The Best Wineries in Victoria

Updated 3 months ago

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Between the Yarra Valley and the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria is home to some of Australia’s marquee wine regions. And although these two big players lay claim to the lion’s share of Victoria’s best wineries, there are great places to try all across the state.

From quirky and historic wineries in the Grampians, to Goulburn Valley stalwarts to newer entrants that lay on Melbourne’s doorstep; Victoria is peppered with wineries to try. Some have world-class restaurants and outlooks, some have cellar doors whose tastings have extra-generous pours, and some just have owners with a great yarn to spin.

To be clear, this isn’t a guide to the best Victorian wines – these are our favourite wineries to visit, maybe for just a tasting, or maybe for something more involved such as a long lunch or an overnight stay.

  • This stalwart winery has some of the oldest vines on the Mornington Peninsula, and some of the most impressive dining. Although the restaurant was originally built to help showcase the maturing range of wines, it's since grown an esteemed reputation of its own.

  • This family-run vineyard has been operating since the 1860s, making it one of the oldest wineries in the country. Riesling, chardonnay, pinot noir and dolcetto are all grown here, but Best’s is renowned for its shiraz, which is among the finest in Australia. Don’t leave without a tour of the historic hand-dug cellar.

  • An upmarket fine diner, casual bistro, winery and 16-acre outdoor gallery featuring the work of more than 60 Australian and international artists. Start at the island bench that acts as the cellar door and sample the estate’s chardonnay, pinot gris, pinot noir and shiraz.

  • Some of the finest food, wine and views on the entire Mornington Peninsula, which is saying something. And the accommodation is no slouch either, with a range of beautiful king-sized suites to choose from.

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  • Brown Brothers is nothing if not restless and prolific. In addition to growing just about every popular grape, it also has the Kindergarten: a winery within a winery dedicated to experimental varietals and techniques. It was also the first vineyard in Australia to open an on-site restaurant: Patricia, one of Victoria’s best regional restaurants.

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  • Undulating hills planted with pinot noir and chardonnay, and a restaurant on par with the city’s best. This is a winery worth travelling for.

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  • Striking architecture is common at many Australian wineries. But this Robin Boyd-designed tower and its adjoining cellar raise the bar. Take in the impressive design while sipping award-winning wines and enjoy the comforting menu, which might include Murray Cod crudo, wild venison or barramundi. Bookings are recommended.

  • Bendigo’s oldest vineyard is recognised for its cabernet sauvignon and shiraz. You can enjoy them in the cellar door or during a picnic overlooking the vines. Book a luxe glamping tent or spacious hotel room and enjoy a weekend among the vines.

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  • This bar, restaurant and wine shop is the public face of Innocent Bystander wines. Stop by here to try the label’s signature moscato, or opt for a tasting paddle of wines poured straight from the barrel. There’s also beer; cider; and crowd-pleasing food such as pizza and hearty helpings of paella.

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  • A community-driven, small-batch winery from Tim Sproal (Minim Wine) and Pat Underwood (Little Reddie). Other first-time winemakers also share the space, and there’s a distinct sense of freedom and experimentation in the air. Taste the wines in the converted industrial warehouse and enjoy comforting Greek food on the weekends.

  • Come for the prosecco and stay for the Italian-inspired long lunch. (In true Italian style, you might even take riposo on the lawn.) The menu showcases the market gardens and might include house-made pappardelle, antipasti or woodfired pizzas.

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  • This family-run vineyard started in the 1950s, when founder Arnold Pizzini emigrated from Northern Italy. Proseccos are understandably the highlight here. But a range of varietals from France, Germany and an excellent Spanish tempranillo are also worthy of star billing. The Sicilian-inspired restaurant and its panoramic views make an ideal setting for a long lunch.

  • A small, family-run winery named for the pimpernel flowers that grow among the vines. The grapes are dry-grown and hand-picked, and the family bottle and label every wine themselves. This is one of the most intimate – and unhurried – tastings you can have in the Yarra Valley.

  • Four generations. That’s how long this family has been perfecting the art of exceptional wine and homegrown produce. Enjoy a drop of its revered barrel-fermented chardonnay, or complex old-vine shiraz in the bright and spacious dining room.

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  • This Italian family was making natural wine long before it started trending. It grows traditional Italian varietals including barbera, sangiovese and pinot grigio (and threw in Georgian saperavi for good measure). It makes everything on site – from the unfiltered wines to the Tuscan-style, stone cellar door space.

  • A lavish communal restaurant set beside the Jackalope Hotel. Enjoy lunch on the long wooden benches and take in the views of the 11-hectare Willow Creek Vineyard. The share plate menu might include stracciatella or meats cooked in the woodfired oven. Order a feast alongside Willow Creek’s own pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling.

