Our holiday continues. Yesterday we decided to take advantage of the good weather by driving out to Mornington Peninsula for the day. Mornington is about an hour outside of Melbourne. The area is known for its beaches, hot springs, seasonal restaurants and wineries.
Our first stop was Sunnyridge Strawberry Farm to pick up some tasty treats and sample the fruit. Ben also purchased some local cider. Then, it was on to the real stuff – the wine!
For a day of wine tasting, it’s a good rule of thumb to visit three wineries with a meal in between stops. This allows you plenty of time for tasting and enjoying a glass(es) of your favourite without feeling rushed. We stretched ourselves a bit and sampled four wineries with a fifth for lunch so that we could enjoy another glass with our meal.
I use the term “we” loosely. Ben was driving, so he limited his wine consumption to a minimum. Therefore, he spent most of the day driving me from winery to winery allowing me to drink and purchase – such a wonderful husband! Though, I think this arrangement was also his strategy of giving himself greater control over my purchases… I’ve been known to become a tad enthusiastic with buying wines that I enjoy 😉
Mornington is known for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. I’m a big fan of Pinot Noir but generally do not enjoy Chardonnay. However, I was pleasantly surprised to come upon more than a couple bottles of Chardonnay that I really enjoyed. We made our rounds through Eldridge Estate, T’Gallant (lunch), 10 Minutes by Tractor (10X), Darling Park and Port Philip Estate.
Eldridge Estate gave us our first taste of Gammay wine and had lovely views from their terrace. We enjoyed the tastings at 10X and definitely plan to go back for a meal at their restaurant. Darling Park had a very large tasting menu but was probably the least favorite of the stops. Port Philip was the largest and had beautiful views which it hides from the road with a large cement wall. Port Philip owns three different estates (Quartier, Port Philip and Kooyang) managed by one wine maker and you can sample all three at this location. I decided Kooyang was my favorite.
We had a great time and are looking forward to future visits to Mornington as well as the many other wine regions of Australia!
Money can’t buy happiness but it can buy wine and that’s kind of the same thing…
While we missed out on trick-or-treaters and costumes and pumpkin carving, we had a wonderful time at the Geelong Wine Festival this past weekend. Geelong is about an hour train ride southwest of Melbourne along the coast.
We went with a Meetup group of couples in their 20/30’s. It might seem strange to join a couples Meetup Group – it sounds as if you are going to end up somewhere with your keys in a bowl. We all did in fact joke that it was a lot like the couples’ version of online dating. You don’t know quite how well you all are going to get along but are hoping at the very least it won’t be too awkward and best case scenario you make some new friends.
This group happened to be fantastic. There were 7 couples – all from the UK with the exception of Ben and I. Everyone got on very well and had a great day touring several wineries in the area. The only thing that could have made it nicer is if the sun had stayed out longer as the weather kept shifting from one extreme to the other all day.
The festival is organized in a way that you simply pick a particular shuttle bus route and tour the different participating wineries. The shuttles run on a loop all day so you can get on and off as you please. The wineries all had some sort of food for sale as well as live music and of course plenty of wine – and in some cases cider – tasting. You could also purchase wine by the glass or bottle for consumption if you liked a particular variety or if (like our group) you got tired of waiting in line to get tiny tasting portions.
Our group chose the Bellerine route which is apparently more known for Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays, and Sparkling. Overall, we found some wines that we really enjoyed… we’ll just have to re-trace some blurred memories to remember which they were. But even better, we met some great people!