Exploring the Mornington Peninsula’s Pinot Coast

By Halliday Promotion

Victoria's Mornington Peninsula is blessed with some of the finest producers of pinot noir in the country – put these stand-out wine experiences on the to-do list for your next weekend away.

Perched on the cool, southeast maritime corner of Australia are the ideal ripening conditions for the delicate and seductive pinot noir grape. Easily accessible from Melbourne, the Mornington Peninsula is at the heart of the Pinot Coast and features world-class cellar doors and boutique, small-batch producers. This idyllic, seaside wine-trail is perfect for lovers of elegant, cool-climate styles.  

At a little over an hour's drive from the CBD, the Pinot Coast is the perfect weekend activity. Make a day out of it, or stay the night at one of the boutique cellar-door accomodation options for a weekend in luxury food and wine experiences. There are more than 40 producers in the region to choose from but consider the following standout six as a great place to start – or create your own wine-trail here.

Phaedrus Estate, Moorooduc
Stretch out on the vast Phaedrus Estate lawns with a gourmet cheese platter matched to a selection of balanced and full-flavoured wines, each with distinctive varietal personalities. Make sure to try the winery's Single Vineyard Pinot Noir (which is in high demand and short supply) and the especially interesting fiano – a consistent gold medal winner in alternative varieties.

Flagship wine: 2018 Phaedrus Estate Single Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir

220 Mornington-Tyabb Road, Moorooduc | Open weekends and public holidays.

Moorooduc Estate, Moorooduc
Find the Moorooduc Estate cellar door in a beautiful rammed-earth building, the materials for which were sourced from a nearby quarry. The winery and its resulting wines have a true sense of place; single vineyard pinots are expressed as individuals, their character supported with minimal intervention winemaking. Bookings are essential and if you happen to be there on the weekend, pick up a loaf of owner Richard’s spectacular sourdough. 

Flagship wine: 2018 The Moorooduc McIntyre Pinot Noir

501 Derril Road, Moorooduc | By appointment only.

Crittenden Estate, Dromana
Notice a warm, family style tasting experience when you walk in the door at Crittenden Estate. The winery focuses predominantly on classic French and Italian varietals but has recently embarked on a project to cultivate emerging Spanish styles, too. Make sure to take part in a staff-led guided tasting to learn all about the different options on pour.

Flagship wine: 2018 Crittenden Estate Cri de Coeur Pinot Noir

25 Harrisons Road, Dromana | Open every day.

Fenian Wines, Red Hill
The first weekend of the month is the time to gather at Fenian Wines. Music on the deck overlooking their vineyard while sampling the winery's handpicked and basket-pressed pinot noir is a must.

Flagship wine: 2018 Fenian Pinot Noir

295 Dunns Creek Road, Red Hill | Open first weekend of the month.

Hurley Vineyard, Balnarring
Truly a gem on the Mornington Peninsula, Hurley pinot noirs are revered in wine circles around the country. Open the first weekend of the month by appointment only, make your booking to experience otherworldly examples of this variety.

Flagship wine: 101 Balnarring road, Balnarring | Open first weekend of the month, by appointment only.

Prancing Horse Estate, Red Hill South
Committed to organic and biodynamic winemaking, the Prancing Horse vineyard was first planted in 1985 and truly expresses the individual terrior of its Red Hill site. Surrounded by pasture and bushland overlooking the Western Port Bay, the spectacular view no doubt helps these vines produce wines of such finesse.

Flagship wine: 2016 Prancing Horse Estate Reserve Pinot Noir

38 Paringa Road, Red Hill South
| Open every weekend, bookings essential.

For more fabulous wines from Mornington Peninsula producers – plus delicious gourmet food and live music – get your tickets to the Peninsula Piers and Pinots event. The mid-harvest celebration is held at Flinders Foreshore and features seaside tastings of local cool-climate pinot noir and pinot gris styles.

This article was produced in partnership with Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association – @mpwine.