Just an hour from the city, the Mornington Peninsula has long been a favourite for Melburnians looking for a day trip or weekend escape. And for a place that is better known as a summer destination, Red Hill sure knows how to turn it on in winter, when the smell of open fires and gourmet fare fill the fresh country air. Whether it’s a long lunch, a wine tasting, a tour or a quick feed, we bring you Victoria’s very own Tuscany.
True to its name, Epicurean offers a one-of-a-kind foodie experience, making the most of local produce to create a fresh and gourmet menu. It may not be an official winery, but with a wine tasting bar and a selection of bottles from over 100 Mornington Peninsula vignerons, there are plenty of reasons to drink here.
For a more relaxed dining experience, follow the glorious scent to the bakery for house-roasted coffee and a selection of cakes, salads, soups and sandwiches. Delve further into the eatery to find the larger restaurant, The Shed, which boasts some of the best homemade pizza around. Large timber columns frame the majority of the expansive interior, with exposed brick walls, marble and an open fireplace making for a casual and cool space. With homemade coffee, bread, cheeses and pastas available, you can take part of the experience home with you.
165 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
(03) 5989 4000
Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove
Expansive decks, vegetable and herb gardens, roses and a fruit and nut orchard make up the scenic landscape at Montalto. With a la carte and cafe dining, as well as private catered picnics, the winery suits all budgets and tastes. After lunch, stretch out on the grass or wander the path between the vines and enjoy the gorgeous grounds.
33 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South
(03) 5989 8412)
Port Phillip Estate
With a dramatic curved building that happily marries with the earth that surrounds it, you could visit Port Phillip Estate for the architecture alone. What will make you stay is luxury accommodation, exceptional food and wine and panoramic views of the vines and the sea. One of the finer wineries on the Mornington Peninsula, Port Phillip Estate is the place for some romancing or a special occasion.
263 Red Hill Road, Red Hill South
(03) 5989 4444
Merricks General Store
The quintessential country bistro, Merricks General Store is a cosy eatery rich in atmosphere and flavour. The store offers a seasonal take on cafe dining for breakfast, lunch, wine and dessert daily, with a range of produce and regional wines that can be enjoyed in house or at home. As the official cellar door for Quealy, Baillieu and Elgee Park Baillieu Myer, Merricks General Store is open for wine tasting daily.
3460 Frankston-Flinders Road, Merricks
(03) 5989 8088
Set in an old barn building with a barrel garden and modern Italian menu, T’Gallant reflects the character of the maritime Mornington Peninsula with a charming European influence. Have drinks in the sunny garden or head inside for a wine tasting and some wood fired pizza. With a selection of gourmet sauces, preserves and pastes available, you can grab a little souvenir too.
1385 Mornington Flinders Road, Main Ridge
(03) 5931 1300
Because wine is made to drink with food, the fare at Foxey’s is cooked to compliment the wine. Qualified chef and winemaker Tony Lee has created a fresh, seasonal menu that focuses on light share plates and local ingredients. Mediterranean-inspired dishes such as the zucchini fritters, tomato, mint and feta salad and pear with tuna bresaola are prepared simply to let the produce do the talking.
795 White Hill Road, Red Hill
(03) 5989 2022