The inland area around Arthurs Seat and Red Hill is probably the most scenic: a bucolic landscape of rolling hills, orchards and paddocks. This is also where the bulk of the peninsula’s two hundred or so vineyards are located. They produce superb, if pricey, Chardonnay, Pinot Grigio/Gris and Pinot Noir wines. As in the Yarra Valley, good restaurants, especially winery restaurants, have proliferated on the peninsula in recent years, some of them in truly spectacular settings.
Mornington Peninsula Wineries (morningtonpeninsulawineries.com.au) provides detailed information on the region’s wineries, as do the visitor information centres and attractions in the region. Pick up the Mornington Peninsula Wine Touring Map, also available at information centres.
Foxeys Hangout foxeys-hangout.com.au. Small, bustling cellar door with vineyard panorama views. Tapas-style share plates of modern Australian cuisine, served by friendly and knowledgeable staff.
Max’s at Red Hill maxsatredhillestate.com.au. Attached to Red Hill Estate winery, Max’s offers a seasonal menu with superb views over the hills and Western Port Bay.
Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove montalto.com.au. Scenic and upmarket, with an area of wetland home to over ninety species of bird and other wildlife; it has a lovely kitchen garden and a sculpture-dotted walk through the wetland.
Stillwater at Crittenden stillwateratcrittenden.com.au. High-quality, innovative cuisine showcasing the best seasonal and regional produce in a stunning lakeside vineyard setting.
Ten Minutes By Tractor tenminutesbytractor.com.au. Award-winning food and wine served in an immaculate setting. The degustation menu is worth splashing out on.
T’Gallant tgallant.com.au. A pioneer in the winery field, proclaiming itself “Tuscany on the Mornington Peninsula”; the winery’s rustic La Baracca Trattoria serves pizzas and other simple dishes alongside a glass of Pinot Noir or Pinot Grigio.
Red Hill Brewery redhillbrewery.com.au. If you’re in the mood for a beer instead of wine, this brewery has an excellent range straight from the vat and does hearty food to accompany it.