On the trail – The Mornington Peninsula Wine Food Farmgate Trail

Red Hill Cherry Farm


Get up early to pick cherries at Red Hill Cherry Farm: third-generation cherry orchardist Trevor Holmes insists the stone fruit are sweeter in the mornings. His four-hectare orchard is planted with 3,500 trees of around 20 different varieties that ripen at varying times during the short summer season (from mid-November to mid-January). Red Hill Cherry Farm has operated as a pick-your-own business for 46 years: “We’re the oldest pick-your-own farm in the state.” says Trevor. “We’ll have between 10,000 and 12,000 people through in those eight weeks.” Any cherries left unpicked quickly find their way into homemade port beer cider, juice and yummy ice-cream.

Crittenden Wine Centre


A chance stopover in South Africa for peninsula wine pioneer Garry Crittenden has resulted in the newest phase for his family’s highly acclaimed winery, Crittenden Estate. Having seen how Stellenbosch and Franschhoek wineries in the Western Cape Province offered structured flights of wines, he thought to offer peninsular wine-lovers a similar experience. Today in the Crittenden Estate Wine Centre (in the family’s original home), participants can learn from the winery’s knowledgeable team as they sip from fine-stemmed glassware and savour a choice of five different flights of hand-crafted wine: Peninsula estate-grown wines, wines from the Geppetto and Pinocchio (Italian) range, the Los Hermanos (Spanish), and premium estate-grown wines including their exceptional 2013 Cri De Coeur Pinot Noir (at $70 a bottle).”It’s unique on the Mornington Peninsula,” says Garry’s winemaker son Rollo Crittenden, whose range of 25 wines reflects his passion for traditional varietals. It’s a family affair here: Rollo’s wife, Linda, runs the three Lakeside Villas at Crittenden Estate, offering spadous vineyard accommodation overlooking a natural lake in the very heart of the peninsula. Recent refurbishment has elevated their level of comfort and chic to one of the best in the region.
“…sip from fine-stemmed glassware and savour a choice of five different flights of hand-crafted wine…”

TrofeO Estate & Whispering Vines Café


Housed in a former passionfrurt factory that’s nearly 100 years old (and once supplied pulp for Passiona), Trofeo Estate produces wine from 20-year-old vines, but is one of the region’s newest wineries. They use even older methods to obtain their unique flavours, maturing wines in huge terracotta amphora as the ancient Greeks or Romans might have done. Try Trofeo Estate’s amphora chardonnay, pinot noir or shiraz, then take a vineyard-terrace seat at Whispering Vines Café and lunch on prawns in kataifi pastry, paper-thin beef carpaccio or the catch of the day – perhaps bay snapper with calamari.

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