7. Dromana Estate
A beautiful white weatherboard bungalow welcomes you to Dromana Estate, where a rustic restaurant and charming cellar door are housed in the heritage-listed Tuerong Homestead. Sit out on the sun-drenched patio and tuck into Pernod-steamed mussels with fresh fennel, chilli and butter sauce or twice-cooked pork belly in a creamy yellow curry, before heading into the cellar door for a guided tasting. If you’re a fan of dessert wines, the Dromana Estate botrytis sauvignon blanc is an absolute treat, while the gold medal-winning 2019 Pinot Noir is sure to be a hit at your next dinner party. If you’re a real pinot noir enthusiast – book in for their hands-on Heartbreak Grape Course, where – over 12 months – you’ll get to experience the pinot production process from vine to bottle under the expert guidance of experienced winemaker Peter Mitchell. At the end, you’ll even get to keep whatever you bottle (so keep your fingers crossed for a bumper crop). Cellar door open Wednesday to Sunday. Bookings recommended.
8. Mont Rouge Estate
Forget fancy fare and stuffy cellar doors. It’s is all about fuss-free basics done beautifully at Mont Rouge Estate, where old-world winemaking and generous hospitality combine to create a cellar door setting that imbues the warmth and bonhomie of a French family kitchen. Head down to the boutique winery on a weekend for a gourmet barbecue lunch. Sit out on the sprawling back deck, overlooking the vines, and feast on superbly cooked meats and house-made salads washed down with a glass of estate-made pinot gris. Sweet tooths will also love sampling some of the finest hand-made French and Belgian delights at on-site ice cream and chocolaterie, Cocoa Rouge. Open Thursday to Sunday. Bookings recommended.
9. Trofeo Estate
You’ll want to arrive with an empty stomach to Trofeo Estate. Housed in a strikingly refurbished passionfruit cannery, surrounded by 20 hectares of pristine vineyard, the relaxed winery offers the ideal spot to unwind over a glass of wine and a grazing platter of locally sourced goodies. Choose from a selection of salumi, seafood and even vegan-friendly harvest boards, which come arranged with everything from eggplant rolls stuffed with cashew fetta and petit vegetable tarts to tuna ceviche and fresh prawns. Pair them with a bottle of traditional method sparkling et voila – you’ve got yourself a match made in heaven. Open seven days.
10. Barmah Park
Situated just off the Mooroduc Highway you’ll find Barmah Park, a laidback winery housed on the site of a converted cattle farm. Inside the contemporary cellar door, polished concrete floors and black, steel-framed floor-to-ceiling windows are juxtaposed with warm timber accents, while cosy leather lounges add a touch of vintage charm. The mouth-watering menu features all all-star line-up of seasonal ingredients, with delectable dishes – such as barley risotto with Tyabb mushrooms, hazelnuts, heirloom tomatoes, thyme and macadamia feta, or roaring forties lamb shoulder with parsnip, heirloom zucchini and barbecued capsicum – showcasing local produce and producers. Pair them with a glass of estate grown pinot noir or the 2016 reserve cabernet sauvignon and you won’t be disappointed. Open Wednesday to Sunday.
11. Polperro Winery
Treat yourself to something just a little bit fancy with a visit to Polperro Winery. Here, a focus on sustainable, organic and biodynamic practises underpins everything from vineyard management and winemaking methods to the restaurant menu. Eexecutive chef Michael Demagistris (whose impressive resume includes cooking in globally acclaimed kitchens, including now-closed Jacques in Melbourne and Noma in Copenhagen), shows off his culinary prowess with a constantly evolving menu of seasonally inspired plates using ingredients harvested from the on-site kitchen garden. Sit under twinkling fairy lights on the sun-drenched deck and wrap your tastebuds around hand-made spanner crab ravioli washed down with a glass of crisp chardonnay. And, if you really want to get into the flow, book in for a class at boutique on-site studio HotHut Yoga. Open Wednesday to Sunday. Bookings recommended.
12. Willow Creek Vineyard
Wile away an afternoon over fine wine and scrumptious fare at Willow Creek Vineyard. Skip the cellar door and head straight to the winery's first-class restaurant, Rare Hare, where contemporary picnic tables are dotted around a log fireplace overlooking the estate's rolling, vine laced hills. Don't leave without trying the braised pork belly with a sticky pineapple and chilli caramel (washed down with a glass of the estate-grown pinot gris), or the Rare Hare lamington. Open Thursday to Sunday. Bookings recommended.
13. Mantons Creek Estate
Prosciutto, pizza and pinot noir: what's not to love about a trip to underrated Shoreham winery Mantons Creek Estate. The relaxed, rural setting belies a sophisticated cellar door, where uber chic eatery Quattro (by The Epicurean Group) is dishing up simple fare that is superbly executed. On the menu are go-to favourites including gnocchi bolognese, lamb shanks and salt and pepper calamari, as well as plant-based and child-friendly options, with every dish impeccably cooked and plated to perfection. Open weekends. Bookings recommended.