You may have recently noticed I spent a long weekend in Melbourne. It’s been nearly 5 years since we were last in Melbourne. On our last trip we visited the Yarra Valley wineries on a day trip so this time we thought we’d check out a couple of the other Victorian wine regions which are super close to Melbourne city and are an easy day trip. I caught the red-eye flight from Perth which got me to Melbourne about 5:30am – after making our way to our family friends house and after a bit of a snooze, Mr. Spittoon and I jumped in the car and headed off to Mornington Peninsula for the day.
I’ve heard a lot about the Mornington Peninsula and the quality of the wines coming out of the region, so it’s been on my wine travel list for a while now. I also knew they have a particularly good climate for growing Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir which I am just a wee bit partial too.
Melbourne is actually a fab city for wine travel as it has what they call the “dress circle” which is a number of regions that are within a couple of hours drive of the city, this includes the Mornington Peninsula, the Yarra Valley, Macedon and Geelong.
Basically we Google mapped our way to the region, I was lucky enough to have a ton of recommendations from people on my Facebook page and on Instagram so we picked a cellar door and at that first stop we managed to grab a handy map of the region to help us navigate the rest of the day. Sometimes it’s nice to be a bit old-fashioned and use a good old paper map right?
It was a very laidback day, we didn’t rush which meant we only visited 3 wineries but it was a lovely paced day when I was feeling the effects of that red-eye flight.
Mornington Peninsula Wine Facts
Before I delve into our itinerary, I wanted to share with you some bits and pieces I learned throughout the day from the lovely cellar door staff at each of our stops so you can also get to know the region a bit better…
- The region is only an hours drive from Melbourne (we drove from Brighton and it was exactly 1 hour 5 minutes to our first winery – Ten Minutes by Tractor)
- The region has a maritime cool climate
- Predominately the region grows Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir and to a lesser extent Shiraz
- There are around 200 small-scale vineyards in the region
- And around 50 cellar doors
- Chardonnay’s from the region reflect their cool climate with citrus, melon and stonefruits showing in the final product in particular
To sum it up – if you get the chance to visit this Aussie wine region, then make sure you do it!
Our Day Trip Itinerary
As mentioned our day started out from Brighton and it took just a little over an hour to reach our first winery. It was a very casual, laidback day where we didn’t rush but instead ‘soaked’ up the atmosphere at all our stops. Here’s where we went…
Ten Minutes by Tractor
Numerous people recommended that we had to visit Ten Minutes by Tractor and I have to admit the unique name definitely drew me in! Of course one of our first questions was about the name. Ten Minutes by Tractor refers to the fact that you can reach all 3 of their vineyards within a 10 minute tractor ride of each other. I like it!
It’s definitely a higher end cellar door with bottle prices ranging from $28 upwards. While we were there we had the opportunity to taste 4 wines, a white, rose and 2 reds. There was a $5 tasting fee however if you dined at their restaurant or bought a bottle then the fee was waivered.
Surprisingly (not) it was the 2015 Estate Chardonnay at $44 which both Mr. Spittoon and I loved and we ended up buying a bottle which is sitting in our fridge here in Perth – eagerly waiting to be cracked open.
I’m a big believer in drinking and eating local when travelling. When it comes to wine travel the great thing about drinking local is that you typically will not have access to those wines elsewhere. On our trip to Melbourne we thought it’d be a great opportunity to visit the Mornington Peninsula wine region – I’ve heard good things about the region but tried very few of their wines. Our first stop was Ten Minutes by Tractor which was recommended to us and with a name like that – how could we not stop in for a visit! This 2015 Estate Chardonnay was the first wine we tried of the day – and what a mighty good way to start! We ended up buying a bottle for $44 which was consumed as soon as we got back to our accomodation that day. This is what we thought… A brilliant pale yellow-gold colour in the glass with a lovely buttery, vanilla oak nose that has a slight whiff of flintiness to it. On the palate it’s wonderfully balanced with creamy tropical fruits and zesty lime acidity ending with a beautifully succulent, mouthwatering finish. I could easily drink this Chardy all night long. Hanging out for that bottomless bottle to come out ? All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy! #tcweekdaywine #tctastingnotes
The cellar door is in a shed with a tractor naturally and I have to admit it’s always nice to enjoy a tasting out of good glassware! At Ten Minutes by Tractor they use Riedel glasses.