  • After retiring, John Mitchell started growing and making wine as a hobby. Things quickly grew out of hand. Now, Montalto encompasses seven vineyards and more than 30 acres of vines. As a retirement project, it’s unquestionably a failure: Mitchell and his wife Wendy are busier than ever. By every other metric though, Montalto is a resounding success – it’s one of Red Hill’s must-visits.

  • A day at Foxey’s Hangout is as laidback and easygoing as the wine it produces. It’s set on a spacious estate with an open kitchen, cosy dining room and sunny outdoor deck. The varied share plate-focused menu is a good match for the easy-drinking wines here.

  • A picturesque winery with views of the Murray and plantings of chardonnay, marsane and zinfandel.

  • What this winery lacks in size, it more than makes up for in character. Whether it’s the quaint, well-appointed guesthouses (made from reconverted 1930s train carriages) or the idiosyncratic pinot noirs and pinot gris (naturally fermented with wild yeast, then hand-macerated) a visit here is sure to stand out.

  • A limestone-rich vineyard that’s been operating for almost 30 years. Each wine poured at this family-run cellar door was cultivated, made and bottled on-site. Expect unfined, unfiltered, whole bunch and wild ferments, alongside a line-up of shiraz, pinot noir and chardonnay.

  • One of the oldest vineyards producing world-class chardonnay and pinot noir on the peninsula. Owner Richard McIntyre is one of the country’s elder statesmen of what we now call “natural wines”. See the barrels and enjoy a glass at its inviting cellar door.

  • Exposed brick walls, floorboard ceilings and a rustic courtyard provide a warm welcome at this comfortable winery on Heathcote’s main strip. Sample the various vintages and enjoy the pared-back lunch menu from the dining room or courtyard.

  • A boutique, family-run vineyard set on 55 acres. Winemaker Mark Hunter produces award-winning, French-inspired shiraz and experiments with Spanish varieties like grenache and alvarinho in Heathcote’s red soil. You can experiment, too, at its cellar door.

  • A husband-and-wife duo split the winemaking and cooking responsibilities at this private winery and restaurant, which is open by appointment only. Book early to enjoy an intimate weekend meal and sample its latest drops. Take a seat indoors or enjoy the leafy courtyard when the sun is out.

  • Rockpool and Attica have bought this family-run winery out of entire vintages. You’ll find its restaurant and cellar door five minutes’ drive from Daylesford. Try the sparkling chardonnay or spicy full-bodied pinot noir. The food menu showcases leafy greens from the veggie patch and meats charcoaled over French oak barrel planks.

  • Sip and see for yourself why this winery has won so many Halliday awards. The cellar door is the best place to try the estate’s drops – including its celebrated shiraz, chardonnay and riesling. It’s also a picturesque spot for lunch platters that champion local charcuterie and Great Ocean Road cheeses.

  • The sprawling Crittenden Estate is renowned for its chardonnays and pinot noirs (but also does cracking sparkling and Spanish wines). It’s a good match for its restaurant, Stillwater, which overlooks the lawn and lake and serves a confident menu that champions local produce.

  • This winery is a great visit. There’s something for everyone across a family-friendly restaurant, shed-like dining area, cellar door and more. Although T’Gallant is known for its pinot grigio, there’s a full stable of wines to try. The Italian-style dining and views over the vines are an excellent bonus.

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  • A quintessential Mornington Peninsula food and wine experience. The dining rooms offers panoramic views of the vines and native trees – a stunning contrast to the clean interiors. The menu, meanwhile, respectfully combines influences from around the world, with an emphasis on share dishes.

  • A winery, restaurant and spa set in the undulating hills of West Gippsland. The deck is a picturesque spot to enjoy a glass of house tempranillo or sparkling pinot gris. Take in the views of the vineyard and olive grove and enjoy the satisfying tapas dishes.

  • Perfect for a cosy nature hideaway in South Gippsland. Stay at the weatherboard workers’ cottage and winery set among seven acres of vines. When it’s open, try a drop of its unfiltered and unfined natural wines at the cellar door.

  • This winery specialises in French wines: chardonnay, pinot noir, cab sav – all the blockbuster drops. The restaurant, however, takes its cues from Italy. It’s about as classic a duo as they come. Pair it with the setting, which offers views of vines out to the horizon, and you have a winning combination.

  • This small and charming winery is one of West Gippsland’s best options if you’re after a lazy long lunch. The kitchen (which mainly cooks with what’s grown in the veggie patch) favours antipasti and pizzas, which you can enjoy inside or in the spacious garden. To drink, there’s a selection of sparkling, chardonnay, pinot noir, merlot, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon.

