First published on 17 Jul 2012. Updated on 20 Feb 2013.
It’s hard to beat the Mornington Peninsula’s Red Hill and Main Ridge for rolling hills, world-class wineries, fresh produce and a luxurious stay not even an hour from central Melbourne.
Book a room at Lindenderry, a boutique Red Hill hotel surrounded by immaculately presented gardens, lawns and vines. Lindenderry features 40-individually designed guestrooms, a restaurant, day spa and an adjacent award-winning vineyard that produces top-shelf Chardonnay and pinot noir. Both varietals feature on the list (make ours a 2007 Lindenderry Estate Reserve Chardonnay) at Lindenderry’s restaurant, Linden Tree. Here, the menu has a strong emphasis on good regional produce – think Flinders mussels, twice-cooked pork belly, pan-fried local fish and the big star, the Peninsula blue ribbon eye fillet – with an outlook of vines and a cypress tree-lined drive. 142 Arthurs Seat Rd, Red Hill.
Lindenderry is one of just 50 cellar doors on the Mornington Peninsula and another to stop by is one of the region’s best, Ten Minutes by Tractor. Grab a bottle of the 2010 single vineyard Ten Minutes by Tractor Wallis Pinot Noir and if you have time, order up a cheese plate that includes local stars Fingal Gold from Red Hill and Caprinella from Main Ridge. 1333 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge.
Over at Montalto, the pizzas are good as the wine and surrounding vines. Order up a smoked salmon or chicken pizza (it’s best washed down with a 2011 Montalto Riesling) and grab a bottle of lemon-infused olive oil for the pantry at home. 33 Shoreham Rd, Red Hill South.
Before heading back to town on the M3, give Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm a look-in for a punnet of hand-picked strawberries (in season November to April) or at the very least grab some homemade strawberry ice cream. 244 Shands Rd, Main Ridge.