Grape Explorations solves a simple problem. Winery tours so often wind up with the same dilemma: who’s driving? It offers comprehensive personalised winery tours, all along the Peninsula.
Reach out to owner (and driver) Michael Aveson to book your tour. There’s a range of packages, such as the eight-hour Peninsula Hidden Gems or the Picnic and Platter Wine Tour with varying durations. All tours include pick up and drop off from one location in Melbourne.
Once you’re all booked in, Aveson will ask each guest to anonymously submit a Spotify playlist to him. He’ll use those playlists to craft a custom soundtrack for your group.
Wineries are just the beginning, too. Your tour might involve pit stops at distilleries, breweries, cideries and farm gates. Once you get to a winery, you’ll be able to meet the winemakers and access their wine rooms and cellars. It’s a totally different – and more personal – experience to what you usually get with many of the larger tour companies.
There are two vehicles to choose from: Estella, a luxe black 11-seater Mercedes; and Lil Pipi with room for seven. (Both cars are named after characters from Great Expectations.) It’s important to note that neither vehicle is wheelchair accessible.
When he isn’t running tours, Aveson spends his weekdays delivering wines for wineries throughout the Peninsula, as well as the Yarra Valley. His knowledge of the area and its booze are tough to beat.