Sunday, January 15, 2006

Short Guide to Visiting Wineries of Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
It shouldn’t be difficult to get to a specific Mornington Peninsula winery, after all its almost too easy to get to the Peninsula from Melbourne. The Nepean Highway will take you right there. But how do you locate individual wineries? All the tourist guides we obtained from the airport and hotel as well as on the MPVA site are almost completely useless in terms of detailed maps; the Mornington Peninsula Vignerons Association does print a map but its the same one as on their site. If you are going to be looking for specific wineries then make a list of their addresses from the MPVA site and get yourself a good street map; fortunately our hire car had one. Your first stop should probably be the Merricks General Store, but not for wine tasting. Most wineries, if they take visitors, open at 11am, so the Merricks General Store is a great place to find for a late breakfast and a read of the newspaper. I spent most of my time trying to figure out just where our first winery of the day was located. We had been trying to find it, Miranda being literally covered in tourist maps, when we happened on the MGS. Coffee, croissants and directions time!

I had planned this trip from California which had meant emails to wineries that I thought would provide a good overview of the Pinot Noir made in the area. As I had only started to take a serious interest in wine in the mid-1970s and had then left for the USA in 1982 I had missed all of the progress that had occurred. Plus Mornington Peninsula wines are virtually unknown in the USA. So I relied heavily on an article in the June/July 2005 issue of Gourmet Traveller WINE magazine to select the Pinot producers. Most of the wineries contacted were very helpful, with several going above and beyond my requirements. There were a few who did not reply, and I thought it prudent not to annoy them any further by visiting.

Our first winery was to be Stonier Wines. But where was it? It wasn’t until we walked out of the MGS that we figured it out. The entrance to Stonier Wines was less than 100 feet away. In other words next door! OK, that’s the first one down. This is easy. Wrong!

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