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Food

Best Wineries with Character in Victoria

Looking for a winery with character? Rustic charm and style? Bespoke? Here are our favourite Victorian wineries with character.

Merricks Creek Winery - Monet, Heritage Tables and Old Telegraph Poles

Merricks Creek Winery is a family run winery full of character on the Mornington Peninsula. Drive along the driveway and be impressed by a Monet inspired garden with cypress trees and various shades of green (interplay between colour and texture). Then walk into the modern cellar door and notice a blend of modern materials and recycled bespoke pieces. 

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Relax with standout Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay on the raised deck while noticing the old telegraph poles used as supporting beams for the structure. 

Peter Parker originally enlisted the skills and expertise of renowned architect John Lawrey in developing the cellar door. John had been instrumental in the development of another leading Mornington Peninsula winery, a winery admired by Peter Parker.

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Wine tasting at Merricks Creek is always a pleasure with owner Dr Peter Parker a talented winemaker and psychologist who is one of the most engaging cellar door hosts on the Peninsula.

The interplay with texture is a highlight; from rough hewn stone, to the Merbau timber raised deck (which appears as a floating deck to the casual eye from the vineyard), to the soft cushions and use of concrete. The use of bi-fold doors is stunning providing a seamless transition between inside and outside.

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Several tables at Merricks Creek have a heritage history of over 100 years old and catch the eye, adding another dose of character to this unique experience.

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Gourmet share plates which feature fresh local produce are reasonably priced and pair perfectly with the wine.

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Another table of character used to be sitting around in a shed and has been rejuvenated for guest pleasure.

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Terrines, cheese platters and other popular dishes such as Raclette dish and a Slow cooked Lamb dish, are proving popular at Merricks Creek Winery.

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Popular is the Merricks Creek hire space with the Garden View Table on the verandah  at their cellar door on weekends for your hens event, birthday, catch up or other special occasion. Most times when we visit Merricks Creek there is a group enjoying themselves in this space. One of the most delightful places to be on the Mornington Peninsula and perfect for your event (reasonable cost too).

The Garden View Table is situated within the main entry to Merricks Creek’s Cellar Door. There are lovely views over the adjacent lawn, garden and vineyard. This space is semi-enclosed, has an open fire, wood heater and pull-down café blinds if needed.

Merricks Creek takes Group bookings at the Garden View Table with various seating times (contact Merricks Creek Winery for all the details). The group is seated on high stools around a fabulous large 100 year-old pine slab from the Jamieson High Country. 


Yarra Valley Dairy - Old Milking Shed 

The charm of a 100 year old milking shed in the Yarra Valley. When you arrive you are impressed with the rustic nature of Yarra Valley Dairy and surprised at the world that lies within and the stunning Yarra Valley views.

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Rustic central as you approach the old Milking Shed at Yarra Valley Dairy. My opinion is that people love a bit of grunge - they don't want all the venues to be multi-million dollar modern structures (although obviously there's a market for that).

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Handmade Farmhouse cheeses are top notch!

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Exceptional cheese platters feature at Yarra Valley Dairy with a build your own style - start with a cheese platter and add meats, olives etc.

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Compelling Yarra Valley foodie destination.

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Another rustic perspective full of character from the back of the Shed. Sweeping views, an attractive garden and they make hard cheese too!


Yering Farm - Resurrected Hay Shed

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The converted hay barn at Yering Farm in the Yarra Valley is full of rustic charm. Evident not only from the outside but also from the inside.

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An impressive range of wines excite, as do the top notch ciders. We raved about a dry pink cider! Enjoyed on the charming porch.

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The original 'Yeringa' signage was recovered and adorns the entrance. Pull up a stool or lean on the worn wooden bar as you are treated to a presentation of boutique wines, all grown and made on site.

A backdrop of vineyards and ranges with a lambing nursery and orchard nearby.

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Best's Wines in the Grampians

Founded in 1866 in the Great Western wine region of Victoria, Best's Great Western is one of Australia's oldest continually family owned and operated wineries and full of extraordinary character. Best's is known to have some of the oldest vines in Australia and produces extraordinary wines with great longevity.
Throughout the history of the winery, there have only been two owners - the Best family who founded the winery, and the Thomson Family with a fifth generation Thomson is now running the winery.

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Vineyards planted in the 1860s - are you kidding us? This is Australian winemaking history; and the wines here are top notch and award winning. With a reputation for producing exceptional Shiraz, Best's makes authentic expressive regional wines with a strong sense of place.

The Stables Cellar Door is a great place to taste their wines before experiencing the original underground cellar on their self-guided tour.

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Stables Cellar Door is one of the original stables of the vineyard.

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Built in 1866, the Cellar Door is the heart of Best’s Wines’ operation. Situated in the picturesque Grampians in the undulating central Victorian countryside between Stawell and Ararat.

The old red gum slab tasting room is housed in the original stables and showcases old winery equipment, maps of the area, as well as Henry Best’s original journal dating from 1866. Visitors can take a tour of the 1860s cellars, which were hand dug by miners, and the original Nursery Block plantings, both of which represent a significant piece of Australian wine history.

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Wine tasting at Best's is a rewarding experience.

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Ripped jeans seem to have been fashionable back in the day for vineyard workers (just kidding). Check out their amazing old American Oak Barrels!


Quealy Winemakers - Converted Shed

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If you're looking for high class wines and a dose of character and quirk you've come to the right place. Quealy Winemakers on the Mornington Peninsula will win your heart over with its wines and its charm. And there always seems to be a winery dog or two on hand.

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Amazing shed with rustic doors, bespoke wines, barrels and terracotta amphora.

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Swirl and sip individual vineyard expressions of Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, elegant Pinot Grigio and explore skin contact wines such as their Pobblebonk field blend and little-grown Friulano.Quealy 11

Kathleen Quealy is an Australian winemaking icon. She is often dubbed The Queen of Pinot Grigio, a term bestowed by James Halliday. Kathleen is pictured above with winemaking son Tom.

Old style tanks next to the new stainless steel version; a wonderful contrast. At Quealy organic winemaking principles rule.

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A highly recommended visit.