Where are the best wineries close to Melbourne? Sometimes you are time poor or you just don’t want to travel 3-4 hours to a wine region. Here are some great wineries relatively close to Melbourne.
Merricks Creek – Mornington Peninsula
Merricks Creek is a stunning bespoke winery on the glorious Mornington Peninsula. A pleasant one-hour drive will take you to Merricks Creek where it doesn’t take long to relax with their standout Pinot Noir and Estate Chardonnay.
They produce close-planted Pinot Noir which is often acclaimed as some of the best in Australia (made in the French Burgundy tradition). Not only is the wine sensational but the views are stunning. You can grab a table on the raised timber deck and it feels like you’re sitting in the vineyard (which is meters away). Take in the seasons of the vineyard (excellent in both summer and winter).
You can also hire The Garden View Table for group bookings – enjoy food and wine around a large 100-year-old pine slab from the Jamieson High Country.
The cellar door offers a first-class tasting experience often with the winemaker and owner Dr. Peter Parker.
This is a family-run winery and exudes enthusiasm and passion for all things wine, notably Pinot Noir. In addition to all this Merricks Creek offers excellent gourmet tasting plates at a reasonable price (currently around $15) and a glass of wine is also reasonably priced at $10 per glass (other places charge up to $17 a glass).
An ideal session is to do some wine tasting then order a selection of gourmet share plates and wine and while away a few hours with family and friends. Also, check out the Monet-inspired gardens. A magical setting not far from Melbourne!
Morning Estate – Mickleham
Marnong Estate is a revelation and has the feel of a resort, with top-notch Bankvale Restaurant, luxury accommodation, cellar door, and more, with sweeping views that are simply breathtaking. Close to the Melbourne CBD but also close to the airport is a revelation.
Bankvale Run Restaurant at Marnong Estate is a perfect place to visit both for everyday eating as well as for that special occasion, as it’s accessible at reasonable prices. Locals love it. You won’t believe the quality, size, and scale of Marnong Estate so accessible to Melburnians and also tourists.
The culinary experience in Bankvale Run restaurant under the leadership of top Executive chef Adam Upton is top-notch and marries well with the striking sweeping elevated views.
Local produce is elevated and there’s a distinctive European influence in the kitchen. You can see for miles and miles out to the Macedon Ranges. The World Loves Melbourne was invited for lunch at Bankvale Restaurant on a perfect Friday winter’s day. We were highly impressed if not blown away. What a gem for Victoria and so close to the city!
Rob Dolan Wines – Warrandyte South/Yarra Valley
Rob Dolan Wines headed up by larger-than-life Rob Dolan is one of the legends of the Yarra Valley. It’s surprising to us that this cellar door is on the edge of suburbia almost within kicking distance of Eastland Shopping Centre (Rob Dolan is an ex-footballer).
The wines are a standout and there’s a brewery set up as well. Check out the cellar door and grab some charcuterie items to enjoy in the cellar door or on the charming verandah. Gaze across the vineyards and you may even get a visit from the winery dog.
Kellybrook (about 30 min)
Kellybrook Winery is a popular winery with punters, also on the edge of the Yarra Valley. Known for their Cider Festival, the locals in the know flock to this destination. Their ciders are more known than their wines (and their wines are top-notch), with the cider made in the champagne method as bottle fermented.
Enjoy a wine or cider (or even a beer) at the cellar door or on the verandah, or even in the gardens.
Famous cider is made from real crushed fruit not from artificial additives and essences. Enjoy a local produce platter at the cellar door.
Kellybrook boasts an attractive cellar door and historic gardens and grounds close to the city.
Arundel Farm Estate
Arundel Farm Estate is only some 27 min from Melbourne via the Calder Freeway in Melbourne’s northwest. The good news is that it’s a top-notch winery which we recently visited and were highly impressed with. A boutique winery with soul located in the Sunbury wine region, Arundel Farm Estate is family-run.
A new modern cellar door awaits (check for opening times). Wines are high quality. We managed to get a couple of bottles of their Shiraz including a 2011 back vintage, which was delicious. Being a dry region, there is an intensity of the wines as the vines compete for moisture.
Read more about this topic at https://theworldlovesmelbourne.com/
Wineries That You Can Crash At Near Melbourne
Wine tours are fun, but they’re less fun for the DD. Someone’s gotta be the responsible one, right? Well not at these places. These are wineries that double as hotels. No need for buses, designated drivers, or spitting into silver buckets. You can guzzle pinot and Savvy B’s to your heart’s content, then crash upstairs in a double bedroom with vineyard views.
