History and Background

History of the Mornington Peninsula Region

The Mornington Peninsula was largely settled by English migrants with expertise in sheep, cattle and apple trees. 

The Mornington Peninsula was largely settled by English migrants with expertise in sheep, cattle and apple trees.

The first record of wine from the Peninsula is in 1866 when a wine from Dromana won a gold medal at the Intercontinental Exhibition held in Melbourne. Little more is known of the wine or the vineyard. The Royal Commission on Fruit and Vegetables in 1891 revealed there were six registered vineyards on the Peninsula.

It is believed these vineyards were either uprooted or abandoned during the recession or ravaged by the then rampant vine louse phylloxera.

In 1950 or thereabouts one of the Seppelt family purchased 100 acres in Dromana and decided to ‘experiment’ with 3 acres of vines in a mixture of varieties. However, before a crop could be harvested the property was sold. The purchaser maintained the vineyard and took the harvest to Melbourne and fermented, bottled and matured the wine there. In 1967 a devastating bush fire destroyed the vines.

Following this vines were planted in the Mornington Peninsula area in 1972. The first commercial winery was built at Main Ridge in 1978, however, cellar door sales were illegal under the Shire Planning Scheme, but by the time the first vintage was picked in 1980 the Scheme had been amended to allow sales from the cellar door with enthusiasts having to travel along unmarked, unmade roads to find the winery.

Geography of the Mornington Peninsula region:

The Peninsula consists of a ridge of granite rocks and strata flanked by volcanic’s and sediments. Outside the granite areas the Peninsula rarely exceeds 150m in elevation with the north-east mainly between 30-75 meters.

The Peninsula wine region is defined by Western Port Bay to the west, Bass Strait to the south and Port Phillip Bay to the east. The Peninsula can be divided into three parts:

  1. Mornington Uplands – consists of a ridge of hard rocks with a thin cover of marine and terrestrial sediments.
  2. Port Phillip Lowlands is represented by two formations, the Nepean Peninsula in the south which is a sandy bar separating Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay, and the Carrum swamp in the north.
  3. Western Port lowlands consist of flat undulating country which has bedrock covered by sand ridges and sheets.

The Mornington Peninsula drains via numerous small creeks and rivers to Port Phillip and Westernport Bays on either side. The region is a cool area and is not subject to frost during the growing season because of its proximity to large bodies of water. The area enjoys good winter rainfall and has dry summers. Its southerly position and the moderating influence of the bays result in its being an area with perhaps the longest/slowest ripening conditions on mainland Australia.

The first record of wine from the Peninsula is in 1866 when a wine from Dromana won a gold medal at the Intercontinental Exhibition held in Melbourne. Little more is known of the wine or the vineyard. The Royal Commission on Fruit and Vegetables in 1891 revealed there were six registered vineyards on the Peninsula. 
It is believed these vineyards were either uprooted or abandoned during the recession or ravaged by the then rampant vine louse phylloxera. 

In 1950 or thereabouts one of the Seppelt family purchased 100 acres in Dromana and decided to ‘experiment’ with 3 acres of vines in a mixture of varieties. However, before a crop could be harvested the property was sold. The purchaser maintained the 
vineyard and took the harvest to Melbourne and fermented, bottled and matured the wine there. In 1967 a devastating bush fire destroyed the vines. 

Following this vines were planted in the Mornington Peninsula area in 1972. The first commercial winery was built at Main Ridge in 1978, however, cellar door sales were illegal under the Shire Planning Scheme, but by the time the first vintage was picked in 1980 the Scheme had been amended to allow sales from the 
cellar door with enthusiasts having to travel along unmarked, unmade roads to find the winery. 

Geography of the Mornington Peninsula region: 
The Peninsula consists of a ridge of granite rocks and strata flanked by volcanic’s and sediments. Outside the granite areas the Peninsula rarely exceeds 150m in elevation with the north-east mainly between 30-75 meters.

The Peninsula wine region is defined by Western Port Bay to the west, Bass Strait to the south and Port Phillip Bay to the east. The Peninsula can be divided into three parts:

1. Mornington Uplands – consists of a ridge of hard rocks with a thin cover of marine and terrestrial sediments.

2. Port Phillip Lowlands is represented by two formations, the Nepean Peninsula in the south which is a sandy bar separating Bass Strait and Port Phillip Bay, and the Carrum swamp in the north.

