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Wine

Mornington Peninsula’s Top Cellar Door Experiences

Only an hour from the centre of Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is one of Australia’s most popular wine destinations. With its outstanding cool climate vineyards, gorgeous beaches, fantastic restaurants and beautiful holiday houses, it’s easy to see why.

Surrounded by sea on three sides, the Mornington Peninsula is a true maritime climate with the small differences in aspect, elevation, soils and microclimates each contributing to the varied and fascinating character of the wines. It’s these attributes that has seen the region really take off in winemaking terms, and it now includes more than 200 vineyards with well established brands and many family-owned and operated boutique wineries.

Start planning your next trip to the Mornington Peninsula with our latest cellar door guide to this premier wine region. 

CRITTENDEN ESTATE

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The Crittenden family has been producing wine in Mornington Peninsula for over 35 years. Crittenden Estate is a true family operation with founder and living legend Garry overseeing the vineyard, son Rollo making the wine and daughter Zoe running the marketing.

Such is their passion, they renovated their original family home into a very stylish wine centre and cellar door where your wine tasting experience is guaranteed to be experimental, educational and engaging.

Personalised tasting notes accompany your wine flight so you can try, taste and discover at your own pace, plus the expert cellar door team are also on hand to guide you through the different varieties. There are over 20 wines on offer, including their highly acclaimed Chardonnay and Pinot, and Spanish and Italian varieties including Tempranillo and Sangiovese.

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

crittendenwines.com.au

YABBY LAKE VINEYARD CELLAR DOOR + RESTAURANT

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Home of the history-making Block 1 Pinot Noir, winner of the revered Jimmy Watson Trophy, Yabby Lake has built a reputation for wines of great purity and character, uniquely crafted by renowned winemaker Tom Carson.

Located in the sub-region of Moorooduc, the Yabby Lake Vineyard is positioned on a north-facing slope that captures maximum daily sunshine and nightly sea breezes – perfect conditions for growing high quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

The striking cellar door is set amongst the vineyards and offers visitors not only a relaxed and friendly wine tasting experience, but also boasts a fabulous restaurant and the chance to enjoy an incredible collection of Australian artworks.

Lead by chef Simon West, the restaurant’s menu focuses on seasonal and local fare, a range of share plates and beautiful local cheeses. You can also enjoy lunch on the outdoor deck while taking in the stunning views of the vineyard and beyond.

86 Tuerong Road, Tuerong

Open daily 10am-5pm 

yabbylake.com

OCEAN EIGHT

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Owned by the Aylward family and managed by Michael and Hollie Aylward, Ocean Eight was established in 2006 and quickly evolved into the couple’s full-time obsession with Michael awarded Australian Young Gun of Wine in 2011. 

The beautifully crafted cellar door sits in a stunning location and a visit here is a must. Michael and Hollie are definitely hands-on at the cellar door and chances are you’ll be served by them and probably meet one, if not all, of their four young children.

As Ocean Eight’s winemaker, Michael crafts premium quality Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris using hand-picked grapes from the winery’s 17 hectares of vines.

The wines are made in a clean, bright and tight style with fresh acid at the finish – characters that ensure the they are fantastically food-friendly, and also age incredibly well.

271 Tucks Road, Shoreham

Open Thursday – Saturday 11am-5pm, Sunday 11am-3pm

https://oceaneight.com.au

T’GALLANT

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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, Nebbiolo Rosé, Chardonnay, Moscato and Prosecco.

With a large outdoor piazza overlooking the T'Gallant Estate Vineyard, and offering a menu full of classic provincial-style dishes including wood-fired pizza, it's the perfect place to spend a lazy afternoon. On the weekends the outdoor bar serves wine straight from the tap and local musicians play from the verandah.

1385 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge

Open 7 days 10am - 5pm

https://www.tgallant.com.au

STONIER

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Located on the southerly edge of the Mornington Peninsula, Stonier began as a hobby farm in 1978 when Brian Stonier, who was one of the region’s first vignerons, planted Chardonnay, then added Pinot Noir vines in 1982.

The first Pinot Noir vintage was released in 1986 with the Stonier 1997 Reserve Pinot Noir awarded Decanter’s Best New World Red Wine of the Year and the 1999 Stonier Reserve Chardonnay winning the Trophy for Best Chardonnay and Best White Wine of Show at the 2001 International Wine Challenge in London.

