The Mornington Peninsula is a special place where vines thrive in sheltered undulating valleys nurtured by a maritime cool climate creating elegant, personality-packed award-winning wines - predominantly Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with Pinot Grigio and Shiraz a smaller presence. Vineyards planted in the 1970s started the current era and are celebrated through stories told by our founding vignerons.
What's the Mornington Peninsula's signature wine? It is supple & alluring, coaxing elegant and delicate varietal characters from the locally grown Pinot Noir. Appropriately, the region's wines show great finesse but don't be fooled by any apparent delicacy, as these wines are packed full of intensity, structure & texture.
Walk pristine beaches and spectacular cliff tops, catch a wave, paddle a sea kayak, tackle the fairway at Cape Schanck, or sip a seductive Pinot Noir and feel the difference when you visit the Mornington Peninsula.
Less than an hour's drive south-east of Melbourne, the region now hosts 200 small-scale vineyards and more than 50 cellar doors offering visitors a personal warm welcome and taste of the region's diverse and impressive collection of fine wines. Mornington Peninsula wineries are supported by exceptional, and an increasing variety, of restaurants, bistros and cafes.
2021 Vintage Report
The growers of the Mornington Peninsula have reason to be very happy with what has found its way to tank and barrel this harvest. With good average weight across the north and south and forward flavour combined with strong natural acidity the whites and reds have both provided lovely concentration of flavours and will deliver a regional crush of average volume. Read More.
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The Mornington Peninsula Wine Region Wine production on the Peninsula dates back to 1886, when Dromana wine won an honourable mention in the Intercontinental Exhibition. In 1891, fourteen Peninsula grape growers were mentioned in a Royal Commission into the Fruit and Vegetable Industry. In the 1920s, many of the Mornington Peninsula’s vineyards were abandoned or uprooted. In the 1950s, Seppelt and Seabrook operated a vineyard in Dromana, but this was destroyed by fire in 1967.
The renaissance of the region’s wine industry began in 1972 when a number of aspiring vignerons independently recognised the potential of the unique maritime climate of the Mornington Peninsula for producing high quality cool climate varieties, similar to those of the great wine producing regions of France.
The maritime influence provides relatively high summer humidity and rainfall. The coincidence of late ripening and a prolonged gentle autumn, result in fully ripe grapes with outstanding fruit flavours, high natural acidity and fine tannins.
The main grape varieties grown in the Region are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Pinot Noir is the dominant variety, comprising half of total plantings – the Mornington Peninsula has over 9% of Australia’s total Pinot Noir plantings; the third largest Pinot Noir wine region. Some of the more innovative plantings include Pinot Gris and Shiraz.
Today, there are over 200 vineyards and plantings have steadied at around 1,100 hectares. Vineyards of 10 or more hectares are more dominant than was the case a decade ago. The Region also boasts over 50 wineries with cellar doors. The Mornington Peninsula Wine Region continues to develop and is rapidly becoming recognized as Australia’s leading producer of high quality maritime, cool climate wines and in particular Pinot Noir.
A Dilligent Record
Beginning from the early 1980s, Margaret Crittenden (of Crittenden Estate) collected any press clipping she would encounter that involved the Mornington Peninsula Wine Industry, cutting and pasting into a scrap book and 27 years later had filled five large books, which witness the progression on the industry from a media perspective. In recent years, husband Garry Crittenden resurrected these clippings and collated them into a publishable book, donating a copy to each of the Peninsula libraries along with the local Historical Society, which you can see here.