I have been living and working in the Bellarine Peninsula since 2020, so yes I am classing myself as a local! Therefore after 4 years, I thought it was about time I put together a list of the best Bellarine Peninsula wineries to visit.
My aim with this blog post is to regularly update it. I want you to have the latest and most up to date information. So in each section of this blog post you’ll find when I personally last visited each of these Bellarine wineries. They are in my backyard after all 😉
Now if you are not sure where the Bellarine is, it is 30 minutes from Geelong and 1.5 hours from Melbourne give or take. Most of the Bellarine Peninsula wineries are fairly close to eachother, so you don’t have to drive too far. There are also a few Bellarine Peninsula wine tours you can do.
Now before I get stuck in, let’s learn some quick, yet delicious information about the Bellarine Peninsula wine region:
- The Bellarine is part of the Geelong wine region, it is one of the 3 subregions alongside the Moorabool Valley and the Surf Coast & Otways
- It has a maritime climate of warm days and cool nights – as it is sheltered by Port Philip Bay, it makes it the perfect spot for cool climate wine production
- The soil is mostly made up of rich black basalt over limestone
I have visited a number of wine regions in my lifetime all around the world and I have to say that the Bellarine Peninsula has some of the most spectacular views if you love rolling hill of vines with ocean backdrops.
So grab a glass, and come on an adventure through the Bellarine Peninsula wineries with me.
Bellarine Peninsula Wineries to check out:
Bellarine Wineries Map
To get an idea of where you can find all the Bellarine Peninsula wineries check out my map below:
Scotchman’s Hill Winery – Best wine quality
Best for: Wine tasting, lunch, platters & wine flights
Scotchman’s Hill was probably the only Bellarine winery I was familiar with before my first visit to the region in 2017. While living and working in fine wine sales in Dubai back in 2011, I was selling Scotchman’s Hill in Le Clos.
So when it came to my first visit in 2020, it’s safe to say I was already a fan-girl. However, it just got better! When I visited the cellar door, I was introduced to their Cornelius range which sends your taste buds to heaven. The price tag is a bit steep, but for quality like that, I am prepared to pay.
Alongside this they have many different ranges of wines all suited for different budgets and occasions. Which I think is fantastic as it is a real crowd-pleaser of a cellar door to take people to.
Alongside the cosy cellar door they have an onsite restaurant which doesn’t disappoint. Mr Spittoon and I have had lunch on a number of occasions and we have absolutely loved it.
They were named one of the 2023 Top 100 Wineries in Australia by the Halliday Wine Companion and have been a top 5-star Halliday winery for over twenty years!
We last visited in May 2021. Check out my full blog post on Scotchman’s Hill here.
Basils Farm – Best with kids
Taking kids to a winery brings me so much anxiety as I hate to be ‘those people’ with the noisey munchkins. But a mum needs her wine right?!
There are some wineries I will take our kids too and others which we choose to visit on days they are at daycare or have babysitters. Basils Farm is one of those wineries which I would happily take my kids too. And we also enjoy visiting child-free too 😉
The restaurant makes bloody good food + has high chairs and kids meals.
The gardens are fantastic to roam around, and you can only do this if you are a restaurant guest. Plus they also welcome friendly wine pooches who are on a leash joining outside diners.
From memory I think you can also grab some feed and feed some of the farm animals with your children. Plus there is a sandpit with toys and lots of open space for kiddies to run around. If you are visiting with kids, pick a nice summers day and nab an outdoor table.
In terms of wine, you’ll find everything from prosecco to rose, chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz and trying the Blanc de noir sparkling wine is a must!
Jack Rabbit Vineyard – Best views
Best for: Amazing views, wine tasting and food
There is no denying that Jack Rabbit has some of the best views on the Bellarine! It’s the first Bellarine cellar door I visited back in 2017 and those views still swoon me every time.
This year in 2023 we have actually visited a couple of times. The first was in July 2023 when we went for a cellar door tasting. Tastings are self guided and come in little test tubes. I am not a huge fan of self guided tastings as I feel like you miss out on learning all those fun little things about the winery and the wines, however being able to taste wine while soaking in the view was simply superb.
I also feel like the winery quality has vastly improved since my visit in 2017.
Not long after in August 2023, we took family to the House of Jack Rabbit, which is their fine dining restaurant. I absolutely looooved my meal here and so did my mum. My hubby was a bit on the fence, however he is a bit more of a pub guy than a fine diner. Wonderful food, wine, service and of course the view.
Plus Jack Rabbit is right beside Terinda Estate and just down the lane from Bennetts and Kilgour Wines – so 4 Bellarine Peninsula Wineries literally within walking distance of eachother (nearly!).
Terindah Estate – Best cellar door tasting
Best for: Laid back wine tasting, platters & nibbles, lunch.
Terindah is another spot we have been to on multiple occasions over the last few years. We have stopped in for cellar door tastings, platters and we did a lunch at The Shed one day too.
Plus Terinda is right beside Jack Rabbit and just down the lane from Bennetts and Kilgour Wines – so 4 Bellarine Peninsula Wineries literally within walking distance of eachother (nearly!).
We got really lucky on our last visit in October 2023 has the cellar door was virtually empty which mean we had the best attentive service. We sat down at one of the barrel tables overlooking the deck and wonderful view and were walked through 6 wines ($15 tasting fee and $10 redeemable on purchase).
We learnt quite a bit, which I loved! For instance, I have consumed their Zinfandel in the past however I didn’t realise they are the only producer on the Bellarine growing it. Plus they also produce a white, rose and red from it. All of which we purchased to take home!
Plus they also have a funky Tram Bar which we are yet to try out as it is only open on the weekends, but how fun does it look!