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  • From the helipad to the high-profile architect, no expense has been spared at Levantine Hill. At the restaurant, a Levant-inspired menu that leans into the owners’ heritage. Settle into a wine-barrel-shaped booth for Middle Eastern snack plates, Beluga caviar for an eye-popping $340, three-wine flights and more.

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  • Three distinct vineyards take full advantage of the Peninsula’s maritime climate, which allows starkly different varieties to thrive. At the restaurant, brown leather banquettes and wood panelling set the mood for a tight yet well-executed menu, which features anything from market fish to rich beef cheek.

  • About half an hour’s drive from the CBD, this winery operates out of a bluestone manor that’s more than a century old. The restaurant sits in the middle of the 300-acre farm and focuses on mastering classics like antipasti, pizza and house-made pasta.

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  • A small winery and historic homestead dating back to the 1800s, set against the backdrop of undulant green and yellow pastures. It’s just a 20-minute drive from Melbourne Airport, so time it well and drop by for a tasting before your flight (or right after you land).

  • Husband and wife Pat and Dianne Carmody had their first vintage in 1978, and they’ve been making reputable cool-climate shiraz, chardonnay, cabernet sauvignon and viognier ever since. The couple will talk you through it all at their cellar door, which is set among the gum trees in a bluestone building aged more than 150 years.

  • Rob Dolan played footy for Port Adelaide before he fell into winemaking in the 1990s. His namesake winery and cellar door is a peaceful place to pass the time. Sit out on the porch and enjoy his easy-drinking wines alongside charcuterie (which includes Stone & Crow cheese made on-site).

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  • Victoria’s first vineyard is still one of its finest, and an absolute Yarra Valley essential. Enjoy a meal with panoramic valley views in the main building, or head to the heritage-listed cellar door for a tasting.

  • A relaxed, friendly winery that’s perfect for a family day out. Bring your picnic rug, order a grazing platter and find a patch of space out on the lawns. Then, take in the sweeping views out over the valley.

  • You can’t miss the topsy-turvy house on the picturesque Bellarine Peninsula. This boutique, family-run cellar door specialises in cool-climate drops like chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris.

  • The café and cellar door counterpart to the Jack Rabbit vineyard. The expansive deck is a highlight, giving views across Port Phillip Bay, to the You Yangs and Melbourne. Sit outside and enjoy the vineyard’s drops in warmer weather, or stay inside by the fireplace in the cooler months.

  • Any meal here is a sophisticated affair, combining silver service with country casualness. Elegant dishes are matched with the winery’s award-winning cellar, complete with stunning views of the surrounding vineyards and bushland.

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  • A sleek and spacious Italian restaurant and wine bar in the Yarra Valley. Rustic features like the old milking shed and barn make it a picturesque spot to enjoy a diverse range of wine varieties, mostly French. Plus, there’s a sharing menu that includes arancini, burrata and pizzas.

  • Explore the largest underground cellar in the southern hemisphere. Here, the pioneer of Australia’s sparkling shiraz will guide you through the veritable labyrinth, before offering a taste of these award-winning wines. You can also book a candlelit dinner for two deep down in the cellars.

  • Ascend to this striking cellar door that overlooks the Goulburn Valley and shiraz vineyards. Set on a hilltop with floor-to-ceiling windows, the building looks like it’s straight out of *Grand Designs*. The punchy red wine and local charcuterie are a bonus.

  • The self-taught owners employ mostly biodynamic viticulture practices, and their winemaking style is light in touch. Taste your way through the cellar door drops before settling into the adjoining family-friendly restaurant, which serves up share plates that highlight Gippsland produce.

  • For four generations, this family has combined Tuscan winemaking tradition with Heathcote’s iron-oxide-rich soil. The resulting wines are textural and impressive. Come to try a drop at the cellar door, stay for a game of bocce and an Italian antipasti platter.

  • Dedicate an afternoon to this sprawling winery – there’s a lot to do. You could taste different drops in the chalet-like cellar door, picnic with a grazing platter out on the lawn or peruse the locally made goods in the gift shop.

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  • This casual cellar door is a great pit stop along the Great Ocean Road. Enjoy some of the best riesling, pinot noir and tempranillo in southwest Victoria. The cellar door also puts on a satisfying tapas lunch of local seafood and cheese. The Cuban cigars are optional.

  • Just under two hours’ drive north of Melbourne lies one of Victoria’s oldest family-run wineries. Stop by the 19th-century estate for tastings in the subterranean cellar, or have lunch on the deck overlooking a billabong.