Thanks to our diverse yet temperate climates, Australia is renowned for having some of the best wine in the world with some of the best wineries right here in Melbourne! Our relationship with our harsh sun may be testing at times but when it comes to our wine, it enriches grapes with flavour. Likewise, with our cooler winters, which offer bold pours and aromas that give Australian wine a point of difference compared to lighter versions in France or Italy. The best wineries in Melbourne range from quaint cellar doors to fine dining restaurants, as well as an international franchise housing in one of the best Australian wine regions.

Melbourne has two significant winery areas: Mornington Peninsula and the Yarra Valley. They are both renowned for their sophisticated and homegrown wines but do take a day trip to reach if you’re closer to the CBD. Organise friends and a GoGet to reach your destinations, and ensure you drink responsibly by choosing a designated driver. Pinot varietals and chardonnay are the most popular throughout the Mornington Peninsula thanks to its cooler climate similar to Tuscany.

Mornington Peninsula region
best wineries in Melbourne

QUEALY WINEMAKERS

The Quealy family is an icon in the Australian wine world and the wine here tells you why very quickly. This winery is a later project for the family, who have a group of Peninsula spots on the map including T’Gallant (read below) and the newly opened Kerri Greens. The cellar door at Quealy is in an intimate location 70km from Melbourne in Balnarring. The all timber room is lined with tens of their bottles with standing and tasting room for groups or just a pair. Tom, the son of owner Kathleen Quealy, runs this winery and the many vineyards attached. His charismatic and intelligent explanations will have you ticking order forms by the end of your visit. Pinot noir is the ultimate here, with several variations of different bodies—you’ll love Quealy’s even if pinot noir isn’t your favourite. The Campbell & Christine is perfectly balanced, Seventeen Rows is their number one, and Rageous is a sangiovese-pinot noir-shiraz blend to lust after. Of course, there are whites too, with a fantastic sparkling (Secco Splendido) and pinot grigio to save for summer.

T’GALLANT

From the same Quealy family comes a Peninsula stalwart. T’Gallant is in Main Ridge, an 80km drive from the Melbourne CBD. It is very popular among locals and a well-known spot to come down on the peninsula. The Quealy family who own this winery pioneered the introduction of pinot gris and pinot grigio in Australia in the 1990s and it’s damn good. Their range is inspired by Europe with a classic Australian twist, including variations from different ends of the region. What about Prosecco or Moscato in a can? Perfect for a picnic. Come and enjoy a pizza on site amongst the vineyards, and if you love all things fungi, Mushrooms in May is an annual event focusing on the ingredient on a tour with lunch. And wine, of course.

MONTALTO

Montalto is the sophisticated one of the peninsula wineries, 90km from the CBD. Schedule a lunch here without hesitation and gaze out over the sprawling hills lined with vineyards, olive groves and sculptures. The winery produces both wine and olive oil, with the food menu taking advantage of seasonal produce growing in the fields around you. Have a big group of ten or more? Book upstairs into the Wine Room for panoramic views of the vineyards and groves, tasting wines and enjoying a set lunch. Pinot is the hero once again, with award-winning Chardonnays too. Their house-pressed olive oil is divine and offers take home availability. Montalto is perfect for a group celebration or an indulgent long lunch in the sun.

PT LEO ESTATE

A restaurant, winery and sculpture park all in one, this elegant winery is #Insta heaven with expansive views of Western Port Bay. Wander around the sculptures to garner an appetite for a tasting. The chardonnay here isn’t for your aunty but a clean, crisp version that surprises. Interestingly, the 2017 vintage is nicer than the 2015. Along with the chardonnay, pinot noir is once again a signature. The main restaurant showcases local produce with elevated classics, and the Best New Restaurant according to Good Food Guide, Laura, is on site too. An indulgent afternoon indeed, 80km from the CBD.

