Just an hour’s drive from Melbourne, Australia you will discover the picturesque Mornington Peninsula wine region. Amid the stunning beauty of rolling hills, winding country roads and bay side views you will find the perfect setting for a gastronomic adventure. This wine region is well known for its maritime influenced Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It all began in the 1970’s when a few visionary winemakers started growing Chardonnay and Pinot. By the 1990’s the region was recognized as one of the world’s exciting new wine regions. Since 2003 the Mornington Peninsula has held the International Pinot Noir Celebration biennially. Today you will find wines that reflect the unique terroir and microclimate within the Mornington Peninsula. It not only produces outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but also Pinot Grigio/Gris, Shiraz and other varietals.
Home to more than 50 winery cellar doors the Mornington Peninsula has not only established a reputation for its wines but you will also find fantastic culinary options, from casual cafés to fine dining. There is no problem to plan your very own personalized wine and food tour (for suggestions see Wine Food Farmgate). During a recent visit to the Mornington Peninsula we did just that. Our wine country day included the following three stops:
#1: Lindenderry at Red Hill
When you enter the gate at Lindenderry the first thing you see is the vineyard. We began our wine country day with an early lunch at the Lindenderry’s Tree Restaurant. Chef Philip Edwards is regarded as one of Australia’s finest hatted chefs. We had planned to do a wine tasting but the cellar door was closed. We were disappointed but the restaurant staff graciously offered to provide a few wine samples to taste, before deciding on what to order for lunch. This gesture was greatly appreciated. The casual elegance of dining at Lindenderry was indeed a special treat. Lindenderry is a 5 star destination. The winery was awarded 5 stars in the 2014 James Halliday Wine Companion.
# 2: Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
Halliday Wines Companion 2015 has recognized Montalto as a Five Star Winery. Our wine tasting at Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove was a great introduction the Mornington Peninsula’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. The tasting began with a sparkling and rosé wines, followed by Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and concluded with a Muscato. Not only does Montalto have good wines but also they have a fabulous restaurant. The restaurant received the Chefs Hat from The Age Good Food Guide 2008-2014. The views from the restaurant are amazing. While at Montalto we walked the vineyard trail and discovered many interesting sculptures along the trail.
#3: Red Hill Estate
Red Hill Estate was our last Mornington Peninsula stop. The estate is regarded as having some of the best views on the peninsula. It is certainly a great place to taste wine and/or dine. When we arrived at the Red Hill Estate we first checked out the views; then we were off to the cellar door (tasting room) to taste some wines. The wines we tasted included Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. These wines were indeed some nice Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz wines. Red Hill Estate’s Max’s Restaurant is a multi-award winning restaurant, with fabulous views.
Our wine country stops at Lindenderry, Montalto and Red Hill Estate were indeed the perfect introduction to the Mornington Peninsula. I invite you to join me in my travel experiences in Australia at Spaswinefood, or you can visit my travel column at the Examiner.
© Sharon Parsons
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