The winemaking team is now headed up by Mike Symons and Will Byron, who continue to produce premium Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Sparkling from a selection of the region’s oldest vines.

You can sample a range of these wines at Stonier’s cellar door, which, along with the winery was designed by renowned architect Daryl Jackson.

Parents, you’ll be delighted to hear that this is a family friendly venue – the kids can entertain themselves at the adventure playground, while you get to enjoy a glass of wine on the verandah. You can also indulge in a delicious range of cheeses from local Mornington producer, Red Hill Cheese.

2 Thompson's Lane, Merricks

Open 7 days 11am - 5pm

https://www.stonier.com.au

TEN MINUTES BY TRACTOR

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The award-winning Ten Minutes by Tractor winery started in 1997 with three family owned vineyards in Main Ridge, all ten minutes by tractor apart. Over the past 15 years, Martin and Karen Spedding have been the driving force that have taken Ten Minutes by Tractor on to become one of the leading cool climate wineries in Australia. 

At Ten Minutes by Tractor, their passion is great wine and great food. They offer a relaxed and intimate cellar door experience with in depth tastings where you can discover wines that are a true expression of the unique qualities and character of their vineyards.

In the two hatted restaurant, Chef Adam Sanderson’s innovative menu is driven by fresh regional produce from local growers and farm gates, the kitchen garden and foraged items from surrounding forests, hills and coastline. This is overlaid with classic French training and experience working in some of the best restaurants in the world, including The Fat Duck and Noma.

At the time of writing this listing, the restaurant was closed due to a fire in the old Tractor Shed adjacent to the restaurant. Considerable progress had been made in clearing the site and in progressing plans to reopen. Petit Tracteur, the sister restaurant up the road at 1208 Mornington Flinders Rd, remains open and unaffected by the fire with extended opening hours and tastings available.

1333 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge

Open daily 11am-5pm

https://www.tenminutesbytractor.com.au

MONTALTO

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Montalto offers a fantastic range of wine tasting experiences and guided behind-the-scenes tours. Pop into the cellar door to sit and relax as the tasting team takes you through their wine range, or choose one of their exciting interactive experiences including their Ultimate Pinot Lover’s Road Trip and Off the Beaten Track at Montalto.

They also offer a tasty food and wine pairing class, and for groups of 10 to 16 looking for a more intimate tasting, the exclusive wine room is available. It’s perched high above the estate, with floor to ceiling windows framing panoramic views across the vineyards to the wetlands and beyond.

During the course of a tasting, you will learn how the unique microclimates of the Mornington Peninsula affect Montalto's five vineyards that produce their three wine brands – Pennon Hill, Montalto Estate and Single Vineyard.

Don’t miss out on lunch at Montalto Restaurant – it’s been awarded 15 Good Food chef’s hats since opening in 2002, and offers a warm and relaxing dining experience with seasonal local and estate-grown produce, cooked on a wood fire grill.

33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South

Piazza & Cellar Door open daily from 11am – 5pm

https://montalto.com.au

TUCKS

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Located ‘next door’ to Montalto (and now owned by Montalto), Tucks offers a wonderful cellar door experience, so if you’re in the area make sure you swing by for a wine-tasting session that is a little bit different.

The cellar door is bright and breezy with a laid-back feel. Doing away with conventional bench tastings, the crew at Tucks pour the wines at a freestanding bench at any number of onsite locations – you could be in the bespoke wine room; on the private patio; or even under Tucks’ famous tree. You’ll be invited to blind-taste the wines and encouraged to scribble your notes and marks out of ten on the wipe-down tables to keep track of your reactions, and only then is the identity of the wine revealed. It makes the whole experience really fun and educational at the same time.

Wine on offer includes the quaffable NOW range, the more serious estate range Tucks, and top of the pile Buckle Pinot from a small patch of spectacular vines. 

There’s also a lovely restaurant on site with great views.

37 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South

Open Wednesday to Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm

https://tuckswine.com.au

Red Hill Estate

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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 eight impressive ranges with exceptional quality across several styles and price points. 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

https://www.redhillestate.com.au

Two Blues Sauvignon Blanc 2014
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