T’Gallant Vineyard is one of the Mornington Peninsula’s most storied. Kevin McCarthy and Kathleen Quealy established the winery in the 1990s, when they first started experimenting with pinot grigio. The pair are credited with popularising the grape in Victoria and beyond, and the restaurant and cellar door has long been one of the region’s most popular attractions.
Treasury Wine Estates bought the vineyard in 2003, and sold to Melbourne fund managers Ben Gray and Dion Hershan last year. The duo (who continue to license the brand to Treasury Wine Estates) have overhauled the property and the grounds reopened in May after a year-long hiatus and an extensive six-month renovation.
“We did want to lean heavily into T’Gallant’s history and the surrounding nature with the apple orchards and the rolling hills and the vines, and just all that natural beauty that is surrounding the space,” designer Wendy Bergman tells Broadsheet. “So that sort of led to us to using a lot of natural materials. So textural patterns, botanical vibes and also warm, earthy colour palettes.”
This is seen throughout, but particularly in the use of wooden panelling in the restaurant space and in the cellar door’s dark green hues. There are now five refreshed zones for visitors to explore, including a family-friendly restaurant with banquette seating spilling onto a sheltered outdoor dining area, and a second shed-like dining area with sweeping vineyard views. There’s a renovated cellar door fitted with copper benchtops and a cosy fireplace, plus tables and benches spread across the sprawling 100-acre grounds.
The design may be new, but diners will recognise a menu that features antipasti, cheese boards and the rectangular Roman-style woodfired pizzas that have been a crowd-pleasing staple at T’Gallant for years. The pizzas can be made vegan or gluten-free, and toppings include salami and caramelised onion, or mozzarella, gorgonzola and mushroom. Small plates run the gamut from mushroom and sage arancini to crispy Italian-spiced cauliflower, and pasta dishes include a prawn linguine and a hearty beef ragu.
The dessert menu follows the same theme, with Italian doughnuts and a honey and yoghurt panna cotta, which are both served with strawberries from neighbouring Sunny Ridge Farm when the fruit is in season.
The famous pinot grigio, and other styles, are available at the cellar door or the restaurant, along with beers and ciders.