Food, Top 10, Inside Story

Best Mornington Peninsula Wineries - The World Loves Melbourne

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The World Loves Melbourne rates Mornington Peninsula highly as a premium Australian destination. When we think of the Mornington Peninsula we think of premium Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Where to visit for your DIY Tour? Here are our Best Mornington Peninsula Wineries - 


Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove 

Merricks Creek Winery

Ten Minutes By Tractor

Red Hill Estate (Max's Restaurant)

Darling Park Winery

Port Phillip Estate 

Ocean Eight

Foxeys Hangout

Quealy Winemakers

Crittenden Estate (Stillwater restaurant)

Paringa Estate Winery & Restaurant

Willow Creek Vineyard (Salix restaurant)

Flinders Hotel - Terminus


Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove - 33 Red Hill - Shoreham Road, Red Hill South

Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove is a spectacular winery in Red Hill and a grand slice of the Mediteranean. This is surely one of the best Mornington Peninsula Wineries and a winery to take out of towners. This winery displays the best of the Peninsula with wonderful views and high class food and wine. Every time we've visited Montalto the car park is full of luxury cars - the top end of town is fond of Montalto.

The wine itself is excellent - come here mainly for top notch Pinot and Chardonnay. The Reserve Pinot is to be raved about but also the standard Pinot at around $30 is a cracker. Check out the white linen hatted fine dining in the restaurant or enjoy the amazing ambience of the cafe outside nestled next to rolling vineyards and a stunning garden. Local produce includes food sourced from the local garden. Food at the outdoor cafe includes superb pizzas and excellent platters. Also check out the sculpture pieces throughout the property and the Olive grove. Images - The World Loves Melbourne.


Merricks Creek Winery44 Merricks Rd, Merricks

A MUST visit in the Red Hill region! Possibly the best Cellar Door experience of them all with its smart food, amazing Pinot, new Cellar Door and family charm. Open weekends Merricks Creek Winery is a breath of fresh air on the Mornington Peninsula.

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Image Credit: Jamie Durrant.  

The new Cellar Door is stunning in terms of design and its showcasing of the vineyard views; imbibe great wine and food on a raised deck with vineyards "up close and personal". The Pinot Noir here is exceptional; with Merricks Creek a James Halliday 5 star winery. Peter Parker the owner and winemaker, is also a clinical psychologist in South Yarra. He  describes his labour of love at the winery as "a hobby gone mad".

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Image credit: Jamie Durrant.

Charm and romanticism infuse this family winery; with Peter telling us how they were originally grape growers untill a contract fell through in 2001 and they decided to make their own wine. The rest is history as they have made wines at every vintage. 

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Sit back on the raised deck and enjoy Mediterranean shared dishes and wine by the glass. Dishes are rewarding with small sharing plates not taking long to come out to the table. Think Italian rustic. Dishes are only $10-15 for the smart small seasonally changing sharing dishes. It's the sort of food we are wanting to see at a winery; unpretentious, delicious, fresh, seasonal, simple and rewarding.

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Think Roasted tomatoes, Meredith Dairy goat curd, grilled ciabatta and rocket; or indulge in Tarrago marinated mushrooms with ciabatta; not to mention Crispy thins with pistachio, hazelnut, fetta, mint and spinach.

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A highlight is Rare eye fillet, caper vinaigrette and ciabatta, and the 20 month aged Italian prosciutto di Parma, Shaw River buffalo mozzarella, tomatoes and basil with ciabatta.

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Desserts also impress including Kahlua espresso deconstructed tiramisu and White chocolate mousse mini pots are moorish and delectable creamy bliss.

Ten Minutes By Tractor - 1333 Mornington Flinders Rd, Red Hill

Ten Minutes by Tractor is a highly acclaimed winery and 2 hatted restaurant in Mornington Peninsula. With three vineyards close to each other, the term ten minutes by tractor evolved (it's literally ten minutes by tractor). In terms of regional dining Ten Minutes by Tractor is at the top of the list. You can easily combine a visit to the restaurant with a wine tasting. Then enjoy the degustation featuring fresh regional produce in a small but stylish dining room. The restaurant overlooks the vineyards, and you can spot the odd sheep roaming around.

