10 Mornington Peninsula Wineries all Oenophiles should visit!

Boasting over 200 vineyards, 60 wineries and around 50 cellar doors the Mornington Peninsula is an oenophiles dream. 

One of Australia’s pre-eminent wine destinations, the only problem about visiting this region is knowing where to go.

That’s where we come in!

Between Port Phillip Bay and Western Port Bay, the peninsula facilitates a cool climate that is perfect for harvesting the likes of Pinot Noir and Chardonnays.

Most of these cellar doors and vineyards are centred around the towns of Main Ridge, Red Hill and Red Hill South, with small clusters also dotted around Tuerong and Moorooduc, in the northern part of the peninsula, and Merricks and Balnarring, out near Western Port Bay.

As much as you may like to, you probably won’t have time to visit them all during a trip here. But don’t worry, we have done the research for you and come up with this list of 10 Mornington Peninsula Wineries all Oenophiles should visit!

Main Ridge Estate

The OG of Mornington Peninsula wineries, the Main Ridge Estate was the area’s first licensed winery, opening up in 1975.

Family owned and managed since then, this winery is a little off-the-beaten-track. Situated within a neat but compact two-hectare vineyard high upon Red Hill.

It might be a little difficult to locate, but once you do find it you will be treated to some of the region’s best wines.

Producing wines that are only made from grapes grown at the vineyards, the estate has a limited selection of wine barrels at any given time. Though that exclusivity only serves to strengthen its appeal.

Visitors can indulge in a tasting at their cellar door. However, if you really want a more immersive experience be sure to drink your wine over a casual lunch on their sundeck – which showcases spectacular views of the bush valley.

Should you visit in winter, you will be able to sit next to a roaring fire within the winery.

Address: 80 William Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937

Montalto

An award-winning winery and restaurant, Montalto is an institution on the Mornington Peninsula wineries scene.

Located on Red Hill South, about 80km south of Melbourne, this family run and owned estate prides itself on being a place where produce is cultivated, celebrated and shared.

Housing 30 acres of vineyards, which is the primary source for their collection of wines, this venue also features over 1500 olive trees and a well-established kitchen garden which supports their restaurant.

A previous winner of the ‘James Halliday Chardonnay Challenge Trophy’ this winery is well known for producing an outstanding range of cool climate labels.

As well as the winery, they also present a restaurant onsite which serves up modern Australian cuisine. The fine-dining venue is equipped with a wood-fired pizza oven and also features a deck that overlooks the vineyard and some wonderful sculptures.

Throughout the property you can also choose to engage in a private picnic experience. These take place across 10 secluded areas that are stylishly set up with ornately decorated tables. Providing fabulous places to sit amidst scenic views, whilst you enjoy a food menu that highlights the best of local produce.

Address: 33 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937

Pt Leo Estate

Widely considered to be one of the best of all Mornington Peninsula wineries, the owners of the Pt Leo Estate have invested over $50 million on in this stunning 135-hectare property.

Situated over in Merricks it houses some 50 acres of vineyards, as well as a notable modern sculpture gallery which looks out to Western Port Bay.

It also has top notch restaurants including Laura, which was recently welcomed into the Good Food Guide for 2020, a terrific cellar door and an excellent range and standard of overnight accommodation.

It’s a place well worth visiting, especially for its vineyard tours which is a standout in the region.

Address: 3649 Frankston – Flinders Rd, Merricks VIC 3916

Foxeys Hangout

Compared to other wineries in the region Foxeys Hangout is more modest. However, that is part of its charm.

Set within a beautiful locale in Red Hill, the estate grows their own grapes and crafts their wine on land and water traditionally owned by the custodians of the Bunurong/Boon Wurrung people.

Showcasing spectacular views, and a farm-to-table philosophy, this estate is unique in that it is run by a winemaker, in Tony Lee, who is also a fully qualified chef. 

Both the wines and foods available here are excellent, even more so when paired together. You also can enjoy them on a fabulous deck in the summer, or within a relaxed and cosy dining room all year round.

Address: 795 White Hill Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937

Polperro

Another winery in Red Hill, Polperro is a top class, single vineyard label that specialises in a fantastic range of chardonnay, pinot gris and pinot noir.

