Good things and bad things – but mostly bad things unfortunately.

Dromana Estate has gone into receivership.  You can see the details here.  For a long time Dromana had a relationship with Garry Crittenden – one of the great pioneers of wine on the Mornington Peninsula.  After that relationship ended, Dromana went its own way with a big new vineyard on the Old Moorooduc Road in Tuerong, Victoria.

I would never have put Dromana in the top echelon of Peninsula wine producers, but the cellar door was always good fun, with a variety of entertaining and attractive staff.  Some dodgey meals, but some good ones.  I found it a great place to go on a Saturday afternoon for a $6 glass of Sangiovese or Nebbiolo.

There is great potential there, especially now that Peninsula Link has opened – it’s a minute away from the Balnarring exit – but I have no idea how all the leases and other financial arrangements are structured.

La Petanque – quite a famous restaurant on the Peninsula has also gone into receivership.  I ate there quite recently and it was one of the inspirations behind my ModOz piece.  Look, its got one hat, you get a great dining experience, the setting is lovely … and in the morning you realise you paid $22 for three scallops and some weird tasting foam – and you were supposed to be grateful.  My recent travels tell me that La Petanque won’t be the last Peninsula restaurant to go down the gurgler.  I think all the Peninsula Restaurateurs need to take a good hard look at their menus and their prices.  Lovely, yes – value for money, probably not.  And I’m still convinced if want to see how people do this in the real world, as opposed to The Shire (The Peninsula) then head off to Bucatini.

And the word is that B’Darra Estate is also closing its doors.  I’ve met Gavin on a couple of occasions and he is a great, down to earth guy.  Apparently the vineyard was too much work and just not predictable and productive enough to be worth bothering with – and then there is wine marketing.  I wish them well with whatever they do – it was always a great place to visit with some really innovative wines.

The message is – no matter how good a wine you think you can make – before you make anything, get a very clear idea as to how much wine you think you can sell.  Remember, De Bortoli can make a good Pinot Noir for $12, Yalumba can make good Shiraz Viogner for $12 – why would anybody buy your wine for $60, $40 or even $20.

But some good news – Ricca’s of Balnarring (and many other places fame) opened his restaurant at Stumpy Gully Vineyard.  Good luck Bernard.

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