by Chris Burns, Hop To It Tours
An hour away from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is a great place to customise a private winery tour to your needs. Whether you just want to visit as many wineries as possible, add in a gourmet lunch or do other activities, the Mornington Peninsula has plenty of options to choose from.
Typically a wine tasting costs between $5-$10 per person, refundable on wine purchases, and this price gives you a chance to taste about 6 different wines. The Mornington Peninsula is mainly famous for its Pinots and Chardonnays but a typical tasting will also include a Sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc, Rose and Shiraz as well. You can spend as long as you want at each winery but a tasting will take about half an hour depending on how busy they are (and how fast you are).
Here’s how our last winery tour went:
Arriving at 11am, our first stop was Willow Creek Vineyard (also known as Rare Hare). Surrounded by grape vines and with a luxury hotel and restaurant on site, Willow Creek has recently been renovated to exude class. Near the town of Balnarring, Willow Creek is a good place to start as it’s on the way to the main wine region around Red Hill and Main Ridge.
Point Leo Estate would have to be the most upmarket of the wineries in the region. Sitting on views of Western Port Bay and featuring the award winning restaurant, Laura, as well as a sculpture park that is insured for $70 million, Point Leo Estate is extremely picturesque. After doing your tasting it is recommended to either check out the sculpture park or grab a bottle of wine and relax and enjoy the serenity.
For lunch, a great mid price option is the Epicurean, sitting in the heart of Red Hill. With rustic style cooking you can grab a great wood-fire pizza or pasta or decide to indulge on their con amici menu which includes slow cooked lamb, succulent calamari, pizza, gnocchi, dips and salad. It is a lot of food and all amazing. No need to guess that we went with that option.
Montalto may be the best known winery in the Mornington Peninsula and it recently bought out its neighbour, Tucks, meaning you have the opportunity to do two tastings next to each other. The best way to describe their relationship is Montalto is the sophisticated parent and Tucks is more the fun child, and their tastings and wine styles reflect that.
A twenty minute drive from the main wine region, St Andrews Brewery is a great way to finish your wine tour. Once a horse stables, St Andrews Brewery is now an absolute hot spot on the Mornington Peninsula. Offering a variety of ales as well as a lager and a pilsner, grabbing a paddle board here and enjoying the vibe will end the day in style.
Getting back to the city about 6.30pm an awesome day was had by all and, from all reports, the night continued on from there!
If this kind of tour sounds like your style then get a group together and check out our Private Wine Tour page. We’ll customise your wine tour to what you want to do and take you around in our luxurious 16 seat Mercedes bus.
So check out the page, get in touch, and hopefully we’ll Hop To It together soon!