Best Victorian Wineries - Mornington Peninsula v Yarra Valley
Both Mornington Peninsula and Yarra Valley are top wine destinations for any wine lover. But where to go? Should I go to Mornington Peninsula this weekend or to Yarra Valley? We love it all but are left to ponder this question. Of course there are other great wine regions in Victoria but living near the city these are the two regions we most frequent.
This region is about an hour from Melbourne so easily accessible. After all you can spend an hour in Melbourne traffic just getting from one part of Melbourne to another. And we love the drive to Mornington Peninsula, the towns and the beaches. So relaxing. Some of our favourite wineries in the Mornington Peninsula are:
Merricks Creek Winery
Merricks Creek Winery boasts a unique and stunning vista and standout wines. You feel like you are actually in the vineyard when you dine on the raised deck over the vineyards only metres away, enjoying gourmet share plates and top class Pinot Noir. This is a bespoke family run winery and one of the great gems of Victoria. Dr Peter Parker is psychologist by day and also a first class winemaker using French methods. His close planted vines yield premium Pinot Noir and the wine has a cult following, including amongst the corporate sector. Merricks Creek Wines are also sold at cellar door adding to the bespoke experience.
The modern cellar door has a charm of its own, with great use of textures and materials. The vibe on a weekend is sensational. You feel like you've escaped the office and you can unwind in a stunning setting, whether it be on the raised deck, inside the cellar door (open plan flowing on to the deck also with vineyard views) or even in the Monet inspired gardens. Staff are friendly and engaging.
Dr Peter Parker is a Pinot Noir tragic and we think this is one of the best tastings in Victoria. Of course it's always sensational when you get to chat to the winemaker. Open on weekends 12-4pm.
Revamped following a recent renovation, Montalto thrills with its views, extensive cellar door and range of wines, as well as elevated dining options. Stroll around the gardens and check out the sculptures before enjoying a top notch dining experience. Montalto makes its wines from 6 vineyards drawn across the Peninsula and occupies a massive 50 acre property. With recent changes the new kitchen now features an Argentinian asado grill and local producers.
Quealy is quirky and a unique winery offering including Pinot Noir, Pinot Grigio, and Friulano. Kathleen Quealy is one of the icons of the industry and she will make your day at a cellar door visit. The cellar door is small but the property is charming and the wines compelling. If you fancy bespoke experiences this will be right up your alley. Wine is the focus but there are also a range of edibles to complete the cellar door experience, as well as a winery dog or two.
The Yarra Valley is a premium wine district with many highlights, featuring both large and small producers. Like Mornington Peninsula it's about an hour from Melbourne (although it stretches far and wide). Also like Mornington Peninsula it features Pinot Noir and Chardonnay (we never left Chardonnay). Some favourites in the Yarra Valley are:
Oakridge is a popular option for those wanting a winery experience with fine dining options. Oakridge is our favourite in the Yarra Valley with sweeping views both from the cellar door and the dining room. Before entering the dining room make sure you do a proper tasting and you will be surprised at the quality and range of the wines. We watched once as a storm rolled in across the valley, perched at the cellar door. Fine dining is top notch with an emphasis on local produce.
Soumah offers a magical experience, just off the main route (Soumah means south of Maroondah Highway!) of wineries. You may feel like you are transported into Northern Italy with a winery that screams rustic charm. Stunning vineyard views and rolling hills await, as well as Italian varietal wines and excellent food offerings in the restaurant.
De Bortoli Wines
De Bortoli is another favourite, a large family run winery with plenty to offer including the famous Noble One Riesling. Savvy dishes from the a la carte menu are a highlight, as is the cellar door with cheese offerings available. The vistas are spectacular and there is a compelling "family and friends" vibe about De Bortoli. Chances are you've experienced their wines from a large range. Nothing better than to enjoy a lazy afternoon at De Bortoli in Dixon's Creek.