Why Your Next Trip To Australia Should Include A Visit To Its Famous Wine Regions
A trip to wine country should be on most anyone’s bucket list, not just wine enthusiasts, but also those looking to learn more about wine and where it’s produced. Famous wine regions around the world include Napa Valley in California, Bordeaux in France, and Rioja in Spain. In Australia, Hunter Valley in New South Wales and Margaret River in Western Australia are among the country’s most famous wine regions.
For those visiting Australia in search of something a bit different, there are two booming wine destinations that lie beyond Melbourne, a mere drive or ferry away, that are worth exploring. Locals already flock to these wine haunts, but visitors from overseas, including the Philippines, have yet to discover these wine regions’ special charms.
I had a unique opportunity to get a taste of what lies beyond Melbourne, when Wine Australia hosted journalists from Hong Kong, Singapore, Vietnam, South Korea, and the Philippines to discover the cool climate wines of the Mornington Peninsula and Geelong wine regions. It was a palate-opening experience for me, as I savored the chance to sample diverse wine styles from these two areas.
The charms of Mornington Peninsula
Mornington Peninsula is the idyllic cool climate wine country, with a landscape comprised of undulating hills set against an azure sky which blends into the pristine blue waters of Western Port, Port Philip Bay, and Bass Strait.
View of Mornington Peninsula’s wine country from Jackalope Hotel
The entire peninsula has a vibrant wine scene, which makes it easier for visitors to select the activity to suit their taste and schedule. Some recommended cellar door activities include the following:
A sparkling wine tasting at Stonier Wines
Ten Minutes by Tractor where visitors can choose their favorite Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from different vineyards
Polperro Winery offers cellar door tastings as well as picnic baskets with wines, if preferred
Relax over some vino while taking in the unique art collection at Yabby Lake
There are also wine-and-dine establishments worth checking out for those who want a distinctive dining experience. Highlighted by regional produce, a diversity of wine styles, and local culinary talent, these stellar establishments easily rival their big city counterparts:
At Point Leo Estate vineyard, large-scale contemporary artworks highlight the view of the ocean and vineyards, while visitors can enjoy the cellar door offerings together with excellent dining options
Port Philip Estate offers a contemporary take on classics, showcasing taste and texture alongside Port Philip Estate and Kooyong wines, plus a selection of old and new world wines
The memorable name of Doot Doot Doot is a portent of what to expect from its standout menu, highlighting ingredients grown in its kitchen gardens or within the region, for a true expression of local dining, paired with local wines
Rich and rugged Geelong
The Geelong wine region should not be missed, with vineyards that stretch from the wild and rugged Surf Coast, the Bellarine Peninsula to the rich, volcanic soils of the Mooorabool Valley, with the following one-of-a-kind cellar door experiences:
Oakdene’s cellar door, the “Upside-Down House” offers a unique tasting room experience, with an experienced team guiding visitors on their wine choices
Provenance Wines lives up to its name with wines that reflect great origins. Its cellar door and winery at the Fyansford Paper Mill also preserves that identity of place with perfect wine and food choices
Flying Brick Cider House combines a convivial dining space, an al fresco lawn area, a distinctive contemporary menu made from local produce, with guided tastings of premium maritime climate wines at the Yes Said the Seal tasting bar
When pressed for time, Geelong Cellar Door in Geelong’s inner CBD provides just the right sip-and-dine solution with an array of premium cool climate wines from the Greater Geelong area, local craft beers and ciders, quality cheese, and charcuterie platters
Photos provided by Wine Australia.