Melbourne is surrounded by five distinct wine regions, Yarra Valley, Mornington Peninsula, Geelong, Sunbury, and the Macedon Ranges. Each region produces wine with its own distinct taste and character. The higher elevation regions produce cooler climate varieties while the coastal regions produce the varieties that ripen longer on the vines. Pick your poison and head to one of hundreds of vineyards surrounding Melbourne. Take a drive, or hire a coach for your group and visit as many wineries as you can all day with the safety of a driver.
In the heart of the Yarra Valley Wine Region only an hour from Melbournes CBD you will find Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa with David Halliday 5 star wines. Balgownie has a number of wines to choose from including sparkling wines, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Pinot Noir, or try one of their flagship vintages Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, and Estate Shiraz made from the original 40 year old vines in Bendigo. Whatever your taste Balgownie is sure to have something you will fall in love with.
Geelong was first planted for wine in 1842 and has continued to produce fine wine for many years. Bellarine Estate was established in 1996, with the first vintages released in 1999 and then in 2007 they began brewing beer. Choose from a long list of wines such as, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Viognier, Pinot Noir, Merlot, or Shiraz. The proximity to the coast, but protected from the wind and lots of sunshine makes for ideal growing conditions for a long ripening on the vine.
By world standards the Macedon Ranges Wine Region is cool to cold and as a result has focused efforts on producing very high quality wines rather than high quantity. Curly Flat grows for Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, White Pinot, Rose, and has been awarded a 95 from Decanter magazine for their 2012 Pinot Noir.
For one of the most unique winery experiences head to Mornington Peninsula and visit Montalto Winery & Olive Grove. While you are there take a walk through the Montalto Sculpture Garden featuring 20 permanent sculptures and if you are lucky enough to visit from January to May you can see the entrants in the annual sculpture prize contest. Stop by the Cellar door prior to your walk through the grounds and get a glass for the stoll. Experience the best tastings at the Cellar Door where they are always opening museum stock, back vintage, and limited release wines.
Experience wine country without even leaving the city, just 10 minutes north of the airport you will find Sunbury Wine Region. Chardonnay and Shiraz are the most predominantly grown varieties at these family owned vineyards. Pitruzzello Estate Olive Grove & Vineyard has wonderful sparkling reds and whites, and is known for it’s Chardonnay. In addition to great wine the climate is ideal for olive groves and Pitruzzello takes full advantage by bottling both extra virgin olive oil and cold pressed olive oil.