The Mornington Peninsula is a popular tourist destination that is causing a stir in the international wine industry. It is tucked away at the bottom of the Australian peninsula and encircled by water. The Mornington Peninsula, one of Australia’s food and wine destinations, is a popular weekend getaway location just over an hour from Melbourne. Think picturesque villages, rolling hills, and award-winning restaurants and wineries. The best wine in Australia is produced in this region by a cooperative group of winemakers and numerous family-owned vineyards. It’s a seaside region where perfectionists are in charge and where Mornington Peninsula wine tours are the thing of bucket lists!
The beautiful cool-climate wines from the Mornington Peninsula are creating a stir. The climate, terrain, land use, and soil composition of the peninsula all work together to produce various microclimates in and around the hinterland settlements of Red Hill, Main Ridge, and Moorooduc, as well as at the coastal locations of Merricks, Balnarring, and Dromana.
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The Mornington Peninsula, which is well-known for its immaculate beaches and stunningly green hinterland and is only an hour’s drive from Melbourne, is also home to more than 50 boutique cellar doors and well-known pinot noir. You should consider visiting the area to discover the secrets of the newer regional varietals like pinot grigio, pinot gris, and shiraz by meeting the peninsula vintners who will tell you about their renowned pinot noir and acclaimed chardonnay. Take a tour of this small but varied region to sample several flavors. After an afternoon of wine tasting, treat yourself to a special lunch at a renowned restaurant. Try something new: ride a horse around the region’s wine country, stopping at vineyards and farms along the way for samples.
A lot of people travel to the Mornington Peninsula, including notable people from Melbourne. Due to this, the area can get extremely busy during school breaks. The ideal months to travel for a self-guided wine tour of Mornington Peninsula are often February through April due to the climate.
The Wine Region of the Mornington Peninsula has been producing wine since 1886 when Dromana wine received an honorable mention at the Intercontinental Exhibition. A Royal Commission on the Fruit and Vegetable Industry named 14 Peninsula grape growers in 1891. Many of the vineyards on the Mornington Peninsula were removed or abandoned in the 1920s. A vineyard that Seppelt and Seabrook ran in Dromana in the 1950s was destroyed by fire in 1967.
When a number of aspiring vignerons independently realized in 1972 that the distinctive maritime climate of the Mornington Peninsula could be used to produce high-quality cool climate varieties, comparable to those of the great wine-producing regions of France, this marked the beginning of the region’s wine industry’s renaissance. Over 200 vineyards exist now, and plantings have remained steady at about 1,100 hectares. More than a decade ago, vineyards of 10 hectares or more dominated the landscape. Additionally, the region has more than 50 wineries with cellar doors. The Mornington Peninsula Wine Region is fast establishing itself as Australia’s top producer of premium maritime, cool-climate wines, particularly Pinot Noir.
The subregions are the Bass Strait, Port Phillip Bay, and Western Port Bay.
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are the two principal grape varietals farmed in the region. The Mornington Peninsula, the third-largest Pinot Noir wine region, contains almost 9% of all Pinot Noir plantings in Australia. Pinot Noir is the dominant varietal, making up half of all plantings.
- Cape Schanck Lighthouse
The Cape Schanck Beacon was erected in 1859 as Victoria, Australia’s second coastal lighthouse. It is situated on Cape Schanck, the Mornington Peninsula’s southernmost point. Built of limestone, the tower was 21 meters (69 feet) tall. The light’s focal plane is 100 meters (330 feet) above sea level, and its distinctive features include a long signal of 10.8 seconds followed by a flash and the Morse code letter “N.” White (south to west sector) or red are the colors, depending on the direction of the light (east sector).
- Rosebud Pier
Rosebud Pier, which extends around 300 meters into the lake, is situated across from Jetty Road. Every walk along the pier is intriguing since the shipping channel comes in very near before leaving for the bay. Fishing is a highly popular activity from the pier, regardless of your level of experience or whether you are simply trying your luck. A fantastic new playground for people of all abilities is available for toddlers and early teens.
- Mont Rouge Estate
A French-inspired cellar door and acres of gorgeous vines surround Mont Rouge Estate, which is located in the charming Red Hill neighborhood. The rare handcrafted estate wines highlight the distinctiveness of the Mornington Peninsula region, which has a colder temperature and rich soils.
- Crittenden Estate
This is one of the first family-run wineries on the Mornington Peninsula. They are a family-run company that is committed to making exceptional cool climate wine with honesty, integrity, and enthusiasm. For individuals who appreciate wine, their recently finished, custom-built Wine Centre offers a distinctive method to sample the variety of more than 25 available sorts or varietals.
- Veraison Restaurant
Come in throughout the winter or summer and unwind in the ambiance of the wine bar and gourmet meals. While the welcoming staff of the hotel attends to you, unwind with a Chardonnay in your hand. Veraison has earned a reputation as one of the top restaurants on the Mornington Peninsula thanks to its combination of outstanding cuisine and unmatched service.
- Assaggini Wine Bar & Restaurant
Just off Main Street Mornington, Assaggini Wine Bar & Restaurant is the ideal place for casual dining on any occasion. It will be a memorable evening thanks to their contemporary Italian menu, extensive wine list, and amiable professional staff. Along with old favorites, a comprehensive gluten-free menu and plant-based vegan cuisine are available.
- Jackalope Hotel Mornington Peninsula
This opulent, contemporary hotel on a thriving vineyard is 4 kilometers from the Balbirooroo Wetlands Walk and 10 km from Somers Beach, and it is only a 4-minute stroll from the Buckley Nature Conservation Reserve. With floor-to-ceiling windows, minibars, Wi-Fi, and flat-screen TVs, it features modern, stylish rooms. Upgraded suites come with kitchenettes, private terraces, and fireplaces both inside and outside.
- RACV Cape Schanck Resort
This upscale golf resort, which has a view of the Bass Strait, is located 3.4 km from Cape Schanck Lighthouse and 11 km from Mornington Peninsula National Park. The unpretentious accommodations provide flat-screen TVs with free Wi-Fi, balconies with views of the water, minibars, and tea and coffee making amenities. Nespresso machines are added to upgraded rooms. Full kitchens and living/dining rooms are included in suites and villas.
Select several wine-tasting regions, including wineries, historic sites, and hotels within the same locality to avoid much traveling. This will help in saving transport money.
The Mornington Peninsula is the second-largest city in Australia where the locals flock to get away. Additionally, it is a well-known wine-producing region, with a focus on cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Since these wines are rarely exported, a trip to Mornington is frequently the sole opportunity to try a variety. Two-thirds of the 150 vineyards in the region are smaller than 10 acres, thus visitors are more likely to run into the owners or winemakers because the majority of the wineries and vineyards are small.
The Vibe: Over the Queen’s Birthday holiday in June, take a cruise down the peninsula to take part in the festivities of the Winter Wine Weekend. Visit one of the many local cellar doors in Red Hill or the surrounding area to sample more than 200 fine wines from about 50 wineries.