The best Mornington Peninsula restaurants all have stunning settings on award-winning wineries. Nothing makes me happier than a fantastic foody experience with a good glass of wine in my hand while gazing out over vineyards. You could call it the ultimate wine and dine experience just 1 hour 45 minutes outside of Melbourne. Could this get any better? YES. My 5 favourite wine tasting spots won the prestige restaurant award – the Hat. These are the 5 best Mornington Peninsula restaurants at top-notch vineyards!
+ Mornington Peninsula restaurants – Ten Minutes by Tractor
If you are wondering about the name, there are three vineyards on three different slopes, at three different altitudes, each 10 minutes by tractor. A big compliment (or ‘hats off’) for the restaurant which didn’t receive one Hat but two! This intimate and charismatic restaurant is perfect for a romantic dinner. Expect superb wine as the list has been judged as Australia’s best; and don’t miss out on a cellar wine tasting where their best wines are available for tasting.
+ Mornington Peninsula restaurants – Paringa Estate
I have a special love for Paringa Estate. Why? I experienced Paringa Estate from bottle to barrel which was a wine dream come true! This also gave me a good understanding of the wines Paringa Estate produces; they are phenomenal, particularly the Estate Series & Single Vineyard Wines!
The glass walls in the restaurant offer the most gorgeous views over the valley and vineyards. And Chef Adam Beckett? There are no words to describe his talent. The menu changes regularly and it mostly consists of fresh and local ingredients from the surrounding farms. He even organized a five course truffle dinner recently. Trust me, you won’t regret dining here!
+ Mornington Peninsula restaurants – Port Phillip Estate
The gracious entrance of Port Phillip pretty much describes the elegance of this estate. My jaw literally dropped as I walked inside. Combine vineyards with coastal views and that is what happens! The Cellar Door Kitchen is a place to have a relaxed ‘shared table’ lunch. Do you want to take things to the next level? Treat your taste buds at the Hat Award Dining Room. This is a perfect spot for a romantic getaway as it offers luxurious suites with that same spectacular view!
+ Mornington Peninsula restaurants – Willow Creek Vineyard
It took me a while to understand, but this is the deal at Willows Creek Vineyard: Jackalope is a sophisticated hotel and is the home of the Hat awarded restaurant Doot Doot Doot and the famous 10.000 lamp chandelier. A hop away is the cellar door of the Willow Creek plus the wine bar and restaurant Rare Hare. I’m going to be honest here, my pick is definitely the Rare Hare where the vineyard setting is at its best. All the dishes are made for sharing. Bring your friends, order some cheese, sardines and negroni cured trout with a bottle of Willow Creek Pinot Gris and nothing could possibly ruin your day. Cheers!
+ Mornington Peninsula restaurants – Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
Since 2002, this vineyard has had 14 Chef’s Hats awards. It’s such a pity the restaurant was closed for construction when I visited. The good news, however, is that the restaurant is open now. The layout of the dining space is more ample with a Chef’s Table overlooking the wood fired grill in the kitchen. The Piazza Café & Cellar Door is perfect for a visit on a sunny day. After a quick tasting, choose your favourite wine and settle in the garden with its beautiful sculptures. Make sure to order the Feed Me menu, a selection of the best seasonal dishes!
+ Where to sleep?
Don’t make the mistake of going to the Mornington Peninsula for just one day, that’s way too short! Stay at least a night or two in order to explore as many vineyards and restaurants as you can. I loved my two night-experience in a very special type of accommodation: a bell tent! Happy Glamper has a great concept in the Mornington Peninsula. All you do is choose your bell tent and location and everything will be perfectly set up for your arrival.
I stayed at Point Leo and had a spot right on the beach. Nothing beats waking up next to the ocean knowing you have a full day of wining & dining ahead of you! Even better, arrange an ice-cold bottle of white wine and enjoy it at the beach at sunset. I so wish I could return!
Do you want to explore more wine regions in Australia? Read about the best vineyards to visit in Margaret River, cheers!