The Mornington Peninsula is a beautiful area, with vistas over either Western Port Bay or Port Phillip Bay from different points along the ridge, plenty of beautiful native bushland and streets lined with old mature pine trees. It is within an hour of the city of Melbourne which makes it a popular day trip for Melbournites.
Mornington Peninsula produces cool climate wines and is particularly known for Pinot and Chardonnay. However we did notice from our discussions with the many cellar door teams that there are a significant number of micro climates that make for very varied wines, as well as production of some great wines that aren't necessarily traditionally considered a cool climate wine.
With the region being so close to Melbourne (and fairly compact, with only about a 15 minute drive between the most distant cellar door locations) it is really geared towards weekend visitors and, as such, we found that a little extra planning was required to find the cellar doors that are open during the week. Also, while there are a number of cellar doors in close proximity of each other, there are no real walking tracks and therefore some form of transport will generally still be required for your visits.
There is an ok wine map for the area, but not every cellar door is listed and some of the opening times and days are missing, so you still need to go to the individual cellar door website (or obviously you can find them here on the relevant cellar door pages!). We also noticed that there were a few cellar doors that should have been open (per their website), but were not, so if you have your heart set on somewhere in particular, it may pay to call ahead to confirm.
The region is also home to some brilliant food options ranging from farmgates to highly regarded cheese factory's to 2 hatted fine dining restaurants (and everything in between!). Whilst visiting we have had great lunches at Tgallant, Polperro, Montalto, The Long Room, Paringa, Mantons Creek Estate and Rare Hare and beautiful dinners at Port Phillip, the Long Room and the extraordinary 8 course degustation dinner at Ten Minutes by Tractor.
There are so many great cellar doors and restaurants in this region that we will be sure to visit again shortly......