Once again, as with Montalto, there's a plethora of luxury cars in the car park. The food here is modern and regional, with French and Asian influences. You need to book to dine at Ten Minutes by Tractor. Image credit - Tumblr farqfoodsnot. Surely one of the best wineries on the Mornington Peninsula.



Red Hill Estate - 53 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South

Red Hill Estate is a stunning winery and one of the best Mornington Peninsula wineries with captivating views of Philip Island. Having visited a couple of times The World Loves Melbourne enjoys Red Hill Estate as a wonderful place to take family and out of towners. The kids love the grassy slope while we imbibed the view. Check out the cellar door with decent wines (notably Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) and the acclaimed Max's Restaurant (popular for years) with its glass windows. Check out The Bench wine range named after their famous bench. Image credit - Red Hill Estate Facebook.



Darling Park Winery - 232 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill

Darling Park is an enchanting winery that's a great destination for tasting wines and gins and enjoying a cheeseboard. The Cellar Door reminds me of a Queenslander type construction with a decent verandah. Next door is the legendary Bass and Flinders Distillery, famous for its gin but of late a grape based vodka (tastings on weekends). Darling Park has some of the best wines on the Peninsula, featuring Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay that are world class. 

Organic growing principles are close to the top of the list alongside low cropping, indigenous yeasts, moderate use of oak, and generally fairly traditional (read French-influenced modern Australian) winery practices. Image - The World Loves Melbourne. In terms of its wine and rustic charm, surely Darling Park Winery is one of the best Mornington Peninsula wineries.




Port Phillip Estate - 263 Red Hill Road, Red Hill South

Port Phillip Estate is the preferred destination of many visiting the Mornington Peninsula and one of the best Mornington Peninsula wineries. With a modern winery featuring a limestone structure, Port Phillip Estate boasts a chic dining room with sweeping 180 degrees views. The restaurant is a fine dining destination with European influences. Or take the more casual bistro option.

Viticulture is about sustainability.Informed by the principles of agro-ecology and permaculture, they employ a biological farming system that places focus on the improvement of soil biology through the use of compost teas, estate-produced compost, mulch and other natural soil and plant conditioners. Port Phillip Estate boasts an excellent Pinot Noir. Image credit - Port Philip Estate Facebook.




Ocean Eight271 Tucks Rd, Shoreham

A visit here is to taste some of the best wines on Mornington Peninsula at the Cellar Door. Ocean Eight delights with Mike Aylward the Winemaker taking us downstairs for a barrel tasting, ie a tasting straight from the barrels. The World Loves Melbourne loves a good barrel tasting and we were excited to try a young Nebiollo, as well as Pinots and Chardonnays. Mike Aylward gave us the run down on Ocean Eight, who sell most of their wines to top restaurants around the country (and mainly in Melbourne).The grounds of Ocean Eight are spectacular with smallish Cellar Door and sweeping views of gardens and ranges.

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Foxeys Hangout - 795 White Hill Rd, Red Hill

Foxeys Hangout is a boutique winery that impresses with its spectacular setting which belies its humble frontage. This is not a highly commercial winery but more about meeting with friends. Food is available in the restaurant at affordable prices with blackboard menu, open kitchen, and the vibe is relaxed and friendly.

Check out the tasty dishes such as meatballs, share plates and duck rillettes. Majestic views are to be imbibed through the large windows. Eat your meal on the stunning deck, or even on the steps! Enjoy their wines by the glass. Foxeys Hangout also boasts award winning wines and is literally a great place to hang out. Image Credit - Foxeys Hangout website. Surely Foxeys Hangout is one of the best Mornington Peninsula Wineries in terms of its rustic charm and spectacular setting.




