Ladies and Gentlemen, Australia’s spring has fortunately gifted me some great photographs of places I never thought I’d get to see this soon after my big move to Australia. I have already made it to two of the most famous wine regions in Melbourne – Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula.
Last weekend I got the chance to explore Mornington Peninsula’s wine scene. From its name, I was in the notion that Mornington would be more of a laid-back place where Victorians settled in after retirement. I was completely wrong – not the laid-back part – the region is a retreat for city dwellers seeking some sun, wine, food and coast.
On our way, Sean, the tour guide, talks about his interest in finding a home in this part of the town. Though the drive takes over an hour from Melbourne city, he says the numerous outdoor trails and wineries in Mornington are worth all the effort, even if it means driving to the city everyday for jobs.
Laid-back. Outdoor trails. Home. A puzzle was solved. I figured the reason I always wanted to live in Victoria was to mainly be a part of both worlds – the city to sojourn and the wilderness to escape. That’s the thing about exploring the city with a local; each time it has added layers to my understanding about the region.
I will be talking more about my musings on Melbourne in another post.
But first, here is a photoessay on some of Mornington Peninsula wines, wineries and vineyards.
Stonier is one of the first wineries in the region. In 1978, they first planted chardonnay followed by Pinot Noir in 1988.
You won’t find major lunch options at Stonier but if you’re coming in for wine tasting, a cheese platter complements it the best.
I would say this was my lucky day. Stonier‘s cellar doors are not generally open to public, but we had a peek into their room laden with traditional oak barrels, where the wines are left to mature for a period of time. While the wine ages in these oak barrels, some air is typically let in to introduce small amounts of oxygen. The interaction of the phenols in wine and the chemical properties in the oak imparts desirable vanilla, spice or butter flavors.
Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
We headed to Montalto restaurant to dine at the Piazza cafe but was closed for renovation.
The sourdough dipped in flavoured Olive Oil, melts in your mouth – especially after the tasting of each wine sample. My personal favorite is the Basil infused Olive oil.
T’Gallant is known for its Pinot G – Pinot Gris style inspired from Northern France and Pinot Grigio from Northern Italy.
Known for its Pinot Noir and Shiraz, Paringa Estate houses an a la carte restaurant set slightly elevated with expansive views of the vineyard and valley.
Red Hill Estate
Our final tour was to the Red Hill Estate Winery. I must admit, I spent a few minutes taking in the panoramic views of Western Port Bay hugging the vineyard floor.
Special thanks to Dancing Kangaroo Tours for hosting me.
Which is the most delicious wine you’ve had so far and where? Share your experiences in the comments section below.
PS: Some of you have personally emailed me asking about the camera I use. It is the Canon EOS 700D + EF-S 18-55mm 3.5-5.6. This comes with a standard lens 18-55mm, which is great for beginners venturing into landscape photography.