It’s a nice image, right? Glass of Cofield Quartz Shiraz in one hand, a good book in the other, kicking back in your luxury bell tent surrounded by nature stuff. That’s what’s on offer at this boutique Rutherglen winery. They call it ‘Grapevine Glamping’. Pro tip: grab brunch at the Pickled Sisters Cafe.
Polperro is a working, 25-acre winery, tucked among the trees at Red Hill. A few years ago they built a series of luxury private villas. You get a complimentary brekky, a deck with vineyard views, roaring fires, and your spa. Ask the concierge about dining packages, and discounts for the nearby Peninsula Hot Springs.
Jackalope on the Mornington Peninsula has won just about every hotel design award there is in Australia. This isn’t your cute, B&B style accom. It’s more Blade Runner meets The Ritz. Supermod detailing, rain showers, double vanities, custom-made bath products—spend a bit more and you even get a deep-soak Japanese bathtub.
After a day sipping vino at Red Hill cellar doors, this is probably the place you want to rest your head. Luxury Travel Magazine voted Lindenderry one of the most romantic hotels in Australia. We recommend a Balcony Suite or the Vineyard om and make sure to order a hand-packed picnic basket.
Red Hill South
Port Phillip has a renowned cellar door and six luxury suites if you want to spend the night. Expect fancy flourishes like eggshell tubs, Missoni bathrobes, and Aesop products in the bathroom (that’s when you know a place is a luxe). Our tip? Wait till winter. They run discount romance packages during the colder months.
These are pretty special. Crittenden Estate has built three luxury private villas, each of which sits over a tranquil lake. You can fall asleep to the sounds of water lapping outside your window, then wake up to a handmade breakfast hamper, stuffed with local eggs, bacon, tomatoes, Red Hill Muesli, bread, condiments, and local Delgrosso apple juice.
There’s no school like the old school, right? Well about an hour out of the CBD, there’s a vineyard that looks like it’s been time-warped straight out of the 19th century. Chateau Yering sits on a 250-acre estate, and it’s got 32 suites which can only be described as ‘regal’. If you’ve seen the movie Marie Antoinette, you’ll know what you’re in for.
There are only three rooms at Oakdene winery, but they’re going for quality over quantity. Each one comes with breakfast at Mr. Grubb (the vineyard’s cafe) and some pretty sweet views. Make sure you spend an afternoon at Oakdene’s ‘Upside-Down’ cellar door. Their Shiraz is pretty awesome.
You probably haven’t heard of Toms Cap. It’s a tiny little vineyard in central Gippsland, surrounded by the Strezlecki Ranges, the ninety-mile beach at Woodside, and the stunning Tarra Bulga national park. Take your pick from four secluded timber-built cottages. They’re simple but super cute.
Love this place. Lindenwarrah is a tranquil country house, deep in Victoria’s high country, surrounded by some of the best vineyards in the state (not to mention the best food). Set up camp in one of the beautiful suites, and spend your days drinking at Brown Brother’s next door, or stocking up at the Milawa Cheese Factory.
Private spa baths overlooking the Yarra Valley? This place has got Valentine’s Day written all over it. Start with a trip to the famous Balgownie Cellar Door (the Estate Cabernet Sauvignon and Estate Shiraz are standouts), then chillax in your private suite, with views over the Winelands.
Cape Horn recently built a two-story, five-bedroom vineyard villa complex, and it’s looking pretty sweet. The private suites are all beautifully appointed, but it’s the setting and the Murray River views that set this place apart. Keep an eye out for live acoustic sessions on the lawn.
Read more about this topic at https://www.theurbanlist.com/
When is the best time to visit Melbourne?
Melbourne generally has a mild climate. Its summers are hot with average highs in excess of 25℃ in January and its winters are cold with average highs of 13℃. While rain falls year-round, the city experiences its most intense showers from September to February.
Regarded as one of Australia’s most cosmopolitan cities, Melbourne plays host to many annual cultural events, including the world-renowned Melbourne International Comedy Festival. Such events, in addition to its sprawling zoo, lush botanical gardens and vibrant bar and restaurant scene, keep the city busy year-round.
You’ll also need to be mindful of major sporting occasions that take place in the city if you want to avoid the crowds and peak prices.
Each year, tens of thousands of sports fans flock to see the Australian Grand Prix (March), Australian Open (January) and Melbourne Cup (November), in addition to the AFL Grand Final (September) and international cricket, rugby league and rugby union matches.
