Mornington Peninsula Wine Region

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The Mornington Peninsula wine region lies to the South East of Melbourne and is bounded by Port Phillip and Westernport Bays. It is easily reached by a day trip from Melbourne.

Crittenden Estate in the Mornington Penisula
Crittenden Estate in the Mornington Penisula
The Mornington Peninsula wine region has two great geographic assets. It has a benign maritime climate due to being surrounded on three sides by water.

Secondly, the proximity to Melbourne has allowed boutique wineries to thrive. The region includes many seaside towns, beaches and golf courses which have for a long time been the weekend retreat and summer playground of city folk needing a break from the rat race. There are picturesque rolling hills, spectacular coastal scenery, bay and ocean beaches, historic buildings and many fine country properties.

All this adds up to a discerning and affluent clientele who support boutique cellar doors and winery restaurants. The proximity to the city has also brought sea-changers who have planted vineyards, and in some cases have graduated to become winemakers.

For example, this Mornington Peninsula Wines and Delights Chartered Tour allows you to see the best of the peninsula wineries in a day.

A short ferry ride from Sorrento across the entrance of Port Phillip Bay is the Bellarine Peninsula and the Geelong Wine Region. There are also vineyards on nearby French Island in Westernport Bay but officially they are not in the region as defined by the Wine Australia.

The Mornington Peninsula was developed for viticulture quite recently. Previously there were apple and cherry orchards, livestock and mixed farming.

There were intermittent attempts to grow wine in the region dating back to the Nineteenth Century, but continuous commercial viticulture dates back to the early 1970s. After a few frustrating years with Cabernet, which ripens poorly in all but the most favoured sites in this region, Pinot noir and Chardonnay are now the most commonly used varieties.

The Mornington Peninsula Wine region is a good case study of why careful site selection and appropriate varies are needed in new wine regions. The diversification of varieties grown in this region owes much to the pioneering work by winemaker Kathleen Quealy in championing Pinot gris; and to Gary Crittenden who has long advanced the cause of Italian wine varieties, both on the Peninsula and in other Victorian regions.

There are now well over a hundred wineries on the Peninsula, and as you can see from the list below, the region has the greatest concentration of growers of Pinot gris in Australia. Over the past few years Tempranillo and Savagnin have become more popular in this region.

The climate is not as cool as some may imagine. There is Durif successfully grown on the Peninsula. See this article Cool Climate Durif – You Must be Kidding!

Wine Varieties and Wineries on the Mornington Peninsula

Allies Wines Viognier | Baillieu Vineyard Pinot gris, Meunier | Barmah Park Wines Pinot gris | Barrymore Estate Pinot gris | Baywiew Estate Winery Pinot gris | Blue Range Estate Pinot gris | Bluestone Lane Meunier | Box Stallion Arneis, Dolcetto, Gewurztraminer, Meunier, Moscato, Tempranillo | Buckley's Run Pinot Gris | Crittenden at Dromana Arneis, Barbera, Dolcetto, Melon de Bourgogne, Moscato, Petit manseng, Pinot gris, Sangiovese, Savagnin, Tempranillo | Darling Park Pinot gris, Viognier | Dromana Estate Arneis, Barbera, Dolcetto, Nebbiolo, Pinot gris, Sangiovese | Dunn's Creek Winery Arneis, Barbera, Savagnin, Tempranillo | Elan Vineyard Gamay | Eldridge Estate Gamay | Elgee Park Pinot gris, Viognier | Ermes Estate Malvasia, Pinot gris | Five Sons Estate Pinot gris | Foxey's Hangout Moscato, Pinot gris, Vermentino | French Island Vineyards Pinot gris | Harlow Park Estate Pinot gris | Hickinbotham Aligote, Grenache, Taminga | HPR Wines Pinot gris | Jones Road Pinot gris | Lazzar Wines Arneis, Lagrein, Pinot gris, Tempranillo, Verduzzo | Lindenderry Pinot blanc | Main Ridge Meunier | Manton's Creek Vineyard Gewurztraminer, Meunier, Pinot gris, Tempranillo | Maritime Estate Pinot gris | McCrae Mist Wines Pinot gris, Sangiovese | Miceli Pinot gris | Montalto Vineyards Meunier, Pinot gris, Tempranillo | Moorooduc Estate Pinot gris | Morning Star Estate Pinot gris | Morning Sun Vineyard Barbera, Pinot gris | Nazaaray Pinot gris | Ocean Eight Vineyard and Winery Pinot gris | Paradigm Hill Pinot gris | Paringa Estate Pinot gris | Phaedrus Estate Pinot gris | Pier 10 Pinot gris, Ruby Cabernet | Point Leo Road Vineyard Gewurztraminer, Lagrein, Pinot gris | Polperro/Even Keel Pinot gris | Port Phillip Estate Arneis, Barbera, Pinot gris | Prancing Horse Estate Pinot gris | Quealy Pinot gris, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Tocai friulano | Rahona Valley Vineyard Meunier | Red Hill Estate Meunier, Pinot gris | Rigel Wines Nebbiolo, Sangiovese, Zinfandel | Scorpo Wines Pinot gris | Seaforth Vineyard Pinot gris | Somerbury Estate Pinot gris | South Channel Wines Pinot gris, Sangiovese | Stumpy Gully Marsanne, Pinot gris, Sangiovese | Tanglewood Downs Gewurztraminer | Ten Minutes by Tractor Pinot gris, Tempranillo | T'Gallant Moscato, Pinot gris, Viognier | The Cups Estate Pinot gris | The Garden Vineyard Pinot gris | Tuck's Ridge Pinot gris, Savagnin | Underground Winemakers Durif, Moscato, Pinot gris, Sangiovese, Tempranillo | Vale Vineyard Arneis, Durif, Pinot gris, Tempranillo, Verduzzo | Vintina Estate Pinot gris | Whinstone Estate Melon de Bourgogne, Muscadelle, Pinot gris | Willow Creek Vineyard Pinot gris | Winbirra Vineyard Meunier, Pinot gris, Viognier | Yabby Lake Winery Pinot gris

Visiting the Mornington Peninsula

This wine region is a delight to visit. Many wineries have cafes and restaurants, while some have accommodation. The region has a myriad of other accommodation facilities ranging from full scale resorts to simple bed and breakfasts.

If you tire of tasting wine there are plenty of other activities including golf, fishing, boating, surfing, swimming, bushwalking, visiting some amazing open gardens, weekend markets or just lazing on the beach.

Vinodiversity's Hotel Booking Service can help you find somewhere to stay.

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