Main Ridge Estate

The cellar door at Main Ridge

The cellar door at Main Ridge

The Peninsula’s first commercial vineyard and winery, and still up there at the very top. Run by Nat and Rosalie White. Nat White, the winemaker, is at the cellar door most days and is happy to talk all things wine – but remember this is a man who has been making fine wine for the best part of forty years. He knows a thing or two. For years Nat has been on a quest to make outstanding Pinot Noir, and in the process has come up with one of the world’s best Chardonnays.

Main Ridge Estate website – here

MPVA entry – here

Wines:

Prices from $50 to $70. In the Fine classification.

  • Chardonnay,
  • Merlot,
  • Pinot Noir – The Acre,
  • Pinot Noir – The Half Acre

Others:

Special dinners and lunches with some museum release wines several times a year – best to ring, or get on the mailing list to know when they are coming up,

A place for serious devotees of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Not especially child friendly. Very attractive gardens.

Moorooduc Estate

Moorooduc cellar door

Moorooduc cellar door

Moorooduc Estate should be on your list of cellar doors to visit if you love decent Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  It’s the home of Richard McIntyre who has been making wine on the Peninsula since the early 1980s.  Richard makes the wine for Moorooduc and wine for number of other vineyards on the Peninsula.  If you like Peninsula wine, there is a good chance you’ve had something made by Mr McIntyre.  He used to make the wine for Osborns Harwood vineyard when Frank Osborn was alive – and most excellent wine it was too.

Moorooduc Estate website – here

MPVA entry – here

Wines:

Four wine varieties are on offer at the cellar door – Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz. For the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir there are four price points:

Devil Blend – typically $28 a bottle – made from a blend of wine with grapes sourced from other local vineyards, including Osborns Harwood and the Garden.

Moorooduc Estate – typically $35 a bottle – with fruit from the Moorooduc vineyard.

Robinson Vineyard – at $55 a bottle – from the vineyard of Hugh Robinson, Moorooduc’s viticulturist.

McIntyre – $55 to $65 a bottle – the “reserve” label.

Others:

One of the most striking things about Moorooduc are the buildings.  They are magnificent rammed earth creations with a warm ochre finish.  I find it a lot friendlier than the rather austere colour of Port Phillip/Kooyong.  What you don’t get a sense of as you enter the cellar door is the scale of the building.  They used to run Jill’s restaurant from a stunning dining room over looking the vineyard – complete with a wooden roof in the form of a perfect sinewave, and polished concrete floors.  The restaurant does still open, but only once a month for lunch.  Get on the mailing list if you are interested.

Probably not the most child friendly of cellar doors – although you could leave little ones outside to chase the peacocks, and you can buy Alpaca wool teddy bears.

Stoniers

The cellar door entrance at Stonier

The cellar door entrance at Stonier

Brian Stonier, an ex Managing Director of Penguin and Macmillan Books Australia, started planting the vineyards back in 1978.  At that stage there were very few vineyards on the Peninsula – he was one of the true pioneers in the area.  More significantly he built a very capable and successful team that included Geraldine McFaul (now Willow Creek) and Stuart Marshall.  Obviously a good business man, Brian was also able to get out and sold the business to Lion Nathan in around 2002.

Stoniers website – here

MPVA entry – here

Wines:

It’s all about Pinot Noir and Chardonnay:

Sparkling – 2009 Stonier Sparkling (85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir) – creamy, with great fruit – $30. 2008 Stonier Cuvee Rose (100% Pinot Noir) – not available for tasting – $46

Chardonnay – 2012 Stonier Chardonnay – smooth malo, some oak – $24.  2011 Stonier Reserve Chardonnay – a cracker of a wine, brilliant – $45.  2011 Stonier Halcyon Vineyard Chardonnay – little on the acidic side for my taste – $45.

Pinot Noir – 2012 Stonier Pinot Noir – delicate fruit flavours, strawberry – $26.  2011 Stonier Reserve Pinot Noir – great for that year – $55. 2010 Stonier Windmill Pinot Noir – beautiful wine – $65.

Well into Sound – the reserves all Fine.

 Others:

Another great Peninsula cellar door experience.  Beautiful wine, and apparently you can even get a cheese platter.  It would be a great place to work through a cheese platter too – the outdoor area is very pleasant AND there is a lawn with a little children’s play area.

Yabby Lake

Yabby Lake

Yabby Lake

This is all about money – but it’s money made by a family that has worked hard and built a great business from humble beginnings.  Roscoe “Roc” Kirby was the driving force behind what is now known as Village Roadshow – a significant company in film, music and entertainment.  The Kirby family founded Yabby Lake.  It takes a certain courage, belief and conviction to plant a vineyard of this size.  But it seems conviction, like the force, is strong in this family.  Roc apparently didn’t believe that TV would kill cinema, and he was right.  And Yabby lake is now producing very good wine.

Yabby Lake website – here

MPVA entry – here

Wines:

The Red Claw range:

All around $23. In the Sound classification. Good value.

  • Pinot Gris,
  • Sauvignon Blanc,
  • Chardonnay,
  • Pinot Noir
  • Shiraz – with fruit from the Heathcote region

The Yabby Lake range:

Starting at $30 (Pinot Gris) up to $60 (Pinot Noir). In the Fine classification.

  • Pinot Gris,
  • Chardonnay,
  • Pinot Noir

And then of course there are the special “block” wines – premium wines made from specific vineyard blocks.  The “block” wines are priced at around $100.  The 2013 Jimmy Watson winner is the 2012 Block 1 Pinot Noir.

Others:

The cellar door cafe is open everyday and it’s pretty good food.  Original and unusual art works on the wall.  Professional cellar door team, and a very comfortable space.

A place for serious devotees of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Child friendly?  Pretty good actually.  There is a garden out the front of the cellar and a set of swings.  Watch out for the mob of kangaroos that bounce around the vineyard and the area of bushland to the right of the cellar door.