey of high-quality and imaginative regional wines including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay, which are sourced from vines planted across five heritage vineyards in the Mornington Peninsula region. For those interested in trying something new, Quealy also produce lesser-known varietals including Friulano.
Immerse yourself in the winemaking process and satisfy your curiosities as you learn from Quealy’s knowledgeable and welcoming hosts. Made-to-order cheese platters and delightful bites are also available on Fridays to Sundays, to enjoy and enrich the wine tasting experience.
Booking online is preferred, however spontaneous visits are always welcome.
62 Bittern-Dromana Rd, Balnarring
Open daily, 9am – 5pm
Visit the Quealy website
A Mornington Peninsula icon since 1989 and a must-visit, Red Hill Estate not only produces some of the region’s finest wines, it also boasts superb, panoramic views of Westernport Bay and Phillip Island.
The cellar door delivers a first-class wine tasting experience, offering tastings of a range of their flagship cool climate wines. If you’re also rather fond of chocolate, you can enjoy their Matched Chocolate & Wine Experience, available daily. And with such spectacular scenery, you really could sit there for hours while enjoying a of wine or two.
Red Hill Estate is also home to Max’s Restaurant which is considered the original winery restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula and was established over 20 years ago by chef Max Paganoni. The multi-award-winning restaurant serves an inspiring menu bursting with sensational local produce and modern seasonal dishes.
53 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
Open Daily 11am - 5pm
Visit the Red Hill Estate website
BEST THINGS TO DO ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA
The Mornington Peninsula National Park is the perfect place for scenic coastal walks, a dip in the ocean or a picturesque picnic.
The Mornington Peninsula beckons with an abundance of experiences that extend far beyond the vineyards. From discovering the natural wonders of Mornington Peninsula National Park to bike trails, breweries, and unwinding in thermal hot springs, this picturesque coastal enclave promises a well-rounded journey. Here are some of our favourite ways to enjoy this beautiful wine region.
- Mornington Peninsula National Park – discover the unspoiled beauty of this national park, a testament to the region’s commitment to preserving its natural beauty and providing an accessible space for all to enjoy. Explore scenic coastal walks, have a dip in its beaches, encounter local wildlife, or enjoy picturesque picnic spots.
- Sorrento – wander the streets of the charming and historic coastal town of Sorrento, with its heritage buildings, galleries, boutique shopping, and waterfront restaurants offering picturesque views of Port Phillip Bay. Sorrento’s rich history and scenic beauty make it a must-visit destination.
- Peninsula Hot Springs – Experience ultimate relaxation at Peninsula Hot Springs, a renowned natural thermal spring and wellness retreat. Nestled amidst the Mornington Peninsula's serene landscape, these geothermal pools offer rejuvenating mineral-rich waters. Indulge in various spa treatments, from traditional massages to holistic therapies, and enjoy the tranquil surroundings. A day here is a soothing escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, leaving you refreshed and revitalised.
- Cape Schanck Lighthouse Tours and Museum - Delve into maritime history with a visit to Cape Schanck Lighthouse and Museum. Embark on an informative guided tour that takes you inside this historic lighthouse, providing breathtaking coastal views. Explore the museum to learn about the region's maritime heritage and the vital role the lighthouse played.
- Arthurs Seat Eagle – get a bird’s-eye perspective of the region and soar to new heights with a ride on Arthurs Seat Eagle, an exhilarating and accessible gondola experience. Enjoy panoramic views as you ascend to the summit of Arthurs Seat, where breathtaking vistas of the bay and surrounds will have you grabbing for your camera.
- Beleura House and Gardens - step back in time at Beleura, a historic estate on the Mornington Peninsula. Explore the meticulously preserved home of successful composer and pianist John Tallis, and discover a treasure trove of art, antiques, and period furnishings. Make sure you also stroll through the enchanting gardens, spanning five-and-a-half hectares.
BEST PLACES TO EAT ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA
Audrey's restaurant in Mornington Peninsula offers an elevated and authentic dining experience.
Given the many great wineries and attractions in this picturesque region, it’s unsurprising that it also boasts charming cafes, fantastic Mornington Peninsula winery restaurants, and more, offering up delicious dining options. If you’re looking for some of the best restaurants in Mornington Peninsula, we’ve got some suggestions to get you started.
- Audrey’s – located at the iconic The Continental in Sorrento, Audrey’s is chef Scott Pickett’s homage to his grandmother, offering guests an elevated and authentic dining experience. Savour a seasonal tasting menu with a focus on ingredients from the ocean, whilst taking in stunning views over Sorrento.