Quealy Winemakers62 Bittern-dromana Rd, Balnarring 

The World Loves Melbourne visited Quealy Winemakers with the much awarded Kathleen Quealy the Winemaker and her team on hand for a premium wine tasting. Quealy is a cool, alternative winery that is unlike many wineries you'll ever visit. They are prone to experiment and bring out the best the region can offer. The vibe is slightly grungy but the winemaking techniques are cutting edge. Kathleen makes unique varietals that match brilliantly with food. Every wine we tasted was elegant. At Quealy Winemakers it's a family affair, including a few pets along the way for rustic charm. If you're used to the hustle and bustle of city life, a tour with Adam Nicholls including Quealy Winemakers is a perfect tonic to escape the city blues.

Kathleen Quealy is famous for championing Pinot Gris/Grigio in Australia and is currently championing the Friulano variety.

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Crittenden Estate - 25 Harrisons Rd Dromana

Crittenden is one of the punter favourites on the Mornington Peninsula, impressive for its high quality affordable cuisine, service and top notch wines. Like other wineries it has compelling views, in this case of a lake. The vineyards feature some of the oldest vines on the Peninsula.

Gary Crittenden has seen this winery grow in leaps and bounds since 1982 and son Rollo has taken the reins. The Zumma 2012 Pinot Noir was announced in 2014 as one of the top 100 wines in Victoria. The restaurant Stillwater at Crittenden features fine dining white tablecloths, imaginative menu, and sustainable and organic produce. Image credit - Crittenden Facebook. Surely Crittenden Estate is one of the best Mornington Peninsula wineries in terms of its ongoing success, iconic standing and ability to deliver at affordable prices.



Paringa Estate Winery & Restaurant - 44 Paringa Rd Red Hill South

Paringa Estate Winery & Resaurant is another jewel in the crown of the Mornington Peninsula as a hatted restaurant for the last few years. A refurbishment of the Cellar Door and adjoining Restaurant took place in 2012 to create a smart modern feel, but in accord with the existing rustic building. Views are spectacular of rolling hills and vineyards.

A modern menu with French influences is the triumph of Head Chef Julian Hills. Grab a table next to the window and order a bottle of Pinot Noir with your meal. Image credit - Paringa Estate Facebook. Surely this is one of the best Mornington Peninsula wineries for its class, modern appeal and spectacular setting.




Willow Creek - 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North

Willow Creek is a spectacular winery with a killer deck for summer dining. Enjoy stunning views of rolling vineyards and the lake. The food here at Salix is top notch with Head Chef Bernard McCarthy bringing technique to seasonal dishes in the dining room. Or enjoy the more casual bistro.

Check out the Charcuterie tasting plate (something we look for at a winery), the Flinders Lamb Shoulder and Free Range Pork Belly mains, and a decent children's menu. Image Credit - Willow Creek Facebook. Image below is nearby view from Flinders lookout from The World Loves Melbourne. Surely Willow Creek is one of the best Mornington Peninsula wineries for its amazing facilities including an amazing deck, refined restaurant and stunning views.


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Flinders Hotel/Terminus - Cnr Cook and Wood Streets, Flinders

Flinders Hotel is not a winery as such but a compelling food and wine destination. You need to book ahead as this hatted restaurant is super popular, and its worth a planned visit to stay in the town. Terminus is a fine dining restaurant at Flinders Hotel on the Mornington Peninsula, with a casual vibe.

The World Loves Melbourne was part of The Age Good Food Month's "hats off" event where hatted restaurants take their hats off to offer something completely different to diners - in this case it was Mexican and Moroccan fusion. An amazing night. Normally the influences are French and North African, with Executive Head Chef Pierre Khodja and his team work wonders in the kitchen for the fixed price menu. Check out the Twice cooked lobster tail or the Roasted free range duck breast, or indeed the John Dory, octopus, chorizo, white quinoa, lentils. Images - The World Loves Melbourne. 

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