When a place you visit is as stunningly beautiful as the Mornington Peninsula, it becomes hard to find the words to truly convey how it makes you feel. It is simply a part of Australia with awe-inspiring views and beautiful visions of nature. Our first stop on the Produce Tour certainly highlighted this in incredible glory – Arthur’s Seat. We were treated to breath-taking views over Port Phillip Bay as the land met the ocean, and the differing hues of blue from the ocean and the sky merged beautifully together.
It was the perfect start to the
Following a very short drive, we stopped at the family-run Main Ridge Dairy, where we were treated to a beautifully displayed cheese platter. This included Cashmere, Halloumi, two types of Feta, amongst others. It certainly excited the taste buds and it was wonderful to sample differing varieties and discover the careful methods that go into caring for the goats to ensure the highest quality cheeses are offered.
Another short drive awaited us and we were soon in the incredible surroundings of Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, the largest producer of strawberries in Australia. To me, there is something so unique about picking your own fruit and being able to take the goods home to enjoy. Straight from the plant, glistening in the sunshine, you truly cannot get them any fresher, and they tasted delicious. It was wonderful to immerse m
Lunch at Red Hill Epicurean followed the berry picking, and I certainly had worked up an appetite after a packed morning of stops and produce tasting. The restaurant was a modern build with a spacious and welcoming layout, with a very relaxing atmosphere. A selection of mouth-watering pizzas were on the menu, alongside a choice of wine, beer or soft drink. It was a delicious meal – very much needed before a busy afternoon which would easily match the fun-packed morning!
More wine tasting was on the menu at our next stop, Red Hill Estate Winery, famous in Victoria for its 25 years of winemaking tradition, during which they have boasted multiple awards. We tried a selection of reds and whites, alongside an amazingly sweet liquor. Each sample had its own unique flavour, personality and ingredients. It was also fascinating to learn about the time and attention that goes into creating each individual bottle for us to
Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove presented the opportunity to sample more local wine and olive oil. Another location boasting a unique personality, with even more incredible countryside surroundings.
More treats awaited us as we visited another family-run establishment which has built up its popularity; Mornington Peninsula Chocolates. There was a stunning array of colourful chocolates on display, that tantalised the senses in many ways – not only taste, but also sight and smell. The many varieties were very tempting – from a delicious salted caramel to a tasty blood orange. We were able to sample some flavours whilst being informed about the chocolate creation process – handcrafted with love and passion. It is certainly another type of art which has been perfected by a family who are clearly proud to offer such wonderful products to the Mornington Peninsula locals and visitors to the area.
One more stop still awaited us; Merricks General Wine Store, an impressive location with an old-fashioned feel, which was established in 1924. They source their produce from various local vineyards such as Elgee Park, and we were lucky enough to try the freshly-picked grapes which are grown and picked to create the very wines that passed our lips. It was intere
Even on the drive back to Melbourne CBD, we were treated further to fantastic beach views as the evening sun glistened on the surface of the ocean. It was a great time to reflect on the day I had just been lucky enough to experience. The Mornington Peninsula is an incredible part of Australia, boasting wonderful landscapes, and it is no wonder it is home to so many local producers, who have a true passion for their offerings and creations, whether it is cheese, fruit, wine or chocolates.
It is a well-run tour which uses up the time in the day effectively to ensure many stops are included without feeling rushed. We could enjoy each location fully and appreciate the surroundings and the creations on offer. The group size of 11 was perfect too, we all got chatting about our favourite wines and shared some wine-related stories from the past! Overall, it is a day I would certainly call ‘inspirational’; I tasted some amazing creations, met some wonderful local producers and also had the pleasure of making new friends. To visit so many unique and individual locations was an unforgettable experience and one I would recommend to all.
Book now through Backpackerdeals.com and include a visit to Phillip Island to see the famous Penguin Parade!