- Red Gum BBQ – savour the magic of traditional Southern-style barbeque at Red Gum BBQ. Step inside the rustic shed and be greeted by the irresistible scent of smoke and cooking, and the sounds of classic country tunes. Here, kindness and authenticity meet exceptional BBQ, where the Pitmasters, like Patsy, Willie, and Dolly, craft mouth-watering dishes that transport you straight to the Deep South.
- Stringers Sorrento – with over 126 years of history, Stringers Restaurant, Bar & Providore is an all-day diner serving up a delightful blend of seasonal Italian flavours and local produce, offering a menu that spans fluffy ricotta hotcakes for break
- The Bay Hotel Mornington – discover Mornington’s cherished watering hole, The Bay Hotel. Nestled in a heritage-listed hotel and former bank, this vibrant gastropub blends history with modernity, and serves up reinvented pub classics complemented by an extensive drinks selection.
- Bistro Elba – located in Sorrento, this delightful beachy bistro boasts a delectable menu offering seafood options like freshly shucked oysters, ocean trout, and swordfish, along with beloved French classics including steak tartare, crème brûlée, and a selection of French cheeses. To accompany your meal, explore a thoughtfully curated wine list featuring small, emerging French producers.
- Paringa Estate Restaurant – originally created to showcase the estate’s award-winning wines, the restaurant at Paringa Estate has earned a stellar reputation, earning a Chef Hat award in 2014 and every year since. Overlooking a beautiful vineyard vista, diners can enjoy a fine dining or garden menu, celebrating local and seasonal produce.
BEST PLACES TO STAY ON THE MORNINGTON PENINSULA
The award-winning Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate offers boutique self-contained accommodation.
Yes, it may be located close enough for a day trip from Melbourne, but this popular Australian wine region has so much to offer so you may want to stay a little longer and enjoy it all. There’s a raft of great Mornington Peninsula accommodation options to choose from, including luxurious hotels, charming lakeside winery villas, classic seaside cottages, glamping tents, and more. Here are some of our picks for the best places to stay in Mornington Peninsula.
- Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate – situated on a charming lake adjacent to the vines at Crittenden Estate, these boutique self-contained and award-winning villas are the perfect retreat. The villas are large with a balcony extending over the lake, and include features like an authenic wood fire, well equipped kitchen, double massaging spa bath, and more. Visitors …self-cook breakfast hamper, bottle of bubbles, and a complimentary wine tasting at the on-site Crittenden Wine Centre.
- Blue Moon Cottages – discover the coastal charm of Blue Moon Cottages, nestled just 250 metres from the picturesque bayside beach in Rye, at the southern tip of the Mornington Peninsula. Both kid and pet-friendly, these beautifully decorated seaside cottages offer a perfect getaway for families with a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
- Jackalope - experience luxury accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula at Jackalope. This avant-garde boutique hotel and vineyard estate combines contemporary design with the natural beauty of the region. Immerse yourself in opulent accommodations, world-class dining, and breathtaking vineyard vistas, making it the perfect destination for those seeking a lavish escape.
- Lancemore Lindenderry Red Hill – set in the heart of Red Hill, this luxurious boutique hotel experience is a secluded countryside retreat boasting stunning garden and vineyard surrounds. The 4-star guesthouse offers 40 elegantly designed and spacious guest rooms with quality furnishings, embodying the essence of an unforgettable escape.
- Carmel at Sorrento – centrally positioned in Sorrento Village, these fully appointed 3-bedroom luxury apartments are just a stone’s throw away from the beach, boutiques, restaurants, and galleries, offering the utmost in convenience and style. It’s the perfect place to soak up the relaxed atmosphere of this seaside village on the Mornington Peninsula.
- Glamping at the hot springs - immerse yourself in nature and luxury by glamping. Nestled in a serene natural setting, this unique Mornington Peninsula accommodation offers a perfect blend of comfort and wilderness. Enjoy the tranquillity of the great outdoors without sacrificing the pleasures of a luxurious stay, all while being in close proximity to the rejuvenating Peninsula Hot Springs.
THE BEST THAT AUSTRALIA’S WINE REGIONS HAVE TO OFFER
Want to see more of what our great wine regions have to offer? Then don’t miss our comprehensive guide to Australia’s Best Wineries and Cellar Doors – from Hunter Valley in the east to Great Southern in the west, it’s the ultimate go-to guide for planning your next wine adventure.
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