Melbourne is a popular destination for Australian and international tourists and is best avoided during school holiday periods (December and January).
Weather and prices
Best time to visit Melbourne, weatherwise: November to May.
Cheapest time to visit Melbourne: Look for flight and hotel deals in August and September as there are fewer major events taking place in the city.
Best time to visit Melbourne for…
- Shopping: March to May is the best time to visit Melbourne’s shopping centers, luxury boutiques and charming food and flea markets.
- Lavender farm tours: Taking a lavender farm tour in October or November gives you the best chance to see flowers in full bloom.
- Sightseeing: Melbourne is well known for its sprawling zoo and leafy botanical gardens, as well as art galleries, theatres and opulent Victorian-era buildings. All are best explored from March to May.
- Seeing penguins on Phillip Island: If you want to see Phillip Island’s famous penguin colony try doing so from March to May. These are much quieter months than the peaks of December and January.
- Snowsports: Less than a three-hour drive from Melbourne, Mount Baw Baw and Mount Buller are two of Australia’s premier ski resorts. Both are best visited during the July to September snow season.
- Wineries: October and November are the best months to pay a visit to the five diverse wine regions little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne CBD. Many wineries hold annual festivals during these months, including Geelong’s “Toast to the Coast”.
- Hot air ballooning: You can go hot air ballooning year-round in Melbourne although the best months are from March to May and September to November when the weather is a bit more predictable.
Top 5 Weekend Things To Do In Melbourne
Show Me Melbourne’s Jess Lothian who’s based in the frequent contender for the title of “World’s Most Liveable City” feels that Melbourne is an ‘urban metropolis that still retains some of that small-town feel’ and that is why there is such a prevalent emphasis on the artistic, quality dining, outdoor excursions and historic adventure to explore.’
It is also the place she calls home and her collection of top five experiences while visiting Victoria’s capital is aimed to create a memorable weekend in this diverse and lively city. Show Me Melbourne’s itineraries, on the other hand, are designed to cover a wide variety and sights across a broad range of tastes and preferences.
Let’s dive into what Jess considers to be the best ways to experience Melbourne for the weekend.
The Yarra Valley
Located only an hour from the city, the Yarra Valley is known for its stunning views, exceptional produce, and cool-climate wines. This is the best place to sip on some of the finest wines in Australia surrounded by rolling green hills covered in Grapevines.
“Our Private Yarra Valley Wine Tour with lunch is the best way to escape the crowds during these unprecedented times, but it’s also a fantastic option for groups. We take our guests to three award-winning wineries such as Domaine Chandon, Yering Station, Yarrawood Estate, Rochford Wines, Punt Road Winery, Zonzo Estate, or Oakridge Wines and we stop for a generous lunch. Time permitting we’ll drop in at the Yarra Valley Choclaterie and Ice-Creamery for some chocolate samples and shopping,” says Jess.
Melbourne Royal Botanical Gardens
Situated in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD, this beautifully maintained landmark opens its doors as a picturesque and expansive 36-hectare garden overflowing with more than 50,000 plant species.
“There is no better time to visit other than all year-round,” says Jess. Think diverse ranges of plant collections and uniquely immersive mini-tours that allow visitors to take in the peaceful atmosphere. “They also happen to offer outdoor movie screenings under the starry, balmy skies which is a great way to spend the evening,” she adds.
The Dandenong Ranges
According to Jess, this is one of the region’s best-kept secrets. The underappreciated Dandenong Ranges is a spectacular mix of lush rainforests, walking tracks, quaint shops in charming little towns just 45 minutes outside of the city. Jess also recommends the Puffing Billy steam train ride that winds down the scenic mountainside as it glides past the pristine wilderness and native wildlife of this region.
Beneath Driver Lane
The folks behind the bar are all practiced professionals; personable, knowledgeable, and looking sharp in black chef coats. What they’re mixing up is pretty sharp, too. For a bit of wow factor, get a custom-build Martini in a delicate wine glass chilled with swirling liquid nitrogen.
Peninsula Hot Springs
The Peninsula Hot Springs had a makeover in 2018 that cost nearly $13 million and re-opened its doors with nine new pools, a food garden, and best of all, an ice cave and deep freeze chamber.
It is said that hot/cold therapy is a well-regarded method to reduce inflammation, stress, and soreness. This may just be the best way to wrap up a weekend of sightseeing and perhaps, indulgence. Try it out.
Read more about this topic at https://prwire.com.au/