This time last week we were hanging out with family friends in Melbourne who decided to introduce us to the Bellarine wine region which is roughly 1.5 hours out of Melbourne city in Geelong. After visiting the Mornington Peninsula a few days before, it was really cool to experience what was on the other side of the peninsula too!
I am in two minds about writing this post, because whispers through the grape-vine, say that the Bellarine Peninsula wineries are one of Victoria’s best kept secrets (and no, we’re not talking about any underwear here). I would have to agree as the views are absolutely spectacular, just scroll down to see. Plus they have some bloody awesome wines coming out of the region – particularly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
So throughout our travels on the day and after a bit of googling to learn a bit more about this fascinating Australian wine region, I wanted to share with you some quick facts I’ve learnt about the Bellarine Peninsula:
Quick Facts on the Bellarine Wineries:
- The region has their very own Bellarine Taste Travel which includes over 40 unique food and wine locations to visit
- The Bellarine has a cool, maritime climate
- The Geelong wine region is made up of the Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and the Surf Coast
- Shiraz, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stand out varieties of the region with the latter being noticed on the international stage
- You can find a lot of rich black basalt soil laid over limestone in the region
- There are approximately 20 cellar doors in the region
To find out more about the Bellarine and Geelong wine regions make sure to visit winegeelong.com.au
Our Day Trip Itinerary
Firstly a big thank you to our skipper for the day, Jen looked after us very well! Mr. Spittoon was absolutely stoked to be a passenger, since he was the skipper on our Mornington Peninsula day trip. Once we got up to the Bellarine we met some friends of our family friends, Robyn and Phill who are pretty much locals in the area and were able to show us around and give us a heads up on where to head – so thank you for all your tips! Here is where we went and what we got up to:
Jack Rabbit Vineyard
WOW! What a location to start at, the views at Jack Rabbit are absolutely to die for. These guys really do have a spectacular spot. To me this location came across as more of a breakfast, lunch or dinner spot – it’s very much a bustling restaurant which makes sense when you see the views. We stopped in purely for a cellar door tasting, which is more so at the bar – this was fine since they weren’t that busy. I can’t quite remember if there is a tasting fee, but if there was, it’s waivered when you purchase something. After doing our tasting it was the Chardonnay Mr. Spittoon and I ended up purchasing to bring back to Perth.
They have a wide range of styles and varieties to taste including; Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay, Sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon Audacia (moscato), Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Shiraz and Cabernet Shiraz.
Address: 85 McAdams Ln, Bellarine VIC 3221
Phone: (03) 5251 2223
Open: 10am-5pm daily (and also open Friday and Saturday nights for dinner)
Our second stop of the day was literally a skip, hop and jump down the driveway to Terindah Estate. This was a firm favourite amongst everyone we were touring around with for the day! The customer service was fantastic, the cellar door staff were very insightful and chatty which was fantastic. I also liked how they had tables set up around the room so if the tasting bench was full, they’d then direct customers to these tables and conduct their tastings there so that no one was feeling cramped or pressured to taste in a hurry.
Again this would be another awesome spot to sip the afternoon away while enjoying a meal in their ‘glasshouse’ like Shed. From the Sparkling to the Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel (aka ‘the spicy one’) & the Shiraz – everything went down very well. For me it was the Roadblock Pinot Noir which I simply had to buy to bring back to Perth, as it’s an absolute stunner (tasting note to come!).
Address: 90 McAdams Ln, Bellarine VIC 3223
Phone: (03) 5251 5536
Open: 10am-4pm daily (and also open Friday and Saturday nights for dinner)
One Day Estate
By this time, with 2 wineries under our belts it was time for lunch. We decided to head to One Day Estate – which is actually only open 1 day a week, on Sunday’s. They’re known for their Sunday sessions and I can totally see why. They may not have sea views like the two previous wineries we visited however they have tables in amongst the vines and a gorgeous wooden barn like structure full of fairy-lights and a gorgeously welcoming laid-back ambiance. There was live music and for $20 they were doing an awesome feed of paella, mushroom risotto and massaman curry – you could have just one or a bit of each like I did. Add on a bit of salad and bread and you have a very tasty lunch at a super affordable price.
We teamed our lunch up with a bottle of bubbles and a bottle of Pinot Noir. I really loved the little saying on the side of the bottles:
Enjoy the moment today, don’t wait for Oneday…
Address: 45 Curlewis Rd, Curlewis VIC 3222
Phone: 0408 123 980
Open: 12-5pm Sundays only
Leura Park Estate
Robyn and Phill highly recommended we stop by here after lunch, so since it was just up the road from One Day Estate, we thought it’d be rude not too! Leura Park definitely has a very cool, modern hip feel to it. It actually made me think of Nice in the south of France with its blue and white striped furniture that reminded me of the beach chairs in Nice when I visited over 15 years ago. And obviously their young crowd are also a bit clumsy when it comes to ‘ooops that glass ended up in my handbag somehow’. Haha the below sign definitely gave us all a good giggle.
Mr. Spittoon and I actually popped the bottle of their Pinot Chardy bubbles last night to get me in the mood for writing this post. The bubbles alongside the 25 d’Gris 2016 Pinot Gris were definitely my favourites from the line-up. Definitely another pretty little spot to enjoy a long, lazy lunch!
Last but definitely not least, was the beautiful Basils Farm. Again this spot has views to die for – quite different in terms of the other wineries, as it definitely had more of that rustic farm charm equipped with a veggie garden and fire pit. When we arrived there was a sign on the cellar door to say head to the cafe for a tasting which is what we did and then we ended up down at the fire pit for a tasting. Maybe not the most ideal spot to pick up all those beautiful aromas of the wine, but it sure was a unique and fun experience to have a cellar door tasting while sitting on wood logs around a fire! Definitely a gorgeous little spot and yet again another one that would be great for a wine-filled long lunch.
Read about my June 2021 visit to Basils Farm »
All up we had a brilliant day and we hope on our next trip to Melbourne we can tick off a few more of the Bellarine wineries! If you’re looking for more awesome day trips for wine lovers from Melbourne, make sure to check out my Mornington Peninsula Wineries Day Trip post and also my Yarra Valley Wineries Day Trip post.
Do you have a favourite Bellarine winery? Let us know below so we can add it to our list for next time!