Best Wineries on the Mornington Peninsula

Updated 6 months ago

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Wine grapes have been grown on the Mornington Peninsula since the late 1800s. After dwindling to almost nothing, the wine industry began to find its footing anew in the ’70s and ’80s – a boom which has never really subsided. Today it’s home to established wineries like Paringa (1984) and T’Gallant (1990) and a whole host of newcomers with varying levels of polish and ambition.

The 55-kilometre protrusion, which begins at Frankston and ends just past Portsea, is blessed with a cool maritime climate and gorgeous rolling hills. Every turn in the road unfolds a new vista, the sea sparkling beyond or cattle grazing peacefully below eucalypts. This being a cool climate region, elegant pinot noir and chardonnay are the main things you’ll be drinking, but pinot gris/grigio and shiraz are also possibilities, plus a smattering of sparkling.

  • 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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  • 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.

  • Visit this intimate, lo-fi cellar door to taste outstanding pinot noir and pinot grigio by two Mornington Peninsula pioneers. But also: skin-contact friulano, malvasia, istriana and other lesser-known Italian varieties. It’s one of the most interesting places to taste in the whole region.

  • In business since 1998, this relaxed cellar door and restaurant is known for its outstanding single vineyard (and even single block) chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and pinot gris. And the consistently excellent restaurant, a two- or three-course affair, makes Yabby Lake one of the most well-rounded winery experiences in the region.

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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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  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • 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 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.

  • 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.

  • Planted in 1975, Main Ridge Estate is one of the oldest vineyards and wineries on the Mornington Peninsula. Stop in at the rustic cellar door to taste the expected chardonnay and pinot noir, but also great pinot meunier, grown here since the very beginning.