McGlashan’s Wallington Estate – Best for dog lovers
Best for: Trying wine, gin and beer all in the one spot, dog lovers, big groups
We checked out McGlashan’s Wallington Estate in October 2023 for a wine tasting and lunch. I loved the drive into the estate through the wines, very picturesque.
McGlashan’s and Farmdog Brewing occupy this space and it is a pretty cool space to visit. Nice big tables and a wonderful open patch of grass (good for kids to run around on and tire themselves out I reckon).
We didn’t try any of the beer or gin but we did do a wine tasting. Like Jack Rabbit they have a bit of a quirk to their tastings and they are served up in vials. It is also a self-guided tasting. We paid $22 for the below.
Alongside this we ordered a platter for $50. It was a lovely spot to soak up the sunshine, vineyard views and the farm dogs.
I really enjoyed the Pinot Grigio, but at $44 a bottle, I couldn’t quite bring myself to buy some for a super easy drinking summer wine.
Address: 225 Swan Bay Rd, Wallington VIC 3221
Oakdene Vineyards – Best for art lovers
Oakdene Vineyards is such a unique property and in my opinion great for art lovers! It’s full of quirky items around the property – not to mention their upside down cellar door house! Now I have your attention, don’t I 😉
I have never ever been to a cellar door quite like Oakdene’s – that’s for sure! Inside the cellar door it’s also an experience in itself. It is full of plenty of little nic naks to feast your eyes on and spend money on too.
Wine tastings are $10 per person and these are redeemable on purchases of 2 or more bottles per tasting. You can choose 5 wines to taste from their extensive list. Mr Spittoon and I chose 5 different ones each and had a sip of eachothers so we could try 10 in total.
Across from the cellar door you’ll find Mr Grubb which is operated by Chichester Restaurants. It is a very relaxed, bistro-style restaurant.
However it is Oakdene’s Merne at Lighthouse property which I believe has some of the best food on the Bellarine Peninsula!
Merne at Lighthouse – Best food
Merne on the Lighthouse farm over looks olive groves and vineyards. It’s a tucked away little gem and wow we had such an amazing lunch here in 2021.
I was pregnant at the time, so while I enjoyed the range of non alcoholic cocktails, I wasn’t able to fully enjoy all the wines under coravin. I was drooling over the wine list though!
The food and service was faultless. If you have the time (definitely keep 2-3 hours minimum spare to do a lunch at Merne properly) this would be the top of my list for food in the Bellarine.
Oneday Estate – Best for Sunday Lunch
Oneday Estate was one of the very first Bellarine Peninsula wineries that we visited! This was our stop for lunch and boy I loved the vibe. Very laidback, super friendly and great food.
It says it in the name, however if you haven’t guessed, they are only open one day a week and that is Sunday’s 12pm to 5pm. So if you’re looking for somewhere for a bit of a Sunday session, this is it! Plus did I mention they have live music too.
They do a lot of events and weddings – which makes sense when you see the property. They have the perfect set up for it.
In terms of the wines, you’ll find typically a great selection of Pinot Noir alongside a few quirks like a Sparkling Riesling and your classic Shiraz too.
Bennetts on Bellarine – Best for Pizza & Wine
Bennetts is right on the corner before you head down to Terinda and Jack Rabbit. It is a great little pocket of the Bellarine if you want to visit a lot of cellar doors close to each other.
A cellar door tasting of reds and whites is pretty steep at $20 (with no money back if you purchase) however they do have a decent range of wines from sparkling to Sauv Blanc, Pinot Gris, Semillon, Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
We have done a cellar door tasting before and we have also stopped in for lunch. They do some pretty scrumptious woodfired pizza + they have a nice outdoorsy lookout and are equipped for kids with high chairs.
We will be going back soon as I am dead keen to try out one of their Bennetts Degustation Tasting Board’s for $95 – a unique and interactive food and wine experience that includes wine samples and small matching dishes.
Banks Road Winery – Best for Glassware
We recently visited Banks Road Vineyard for our second time – this time it was back for lunch and wine tasting at the start of November 2023.
I opted for a mixed wine tasting board and thoroughly enjoyed the fume style Sauvignon Blanc and also the Sangiovese. I followed up the tasting board with a glass of their bubbles, which I also really enjoyed.
The tasting board was $16 and you then get 15% off anything you purchase from the cellar door after.
What I really loved is their beautifully glassware. My tasting glass was Riedel and Mr Spittoon had a Plumm glass. There is definitely something wonderful about drinking from beautiful glassware I have to admit.
The food was pretty scrumptious and I think we ordered just the right amount for the two of us. We were having a late lunch at about 1:30pm which worked out quite nicely as it was only us and one other table of people on this particular Friday afternoon.
Service was great. We’ll go back for sure.
Leura Park Estate – Best for a Tipsy Time
We have visited Leura Park Estate on Portarlington Road a couple of times now. Although our last visit was in 2021, so we are definitely overdue a re-visit.
It’s a super causal, laid back chic spot with nice home-cooked meals at a great price. From memory when we went you could get a glass of wine, beer or coffee + main meal for about $25 which is great these days.
The cellar door is open Thursday-Sunday and a wine tasting is $15pp. During summer especially it can get pretty busy (we have drove past a number of times when the carpark was packed) so it is worthwhile making a booking.
I also feel like they are known to be a good place to get a bit tipsy and see a few tour busses based on the below 😉
Plus it is really easy to get to being on Portarlington Road.
More Bellarine wineries profiles coming soon!
I am determined to visit them all and then to keep revisiting to give you the most up to date information. Here are the cellar doors still on my list: