Hey all! We’ve hoped a quick flight to Melbourne to ring in the New Year with some friends. We spent our first day in touring around wine country on the Mornington Peninsula. The drive out there took us through some small little beach towns, like St. Kilda (which we hit on our last trip here) and Frankston.
Our first stop of the day was the Mornington Peninsula Brewery. It’s a tiny little brewery that produces some amazing beers. We had a flight that ranged from a tasty witbier to rich stout. The brewery also made some really good pizza to go with their beers. We finished off the stop with a Sorachi made with Japanese hops. It had some wonderful floral notes and tasted amazing. We’re hoping to get some shipped to Alice.
From there we climbed into the hills to take in some beautiful scenery and some wonderful wines. The scenery is an interesting mix of rolling hills and over-hanging trees. Nestled amongst the wineries were berry farms that were offering to let you pick your own. Our first stop was Ten Minutes by Tractor. Of all the wineries, this was the one we liked the least. All of the wines were good, but nothing really jumped out at us.
In fact, the most interesting part of the visit was the awesome herb planter out front.
From there we shuttled up the road to Port Phillip Estate. It was a very modern building – quite different from most of the other relaxed wineries (and breweries/distilleries) we visited during the trip. The rolling scenery was beautiful though, and it was a lovely break.
From there, we made our way to the best stop of the day: Bass & Flinders Distillery. This tiny business makes several of varieties of gin using wine as the initial base before triple distilling. Rather than stick just to the standard juniper berry mix, they work with other botanicals like ginger, lemon, coriander, cardamom, and lemon grass. One of the owners was on hand to show around the small operation and let us taste his wares. We grabbed a couple of bottles and headed down the road for to the last winery of the day – Crittenden Estate was a nice vineyard with some good reds, but none memorable enough to bring home.
On the way home, we stopped to grab a quick snack and then look at some epic sand sculptures. The theme was children’s books, so most of the characters were instantly familiar. By then, we were all exhausted and decided to have a relaxing dinner and call it an early night. Pictures are here and we’ll post about the Yarra Valley wineries in a day or so.