Stillwater at Crittenden Estate


outdoor area
function hire
reservations recommended
takes reservations

Stillwater might be the most underrated dining experience on the Peninsula. Unlike most other winery restaurants, this one is owned and operated by chefs – married couple Zac and Jacqui Poulier. They put most of their effort into the food.

Since 2004, the duo has been serving elegant dishes such as house-made beetroot pasta; Josper-roasted eye fillet with parsnip puree; and duck breast with pumpkin puree. There are always smaller entrees to share – sesame-seared tuna with wakame, black garlic and ponzu, for example – but the format is more or less one main per person.

Crittenden, the vineyard and winery Stillwater is located on, has a longer history. Garry and Margaret Crittenden planted their first vines here in 1982. Nowadays, children Rollo and Zoe oversee a portfolio of 26 wines, and an impressive wine centre built in 2014.

Take one of 40 seats to try the entry-level Geppetto range (shiraz, pinot noir, sauvignon blanc, sparkling), the Italian-varietal Pinocchio range (rosato, sangiovese, moscato, pinot grigio) or the Spanish-varietal Los Hermanos range (tempranillo, saludos, homenaje). As at many Peninsula wineries, the top-of-the-range wines are chardonnay and pinot noir. Tall windows give you a view out to the lawn and lake as you sip.

A private tasting room is also available for groups of up to 12; there’s a large table made from timber recycled from Mornington pier.

The property also has three self-contained villas, situated away from the cellar door, down on the lake. They’re often booked well in advance by wedding parties.