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Wine tasting at Port Philip Estate


The second winery on our trip down to Mornington Peninsula outside Melbourne was Port Philip estate. The cellar door is a rather spectacular affair, with a curving wall hiding the winery from casual view, whereupon stepping through the solid wood door the wide vista of Port Philip bay unrolls itself before you. An truly lovely office from which to work, especially on a sunny clear day such as when we visited.

We worked our way through their wine list, even letting our hostess convince us to try the chardonnay. Yes it was chardonnay which is not our favourite grape, however she made up to us by offering us a taste of one of their single vineyard Pinot’s, the 2011 ‘Meres’, It was a lovely Pinot, light on the tongue and went down well. Alas it was totally outclassed when she presented us with a taste of the Mere’s sibling ‘Ferrous’. Again 2011 vintage but otherwise completely different, a deep rich Pinot Noir that had you reaching for the bottle while oohing and aahing.


Highlights included:

  • 2013 Port Philip Estate Sauvignon Blanc, $24, silky smooth. 8/10
  • 2012 Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir, $48 big pinot, rich flavour and will appear on the Friday Night Pinot list. 8/10
  • 2011 Kooyong Estate Single Vineyard “Ferrous” Pinot Noir, $75,  a magnificent Pinot that deserves its high price. 9/10

DSC_8100Hiding out the back was a 2010 Meres Pinot Noir, described by our host as ‘Sex on Toast. I’m not entirely sure what that means however it sounded delicious. If anyone tries it please let us know!

And for dinner, local cheeses, pate’s and the most awesome ciabata from the red hill epicurean, with a dash of wine.

Port Philip Estate Winery website

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Wine tasting at Montalto


Montalto Restaurant. Image ©Montalto

In late November we decided to take a weekends break from Melbourne down the Mornington Peninsula to the seaside village of Sorrento.
The Mornington Peninsula is a popular wine region with a large number of wineries dotted amongst the hills so as we headed down through Redhill we picked one at random for lunch.

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove was not one we had previously visited and we were not familiar with their wines. As we had arrived  just before lunch we headed to the cellar door to pick something to go with our meal.


The wine list was replete with reds and whites across a variety of styles with two ranges: ‘Pennon Hill’ and Montalto ‘Estate’ wines. Following the guidance of our trusty tasting lad we started at the whites and wandered on down (up?) through their tasting list. Our scored ranged from 6 to 9 across the range, with the poor Chardonnay grape again failing to impress us while the Estate Riesling and Pinot Noir along with the Pennon Hill Shiraz more than making up for any lack in the Chardonnay.

Highlights included:

  • 2013 Montalto ‘Estate’ Riesling, great value at $25, tart, not too sweet, dry, delicious. 8/10
  • 2012 Montalto ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir, $48 lots of promise, Big Pinot, wine notes suggested cellaring up to 8 years and it will get great with age. 8/10
  • 2012 Pennon Hill Shiraz, $30, soft Shiraz lots of flavour, doesn’t beat you round the tongue like a Barossa Shiraz. 8/10

Then with lunch we had a taste of the Merricks Block single vineyard Pinot Noir. oh yum

  • 2012 ‘Merricks Block’ Single Vineyard Pnot Noir, $65, a delicious Pinot, I’d say more but at that point my wife disappeared with the rest of the glass. 9/10

Both our lunches were delicious, however my Rabbit terrine, which the chefs were preparing on our way in, definitely trumped the scallops as well as matching my glass of Pinot Noir. We had chosen the ‘small plate’ offerings from the menu to leave room for dessert, although the scallops were more an ‘entree’ serve,  but who cares for there was space and energy for a cheese platter.

After lunch a wander down through their vegetable gardens included a chat with their gardener and later a taste of their fresh raspberries. Onwards to the sculpture garden was a relaxing walk to end a lovely afternoon.

montalto garden

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
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