Our next stop was recommended to us by the lovely @crumbs_and_corks on Instagram. We were looking for a nice casual spot for lunch (I was dressed in a flano shirt with fake high-heel Timberland boots after all!) and Sloane suggested we check out the pizza’s at T’Gallant.
However first up we naturally had to do a tasting at the cellar door! It was a bit of a rainy day when we arrived but it’s safe to say these guys have one heck of a view – it really is a beautiful spot.
The cellar door is nice and big and is equipped with a fireplace which was lovely on this rather chilly day. I was extremely impressed with the gentleman on the cellar door who was effortlessly managing to conduct tastings for about 4 different groups of people, including us. We tried through a number of the wines and from what I could see, there was no tasting fee.
We ended up walking out with a bottle of the Chardonnay Pinot Noir sparkling, the Tempranillo Graciano and Shiraz blend and the Pinot Grigio. All fabulous wines!
While on our day trip to the Mornington Peninsula recently (only an hour or so out of Melbourne) we were looking for a casual lunch spot and as soon as @crumbs_and_corks mentioned @tgallantwines did pizza, we were on our way! Naturally prior to lunch we treated ourselves to a tasting at the cellar door. Both #mrspittoon and I really enjoyed this bottle of Chardonnay & Pinot Noir bubbles which we had to buy – it didn’t even last 4 hours before it was opened! It’s a classic Aussie dry non-vintage sparkling wine. Pale lemon ? colour in the glass with a citrusy orange? sherbet nose and wonderfully balanced and smooth on the palate. Lovely hints of vanilla and peach kept me going back for more ?$26 per bottle. All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy! #tcweekdaywine #tctastingnotes
After our tasting we headed over to the restaurant where we enjoyed a half and half pizza (Margherita and salami) for $32 and some Italian-style roasted potatoes with garlic and aromatic herbs ($10). This was teamed with a large glass (250ml) of the 2014 Pinot Gris and a small glass (150ml) of the 2015 Pinot Gris. Having those two side-by-side, I think the 2015 was more for me.
All up we had a wonderful lunch – it was exactly what we were looking for – laidback and casual! Prior to leaving we then popped back into the cellar door to try the sweet Romeo to cap off our time at T’Gallant.
Another fabulous recommendation from the lovely folk on my Facebook page – thank you all for the tips! Foxeys is another one with a fabulous view! I wish we still had room in our tummys as it would be a fabulous spot for lunch. The design is very modern and airy. I loved the open kitchen in the room and the big glass windows looking out to the vineyard.
On arrival at the tasting bench, we were given a piece of paper with the tasting line up and pen so we could write notes if we wished – this was a nice touch. There was a tasting fee of $8 per person which again was waivered if you purchased something.
The sparkling, Chardonnay and 2015 Kentucky Road 777 were all spectacular! We ended up buying a bottle of the sparkling and chardonnay – the latter is in our fridge waiting to be cracked however the bubbles had no chance of even making it onto the plane back to Perth.
Thanks to all those who recommended that we visit Foxeys ? Hangout on our recent Mornington Peninsula trip in Victoria. This bubbles was one of our favourites – so much so that it didn’t even make it back to Perth! This 2011 bubbles is a crisp lemon colour on the eye with a mixture of flaky pastry, citrus and floral notes on the nose. In the mouth it’s oh so silky and smooth with super fresh flavours of pears?, apples ? and lemons ? dominating for me. A definite must try for bubbles lovers ? $35 per bottle. PS: we wish we had time to dine at Foxeys as it has an absolutely awesome view and I loved the open kitchen set up (more to come on the blog). All opinions are based on my own taste buds. Wine is subjective & always evolving, so make sure you drink what you enjoy! #tcweekdaywine #tctastingnotes
Oh and I have to mention the 2016 Late Harvest Pinot Gris was also pretty special! I don’t believe I have had a dessert wine made from Pinot Gris so it was pretty special to try!
The Italian dude who took us through our tasting was very informative and welcoming which is always nice!
Address: 795 White Hill Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937
Phone: (03) 5989 2022
Open: 11am-5pm Friday-Monday
All up, we had a wonderful slow-paced afternoon in the Mornington Peninsula wine region and we will definitely visit again when we get the opportunity. Let us know your favourite spots in the Mornington below so we can add them to our list for next time!