Also boasting a fabulous cellar door, as well as exceptional deluxe accommodation and an accomplished restaurant which is surrounded by a vibrant kitchen garden, this is a fantastic place to escape the pressures of Melbourne city life for a while.

Dishing up a wonderful menu that champions local produce, the restaurant also has a scenic deck area that is the perfect place to enjoy a glass of red, or white, and a lovely meal.

Address: 150 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937

Jackalope

Situated close to the Buckley Nature Conservation Reserve in Merricks North, Jackalope takes the form of a deluxe, contemporary hotel that resides on a fully working vineyard.

Just 10km from Somers Beach this fantastic property has won a collection of awards for its incredible architecture, as well as landing a slot on Conde-Nat’s Hot List.

Set within the highly acclaimed Willow Creek Vineyard, which is well known for its excellent cabernet, pinot noirs, chardonnay, sauvignon blanc and pinot gris labels, the hotel makes for a fantastic base to enjoy these wines whilst exploring the local area.

For those who do want to stay here a couple of nights, the property also has a very impressive day spa, as well as a wonderful infinity pool that overlooks the vines.

Your eating options are fully covered too, with the exceptional Doot Doot Doot being their fine dining option, whilst the delightful Rare Hare Wine & Food Store offering a more casual experience.

Address: 166 Balnarring Rd, Merricks North VIC 3926

Paringa Estate

Nestled within the spectacular Red HIll Winery, the Paringa Estate can definitely be considered to be one of the best of all Mornington Peninsula Wineries.

Winner in 2017 of the ‘Best Cellar Door’, as well as the ‘Best Large Cellar Door’ at the 2020 Gourmet Traveller WINE awards, their wines comprise of three different series. Sourced from mature, lower yielding vineyards, they all have an emphasis on lively fruit. 

Established in 1985, the estate has traditionally been known as a winery. However, as the onsite restaurant won two chefs hats in 2019 and 2020 on the Good Food Guide, it is also worth a visit on its own right.

Both the onsite restaurant and cellar door possess massive glass windows that present fantastic views of vibrant vineyards and lush rolling hills.

Serving up exquisite contemporary Aussie fare, the menu here champions seasonal, locally sourced produce that also perfectly pairs with their wines.

Address: 44 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937

Ten Minutes by Tractor

After the setback of a fire, Ten Minutes by Tractor is back with vengeance, having recently opened up an excellent new cellar door.

Situated in Main Ridge, their award-winning wines are exceptional, despite changing their practices in an effort to graduate towards full organic cultivation. A process that is well underway by no longer using herbicides.

Intimate and relaxed, their cellar door experience provides comprehensive tastings which lets you discover their unique character and quality in more depth.

The estate also presents a two hatted eponymous restaurant that overlooks the vines and plates up some truly wonderful meals. 

Address: 1333 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928

Many Little

While not technically a winery, Many Little is on this list as it is owned by the same people who run the Polperro Winery.

Located in Red Hill South, the venue takes the form of a bar, cellar door and all-day bistro. Which provides you with an excellent opportunity to try a wide range of local wines and foods.

This is an excellent option if you can’t get to the wineries and also give you the chance to mingle with some friendly locals.

As well as a wide selection of wines, you will also be able to taste some fabulous craft beers and locally made ciders from the region too.

Address: 2-5/159 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937

Merricks General Store

Another place that is not a winery, but rather a purveyor of outstanding labels, is the Merricks General Store.

Located in the town of Merricks this rustic shopfront showcases a range of locally sourced wines from the nearby Baillieu and Elgee Park vineyards.

It also presents an exclusive, and selected, collection of wines from the friends and neighbours of the owners for you to try. Most of which would be very difficult to source outside of the Mornington Peninsula.

In addition to their wines, the store also features a fabulous providore which offers up a wonderful assortment of locally produced jams, honeys, olive oils and other such products.

If you are feeling hungry the restaurant here dishes up a delicious breakfast and lunch menu, whilst their dessert and cheese offerings will have you salivating at the mouth.

Address: 3460 Frankston – Flinders Rd, Merricks VIC 3916

Jamie