The Best Wineries for Lunch on the Mornington Peninsulafood
Only an hour from Melbourne is Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. Famous for its beautiful beaches and excellent cool-climate wines, especially chardonnays and pinot noirs.
If you’re a wine aficionado though, you probably already know that. Mornington Peninsula is home to more than 200 vineyards, 60 wineries and over 50 cellar doors. While many can be found around Red Hill, they spread as far as Moorooduc to Balnarring.
While the region hasn’t been growing wine anywhere near as long as the Yarra Valley, it’s fast becoming one of Australia’s best wine regions. There’s nothing more relaxing than heading to a winery for lunch and wandering through the grapevines with a glass of vino in hand.
We’ve compiled our list of the best wineries for lunch on the Mornington Peninsula, so you don’t miss out on the best views (or the food).
Pt. Leo Estate
Address: 3649 Frankston – Flinders Rd, Merricks VIC 3916
Vineyards, ocean, sculpture park – Pt. Leo Estate has it all. Not to mention their amazing Pt. Leo Restaurant with exquisite food and delicious wines to match. Located on the south-eastern tip of the Mornington Peninsula, Pt. Leo Estate spans over 135 hectares, 20 of those hectares make up the vineyard.
There are two restaurants: Pt. Leo Estate Restaurant and Laura. Pt. Leo is the main dining space which overlooks the vineyards and the ocean. The menu is contemporary Australian and features local produce from the region. Laura is their fine dining restaurant, which has a degustation menu and a 40-page wine list. Both restaurants are run by former Rockpool executive chef Phil Wood who has turned Pt. Leo Estate into a world class dining destination.
Make sure to leave some time to wander the sculpture park afterwards which is free if you’re dining in.
Looking to stay near Pt. Leo Estate? There are plenty of Balnarring accommodation options, which is only a short drive from Pt. Leo Estate.
Red Hill Estate
Address: 53 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937
Max’s Restaurant at Red Hill Estate was the first winery restaurant to open in the region. Once again you can expect wonderful views of the surrounding vineyards, but you’ll also be able to see Western Port Bay in the distance. The menu changes seasonally and you can expect dishes that use produce that is locally sourced. You can even choose to do a food and wine matching at their cellar door. Six cool climate wines are matched with six delicious morsels. Bookings are recommended.
Looking to stay near Red Hill Estate? There are lots of nice holiday rental homes in Dromana or the surrounding area, and only a short drive from Red Hill Estate.
Address: 33 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937
Another winery stop that also features a sculpture garden, then you can’t miss Montalto. They’re famous for their amazing views, cool climate wines and wood fired pizzas. Best of all, they have different dining options depending on your budget. Montalto with Matt Wilkinson is their fine dining restaurant, while for more casual dining there is The Piazza, which is better for larger groups or people who want to spend their lunch out on the lawn enjoying their time with friends or family with a glass of wine.
For something a little more private, Montalto allows guests to book a secluded picnic at one of their 10 sites across the estate. You’ll be greeted by a white linen set table with seasonal food inspired by the estate and the Mornington Peninsula.
Looking to stay near Montalto? There are plenty of beach holiday homes in Dromana or surrounding suburbs that are only a short drive to Montalto.
Address: 150 Red Hill Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937
Polperro is a wonderful place to relax. Before you even make it into the restaurant, you’ll find huge gum trees that shade the deck chairs outside where people can enjoy a cheese board and bottle of wine.
The food at the Polperro restaurant is creative and made using the finest produce from the area including their sourdough bread which comes from Tuerong and is paired with a whipped cultured butter.
You can also choose to do their ‘Tour Menu’, where each dish is paired with one of their estate made wines. It’s priced at $105 per person or with added wines at $70 per person.
Looking to stay near Polperro? You’ll find lots of accommodation options down at the Mornington Peninsula including holiday houses at Dromana or the surrounding area which is a short drive to Polperro.
Ten Minutes by Tractor
Address: 1333 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928
The restaurant at Ten Minutes by Tractor has only recently reopened due to a fire in 2018. The winery started back in 1997 with three vineyards in Main Ridge, which were all ten minutes apart by tractor (hence the name).
Adam Sanderson is the executive chef at Ten Minutes by Tractor, who has worked at one of the world’s best restaurants, Noma in Denmark. You can choose to do a five or an eight course degustation menu or a three course menu of your choice.
The wine list has been compiled by sommelier Xavier Vigier and before the fire the wine list was 100-pages long. It has now been reduced to a much easier to digest format but you can find a range of old world and new world wines, and of course lots of wines from the local area.
Looking to stay near Ten Minutes by Tractor? You can find Balnarring holiday accommodation options which is only about a 15-minute drive to Ten Minutes by Tractor.
Address: 37 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937
Just down the road from Montalto, you’ll find another lovely winery called Tucks. Up on the hill is their infamous tree swing that overlooks the sprawling grape vines for your perfect holiday snap. Tucks does a picturesque winery lunch and on weekends you can choose to do their Tuck In menu, which is a selection of their favourite dishes plus a bottle of wine for $110 for two people.
Looking to stay near Tucks? There are plenty of beach holiday homes in Dromana or surrounding suburbs that are only a short drive to Tucks.
Address: 1385 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928
Not a huge fan of chardonnay or pinot noir and want something a little different? Head to T’Gallant who specialise in pinot grigio and pinot gris. They also sell a range of beverages in cans which are easier to consume if you want something easy to take away and share with friends. T’Gallant has a pizzeria that serves up antipasto platters and pizzas which are excellent for big groups. It’s important to note that their restaurant only takes walk-ins so it’s a good idea to get there when they open so you don’t miss out on a table.
Looking to stay near T’Gallant? There are plenty of Balnarring accommodation options, which is only a short drive from T’Gallant.
Address: Paringa Rd, Red Hill South VIC 3937
Paringa Estate started winning awards for their wines back in the late ‘90s, so it was then that owner Lindsay McCall decided to open a restaurant to match their amazing wines. Expect white linen tablecloths, plush interior and exquisite wine pairings. The restaurant has been a huge success and has gone onto win two Chef Hats in the 2020 Age Good Food Guide, so for something a little special check out Paringa Estate.
Looking to stay near Paringa Estate? You’ll find lots of accommodation options down at the Mornington Peninsula including holiday houses at Dromana or the surrounding area which is a short drive to Paringa Estate.
Address: 795 White Hill Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937
Foxeys Hangout winemaker Tony Lee is a talented man, not only has he produced pinot noir that the Halliday Wine Companion has given 97 points for, but he is also a qualified chef who has created dishes to complement the wines. The dishes are simple but use local produce including apples from the Mock family’s orchard around the corner. The restaurant has floor-to-ceiling windows to allow you to see the sprawling vineyards across the property.
Looking to stay near Foxeys Hangout? Dromana is a short five-minute drive from Foxeys Hangout and you can find plenty of holiday properties in and around Dromana.
Address: 1175 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Red Hill VIC 3937
While not a winery, Tedesca gets a special mention because it’s somewhere you should definitely go while you’re staying on the Mornington Peninsula. Tedesca is the epitome of country food. It’s unpretentious, rustic and the atmosphere is everything you want for a meal out. The Australian named Tedesca the Hottest Regional Restaurant in 2020, so it’s certainly not to be missed.
Looking to stay near Tedesca Osteria? A short drive from this restaurant is Dromana, a nice seaside town where you can find plenty of accommodation options including the surrounding area of McCrae, Rosebud and Safety Beach.