If you are looking for something a little different – and occasionally off the beaten track - here are six cellar doors that you may not yet have discovered, and that should be on your list.
Starting around Mornington…
For a boutique winery experience where you are likely to meet the wine makers at the cellar door, head to Phaedrus Estate (pronounced Fee-druss) in Moorooduc. Ewan and Maitena established their 10 acre vineyard in 1997 and have been producing beautiful drops ever since. With a real passion for the science behind the product they are more than happy to guide visitors through a tasting and answer all those questions you have always wanted answered about wine. A must try is the 2017 Pinot Noir with a complex, vibrant and juicy mid-palate!
Just around the corner only 1km away lies Stumpy Gully Vineyard. This family-owned and operated winery makes their wine using 100% estate grown fruit. Frank and Wendy Zantvoort relocated from Holland to the Mornington Peninsula in 1989 planning to grow citrus trees before deciding on grapes. Wendy quickly went about gaining all the education needed in viticulture and Stumpy Gully was born. Today the vineyard is onto its second generation of Zantvoort family producing from four distinct blocks, 11 varieties of wine including the classic Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and more exotic varieties such as Viognier.
Further south to Balnarring and Flinders…
A stop by to Elan Vineyard in Banarring, where most of the production occurs lovingly by hand and will leave you with a sincere appreciation of what goes into producing a great drop. Here you can sip their Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Gamay in a rotunda overlooking the vineyard and children can enjoy themselves in the playground. The BBQ and picnic facilities make for a great way to bring along your own treats to accompany the wine. Be sure to plan your visit, as Elan Vineyard only opens the first weekend of each month or by appointment.
Hidden away in Flinders is a cellar door experience like no other. Nazaaray Estate offers a touch of India and is one of the few cellar doors where you can bring your pet along too. Winemaker Param is one of a handful of Mornington Peninsula winemakers who make their wine on the same site the grapes are harvested from, leaving the grapes in perfect condition when they reach the winery immediately after picking. Enjoy your tasting experience from the unique train carriage cellar door, where you may even spot kangaroos bounding through the paddocks below. Visitors are welcome to bring their own picnic or try out some of the warm Indian snacks available. Or better still- visit during one of their quarterly Sunday Tiffin lunches to taste the impeccable pairings of Indian spices, food and wine.
Up the hill through Shoreham to Main Ridge…
In a picturesque valley 230m above sea level perched between Arthurs Seat and Red Hill you will find Main Ridge Estate. This vineyard is rich in history - the vines date back 40 years and the estate was recently rated 5 Star in the 2018 James Halliday Wine Companion. At the cellar door there is a vast wine offering, and you can enjoy ‘create your own’ grazing platters and cheese boards that are perfect for a light lunch. The Sexton family live and work on site so you will see them around the property as you unwind on the sundeck overlooking the vineyard and bush surrounds.
Upon arrival at the Aylward family property in Shoreham, you can’t help but admire the stunning entrance and picture-perfect landscape surrounding the farm house, barn-style cellar door. It’s tucked away on the aptly named Tuck’s Road, but when you drive down the long driveway you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Their wines have made it onto over 300 wine lists of top restaurants all over Australia, and the family have picked up plenty of awards over the years for their production of high quality wine. The unique underground barrel room maintains a perfect temperature and humidity all year round, with tastings available Monday - Friday by appointment only. Regular tastings are held without appointment Thursday - Saturday in the cellar door.