RED HILL ESTATE

Driving for 90km from the city centre will get you to Red Hill, a charming wooded area of the peninsula. Red Hill Estate is another gem beloved by locals. Winemakers there endorse proudly of the cool climate that makes wine in this region so good. RHE recently teamed up with the fifth best Australian restaurant, Vue de Monde, for a special evening event paired with their wines. Their pinot noir and chardonnay are revered but offer most other types at equally reasonable price points. The wine is paired and matched with fresh produce at Max’s Restaurant—an elegant affair of seafood, meat and fresh vegetables.

 

Yarra Valley region
best wineries in melbourne

DOMAINE CHANDON

You’ve probably heard of Moët & Chandon sparkling wine, and although they’re originally French, they have set up shop up in Coldstream, 55km from the CBD, to produce the Australian batches of Moët & Chandon. The perfect location for growing (and drinking), Domaine Chandon is a popular spot for girls’ weekends and hen’s parties, birthdays and weddings. But feel free to drive up here for a day or weekend trip away and enjoy the splendour of some of the best sparkling up for offer. Whichever your preferred drop, you’ll no doubt enjoy tasting and wandering the grounds. Their range includes traditional whites and rosé (cuvée and brut), as well as a sparkling pinot shiraz to intrigue. The restaurant offers fresh local Yarra Valley produce with a French twist and paired spectacularly with a wine recommendation. All the hard work is done for you, especially if you also hit up GoGet!

YERING STATION

Perfect for lovers of art and architecture, Yering Station will win you over at first glance with their stunning design. Situated in Yarra Glen, enjoy driving through farms and pine trees until you reach one of the oldest wineries in the state—vines were first planted in 1838. Imagine a bottle of that vintage! Due to the cooler conditions, Yering Station also favours chardonnay, shiraz and pinot noir, with some sparkling white and rosé as well. There is also an art gallery on site showcasing a range of contemporary artists on rotation. An annual event in spring focuses on sculptures, plus all commissions from purchases associated with their arts program are donated to a leukemia foundation.

ROCHFORD WINES

Famous for holding an annual music festival, A Day on the Green, Rochford Wines is perfect for the wine and music lover. The winery is located in Coldstream, 60km away from the city. Check out their website for upcoming festivals and concerts—often they’ll have special events on throughout the year. However, the walking around the stunning grounds with sprawling hills in the background will entice you enough. There is a conservatory, amphitheatre and lakeside deck area to stop and soak in the views. Head back to the main house for their trademarks: chardonnay, shiraz and cabernet sauvignon. Match them with delicious charcuterie and hearty meals at Isabella’s Restaurant on site, once again paying homage to local farmers’ produce.

GIANT STEPS

A well-loved winery in Healesville, 65km from the Melbourne CBD, Giant Steps has been named one of the world’s top 100 wines by Wine & Spirits Magazine (US edition) for six years running. What’s so good about it? They have single vineyards—isolated locations for different grapes— for each of their creations. That way, their chardonnay, pinot noir, syrah and LDR (a blend of the latter two) have been given space to be enriched by their own soil and sun, giving bolder aromas and taste. Head to the cellar door for lunch or dinner and enjoy the best of seasonal produce, and don’t forget to take some home to enjoy another time. Often, their vines only produce a batch of 200, making that bottle extra special.

Both of the prominent wine regions in Melbourne are a decent day trip from the city, so why not make a weekend of it? There are ample boutique bed and breakfasts and Airbnbs dotted around the picturesque countryside or overlooking the bay on the peninsula. Why not book a GoGet for you and a special someone, or with a group of friends to enjoy a wine-filled weekend. Always remember to drive responsibly or organise lifts to and from wineries.

 

And if wine isn’t your thing, why not check out some of the best breweries in Melbourne instead!

About Sophie Evans

Sophie is a freelance journalist based out of Melbourne. Currently studying at Swinburne University, she is also the Editor of Swine Magazine to which she regularly contributes.