3. Western Port lowlands consist of flat undulating country which has bedrock covered by sand ridges and sheets. 

The Mornington Peninsula drains via numerous small creeks and rivers to Port Phillip and Westernport Bays on either side. The region is a cool area and is not subject to frost during the growing season because of its proximity to large bodies of water. The area enjoys good winter rainfall and has dry summers. Its southerly position and the moderating influence of the bays result in its being an area with perhaps the longest/slowest ripening conditions on mainland Australia. 

Mornington Peninsula

Whether you’re enjoying the ultra-modern outdoor sports or shopping in the trendy streets of Mornington, sampling superb peninsula wines, relaxing on the beach or dining in one of the many restaurants, cafes & eateries, Mornington Peninsula has it all!

Restaurants & Dining

There are many fine restaurants, cafes & eateries on the Mornington Peninsula

Mornington Peninsula Wineries,vineyards and cellar door wine sales. The Mornington Peninsula boasts more than 100 vineyards, set against a backdrop of stunning landscapes and rugged coastlines. Take the time to aquaint yourself with Melbourne’s own wine region, a place where some of Australia’s finest cool-climate wines are being produced. With its distinct maritime climate, the Mornington Penninsula produces a vast array of quality wines. Traditional varieties of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir excel, and promise has been shown with the lesser known varieties of Viogner and Pinot Gris

Accommodation Bed and Breakfast Guide

Mornington Peninsula is little more than an hour’s drive from Melbourne. The Peninsula, over the last decade or so, has bloomed into a wine and gourmet food lovers mecca. Where once the Mornington Peninsula was a prime destination for seaside family holidays,it now also has rolling vineyards, outstanding restaurants and brilliant retreats for couples who are seeking an indulgent getaway from the usual weekday stresses.

Attractions and Activities on the Mornington Peninsula Try a marine adventure swimming with the seals and dolphins or Scuba diving into reefs and ancient shipwrecks. Join a ‘learn to surf’ school or relax on an ocean beach horseride. Mornington Peninsula activities and attractions

Golf Courses

Mornington Peninsula has an abundance of great golf courses and stunning coastal views from every corner of the Mornington Peninsula. From the traditional layouts of Sorrento and Portsea, the Robert Trent Jones designed National Old Course, and the Scottish feel of The Dunes to the newer Norman designed National Moonah course and Thomson Wolveridge & Perrett designed National Ocean and more recently Moonah Links courses, the Mornington Peninsula is a golfers heaven.

Attractions and Activities on the Mornington Peninsula

Try a marine adventure swimming with the seals and dolphins or Scuba diving into reefs and ancient shipwrecks. Join a learn to surf’ school or relax on an ocean beach horseride. Mornington Peninsula activities and attractions

Visit Mornington Peninsula

Try a marine adventure swimming with the seals and dolphins or Scuba diving into reefs and ancient shipwrecks. Join a learn to surf’ school or relax on an ocean beach horseride. In the hinterland hills behind, you’ll be captivated by the shady lanes, farmgate produce, markets, boutique galleries, B&Bs and wineries. Tranquillity and secret discoveries – you’re
a world away on the Mornington Peninsula! Nice site well designed and easy to get around, plus has a wealth of information.

Visit Victoria

Melbournes Bays and Peninsulas offers some of Victoria‘s premier family destinations, including seaside villages, golf courses and family activities set between two breathtaking and tranquil bays of water. Another great site with a wealth of information and designed for easy navigation, recommended.

Peninsula Tours

Horseriding, nature & eco tours. Cinemas & drive-ins, day spas and tour & car hire services. Useful information covering the above activities with links to individual business.

Marine National Parks and Sanctuaries

The Victorian Government has created a system of 13 Marine National Parks and 11 smaller Marine Sanctuaries. These parks and sanctuaries now protect 5.3% of Victoria’s coastal waters, safeguarding important marine habitats and species, significant natural features, cultural heritage and aesthetic values. The Churchill Island Marine National Park, Mushroom Reef Marine Sanctuary, French Island Marine National Park. Great site to visit with abundance of information plus easy to navigate.