Perfect 30th Birthday Celebration – just $99 per head.

If this isn’t the best value tour on the Mornington Peninsula or Yarra Valley, I’d love to know what is!

Only $99 per head –  for 11 people (max) –  for a full day of wine tasting and great food?

Are you kidding ?!?!

Having been out of action for the past two months with an unfortunate knee injury, I was delighted to host a wonderful group of ladies, celebrating a 30th birthday.

Our first appointment was at Quealy Winemakers. Always atmospheric and inviting, this small cellar door concentrates on an intimate tasting of their unique wines. Large and beautiful glassware adds to the theatre and atmosphere of the tasting.

The freshly baked sourdough and home grown olive oil was devoured with relish.

The ladies enjoyed the variety, and purchased a few bottles to enjoy with their much anticipated BYO (local wines) lunch.

Outside our first cellar door – Quealy Winemakers.

One of the interesting facts regarding Quealy, is that Kathleen Quealy, with her husband Kevin, introduced Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio into Australia. Prior to that, Pinot Gris was grown predominantly in France, most commonly in Alsace region.

Pinot Grigios have traditionally been grown in Italy. It is interesting to note that Pinot Gris and Pinot Grigio are in fact the same grape variety. The French have traditionally allowed the grapes to ripen on the vine a little longer, often giving riper, more aromatic and medium bodied wine.

Pinot Grigio, as the Italians call the variety, is usually picked a week or two earlier. This helps retain more natural acidity, with less aromatics. The Italians generally prefer their white wines to have a high level of palate cleansing acidity, and low aromatics, to compliment regional cuisine.

O.K.  – so now we know all about the difference between Pinot Gris and Grigio, it is worth noting that Kathleen and Kevin established the famous T’Gallant Winery in the early1990’s. This business was subsequently sold to Treasury Wine Estates. Kevin remained at T’Gallant until 2014.

 

Our second visit was to one of the most popular cellar doors for larger groups on the Mornington Peninsula – Red Hill Estate. Even though it was very busy, the guests really enjoyed the experience as well as the wines. More delicious wine was purchased for lunch, namely Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Shiraz.

 

After tastings at 2 wonderful cellar doors – lunch was highly anticipated. We enjoyed a semi private dining area at Greek inspired Food on the Hill. The shared plates of traditional dips, cheeses, olives and bread were most welcome. This was then followed by slow cooked lamb and chicken to share – with fresh Greek salad.

The wines, carefully chosen at the previous 2 wineries, were a Perfect accompaniment to the delicious lunch. Vegetarians and Vegan options are also available.

Generous shared plates for 2 of slow cooked lamb shoulder, chicken and salads.

 

Semi Private Dining Room with a long table for celebrations at Food on the Hill.

 

After a delicious and plentiful lunch – washed down with hand picked wine, we headed off to Dromana Estate for our final winery visit. We all enjoyed a leisurely tasting in the outdoor garden (I had coffee).

The ladies were generous enough to allow me into this shot for a final photo – on the beautiful lawns at Dromana Estate.

Thanks for a great day ladies – and  for being kind to me on my first tour for 2 months.

Dromana Estate. Hope you had a great 30th birthday celebration ‘G’.