Your group getaway is all organised for a weekend or longer on the Mornington Peninsula, and so your thoughts naturally turn to sampling one or a few of the local wineries. Luckily you have come to the right place, as this area produces some excellent drops. The vines here benefit from the gentle hills which provide shelter, while the geography of the peninsula brings cooling off-shore breezes which temper Summer’s heat. The end result is a region well-known for its ability to produce world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
While a comprehensive guide to the wineries would be long and confusing, here we present some of our favourites which are open on weekends and can cater to large groups. The eagle-eyed will notice that we have not included T’Gallant, Montalto, Red Hill Estate and Crittenden Estate. These Mornington Peninsula stalwarts are well known and produce excellent wines. Instead we have chosen a few of the lesser known players. For a more comprehensive guide, Peninsula Group Stays recommends the following resources:
Merricks is the home of this family-run small winery which is working towards a zero carbon footprint. Not only are their environmental credentials sound, so too are the wines. Pinot noir is the main game here, with two produced: Les Cinq is the more masculine wine with dark red fruit, and earthy characters, while L’ami Sage is the feminine expression of this grape with fine tannins, perfume and elegance. Whites are represented by an age-worthy riesling and an oak-aged Pinot Gris. This winery is an easy drive from our Red Hill Properties: Bunting’s Hideout and Collins Street House.
Located in Dromana at 85 Harrisons Road, and easily accessible from Bayviews from Drury Lane, this winery is like the mythical phoenix. Careful application of biodynamic techniques and small flock sheep grazing has resurrected the once-neglected vines of the former Five Sons Winery. This winery is now producing high quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Pinot Gris and Cabernet Sauvignon. Even more interesting is the owner’s resurrection of the ancient Italian (more correctly Etruscan and Roman) technique of fermenting and maturing the grape juice in terracotta amphorae imported from their homeland.
This is wine-making with surgical precision. The lineup includes the entry-level Devil Bend Creek wines, with Moorooduc Estate wines made from estate-grown fruit, and single-vineyard offerings from the Robinson vineyard and Garden vineyard, while the top tier Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are called simply “The Moorooduc” and feature only the best parcels of fruit, limited in quantity and treated to a “no expense spared” philosophy to produce wines of exceptional quality.
Polperro is a 25 Acre vineyard on Red Hill Rd. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Gris are made from premium Mornington Peninsula vineyards under the Polperro Estate label. Even Keel wines are sourced from Canberra and Tumbarumba. The bistro here is excellent, and is open for lunch on the weekends.