Archives for posts with tag: Pinot Gris

Best value diningNorthway Downs.  It remains the same crazy Austrian themed carry-on that it’s always been, but you can guarantee a good time, great oompah music and the best schnitzels on the peninsula.  A most excellent afternoon out.

Best fine diningSalix at Willow Creek.  This is unfortunately a celebration of things now lost.  Last week Salix shut up shop at Willow Creek as the new owners of the property push ahead with their plans to build a conference centre.  The restaurant has been running there for around eleven years – I remember being emotionally moved by venison sausages and puy lentils, and a fabulous scallop dish.  Amazing food, a great venue and excellent service.  I for one will miss you Salix – so long and thanks for all the confit!

Best Sparkling Wine at a cellar doorStonier.  Their 85% Chardonnay, 15% Pinot Noir blend is brilliant.  The Rose is fabulous too.

Best Chardonnay at a cellar doorYabby Lake.  The thing about the cellar door at Yabby Lake is that it is consistently good – no matter what you ask for.  Dropping in for a Chardonnay on the way home from Mornington is a real treat, and it doesn’t get much better than the Yabby Lake Single Vineyard Chardonnay.

Best Pinot Noir at a cellar doorHurley.  The Garamond – stunning.  You just know when you’ve found something special, and this is it.  A great flagship wine for the Mornington Peninsula.

Best other white at a cellar doorTucks Ridge.  For just about everything non-Chardonnay really.  The winemaker, Michael Kyberd, has produced a great range of whites which are excellent examples of their varietals – Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Savagnin.  If you’re not sure how these should taste, head on down to Tuck’s Ridge.

Best other red at a cellar door100 Hunts Shiraz.  This was available at the Merricks General Store, and is a great example of a Mornington Peninsula Shiraz.

Best overall cellar door experience – Merricks General Store.  An inspirational example of what you can do with an old shed on a country road.  It has a good range of wines to taste, coffee, food and a produce store – and it’s all so gorgeous darlink!  Honourable mentions in this category have to go to: Polperro, Stumpy Gully Vineyard, Moorooduc Estate and Paringa.

Hastings Rules – we don’t count Main Ridge Estate.  Nat and Rosalie White are icons and would win most things most years, so they remain vinblue legends and do not have to fight it out with the rest of them.  But if you haven’t been to Main Ridge, then don’t delay.  Nat and Rosalie are moving on.

Best shed – I’ve taken out the best shed award this year – because I’ve run out of sheds to give it to.  everybody is going up market.  The best sheds are of course Elan Vineyard, Merricks Estate, Miceli.  Myrtaceae might count as a shed – it’s a very smart shed.


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.

Wine at Moorooduc Estate

Wine at Moorooduc Estate

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.

Moorooduc Estate restaurant and tower

Moorooduc Estate restaurant and tower

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.

The Pinots are 2011, but good despite that.  The day I visited there was a 2009 McIntyre Pinot Noir available to taste, and that was most excellent.  Of the whites, I preferred the Moorooduc Estate Chardonnay, and the 2010 McIntyre Whole Bunch Shiraz is a fantastic earthy, berry concoction.

Moorooduc cellar door

Moorooduc cellar door

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.

Wine in the Fine category.

Pier 10 – has a good feel to the place.  They have an interesting history – sometimes on the MPVA map and sometimes not, but whatever, they have been pursuing their own wine making and hospitality direction for well over a decade now and the results are impressive.  When I visited recently the place was full of people who didn’t look in a hurry to leave.

Pier 10 vineyard November 2013

Pier 10 vineyard November 2013

They grow Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir and buy in Shiraz from Heathcote.  Out of this mix comes two sparkling wines: one with a bit of everything bar the Shiraz, and a Rose from the Pinot Noir.  I am not a great fan of blending Chardonnay with Pinot Gris – I just don’t think that it works very well – so of the two the Rose was the one I preferred.

Pier 10 - back of the cellar door - November 2013

Pier 10 – back of the cellar door – November 2013

Of their still wines, I thought the Cam’s Chardonnay was excellent, as was the Pinot Rose – and they pulled off a really decent 2011 Pinot Noir.  The best part of all this – a cellar door special offer with 12 wines, including the ones I have mentioned – for $150 which is really good value.

Pier 10 cellar door dining area - platters and pizza - November 2013

Pier 10 cellar door dining area – platters and pizza – November 2013

There is a fantastic deck out the back overlooking a beautiful green valley – just perfect for lounging.  And the prices are reasonable.  Wines start at $22 and end up in the mid 30s.  I must try the restaurant.

So definitely worth a visit – a very Sound cellar door.