Victoria – Mornington Peninsula – a day's top tastings
By Louise Johnson
If you only have a single day to sample the fruits of the Mornington Peninsula, then this itinerary will give you a day out to remember.
Check below for special offers available only to VisitVineyards.com Members - these will make your visits to our Partner wineries and restaurants all the more amazing. Find out more about VisitVineyards.com Membership here.
Stop 1 - wine tasting
Look out for the red tractor as you come down the Moorooduc Highway at the very start of the Mornington Peninsula. The landmark is Barmah Park, a small family-run vineyard and cellar door that has been making late harvest Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, White Pinot, Pinot Noir, Cherry Dessert Wine and Cabernet made from grapes grown on the property since 2003.
At the top of the Peninsula, this is a great first stop of the day, especially as the excellent and popular cafe is open for breakfast, making it a perfect start to a day out touring and tasting ... read more.
Open: Monday - Friday 10am - 5pm, Saturday, Sunday and public holidays 9am - 5pm
945 Moorooduc Highway
Tel 03 5978 8049
Stop 2 - wine tasting
Open by appointment only, it's well worth making a call and coming in to see Michael Aylward. A young and passionate winemaker, he runs his cellar door by appointment so he can personally give people a tour of the magestic stable buildings that have been transformed into a winery.
Grapes are grown on a number of sites around the peninsula to make the small volumes of high quality Pinot Gris, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir each year ... read more.
Open by appointment
271 Tucks Road
Tel 03 5989 6471
- Ocean Eight
- View Ocean Eight's Member offer here
- Read about winemaker Mike Aylward's passion for pinot noir
Stop 3 - wine tasting and lunch
Pop into the cellar door at Willow Creek for a tasting of Geraldine McFaul's stunning range of wines. Originally winemaker at the Stonier Winery further down the Peninsula, Geraldine has been at Willow Creek for just over a year now and is her magic touch is gently spreading throughout the vines and winery.
Enjoy a tapas style lunch at the Cellar Door Cafe, or, if you have the time, head into the Salix dining room and sink into one of the glorious chairs for a long lunch looking over the vines.
Salix wins regular awards and is a favourite of many local identities for their discreet service and excellent dining experiences. Chef Bernard McCarthy says the beauty of working in the region is the absolute access to prime quality produce and the relaxing pace they are able to offer diners. Open seven days for lunch and for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights, you won't be rushed at Salix. Great for lunch, or swap the itinerary around and end your day here ... read more.
166 Balnarring Road
Tel 03 5989 7448
- Salix Restaurant
- View Salix Restaurant's Member offer here
- Willow Creek
- View Willow Creek's Member offer here
- Read about winemaker Geraldine McFaul here
Stop 4 - wine tasting
Pull up a stool and get comfortable because ex-chemist turned winemaker George Mihaly is a great storyteller and a passionate wine lover. Open the first weekend of the month and public holidays (including a long weekend leading up to the Melbourne Cup), George will entice you into a tasting experience of a flight of his wines matched with fine food created by his chef wife and vineyard manager, Ruth.
The vineyard is working towards a zero carbon footprint and the solar array as you drive in gets its own set of tourists. Make sure you ask George about his quest to make his patch a better place, the health benefits of wine, and the butterflies you get when you taste something truely remarkable ... read more.
You must try:
- The magical Pinot Gris, if you can.
Open: 12 noon - 5pm, the first weekend of the month
26 Merricks Road, Merricks
Tel: 03 5989 9000
Stop 5 - wine tasting
From one of the youngest at Ocean Eight, to the oldest commercial vineyard on the Peninsula. Nat White is the grand-daddy of Peninsula winemaking and the story of how he and his wife Rosalie became interested in wine and started their three hectare vineyard is full of romance and a delightful way to end a day of tastings.
The property was originally planted out in lemons, and local orchardists laughed when Nat and Rosalie carted their shovels through their orchards to plant vines. Nat's laughing now, with his 2006 Half Acre Pinot Noir groaning under the weight of its awards ... read more.
You must try:
- The 2006 Half Acre Pinot Noir is something very special indeed.
Open daily for tasting and sales 12pm - 4pm midweek and 12pm - 5pm weekends.
80 William Road
Tel 03 5989 2686
Stop 6 - chocolate
You have to stop at the chocolate atelier - it is sacrilege to drive past and not pop in for some chocolate sampling. Mornington Peninsula Chocolates came home from the Royal Melbourne Show this year with the champion award for chocolate, the winning number was their Strawberries and Cream creation, which is just amazing.
For $2 will can have a chocolate tasting experience (free for VisitVineyards.com Members), just enough to need more. Thankfully, $20 sends you home with a delicious mixed selection. For bakers and hard core dark chocolate lovers, the origins range of cocoa from around the world is a must. I'm going back for the honey ganache and more of their new mango and passionfruit creation very soon ...read more.
Open Wednesday - Monday, 11am - 5pm
45 Cook St
Tel 03 5989 8490
- Melbourne Surrounds (VIC)
- Mornington Peninsula (VIC)
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