The Bellarine has been quietly building a reputation as a wine region for a couple of decades now, assembling an enviable portfolio of wineries in equally enviable locations. Precise rows of lush vines are impressive, sure, but have you ever seen them against the blue, blue water of Port Phillip Bay?
Even better, there are 12 options within a 15-minute drive of one another.
So, designate a driver and get stuck in!
2022 Five Stars James Halliday wineries
- Lethbridge at Hatrock – whilst the focus is firmly on the fabulous Lethbridge Wines stable, the team can whip up a mean picnic or platter. Open Thursday to Sunday, 2330 Portarlington Road, Bellarine.
- Scotchmans Hill – open for lunch Wednesday to Monday, the bistro at Scotchmans Hill has a well-rounded menu and sits alongside the beautiful old home. Cellar Door Open seven days, 190 Scotchmans Road, Drysdale.
And wait, there's still more...
- Baie Wines – open by appointment 120 McDermott Road, Curlewis.
- Bellarine Estate – open Friday to Sunday, 2270 Portarlington Road, Bellarine.
- Mermerus Vineyard – open Sunday, 60 Soho Road, Drysdale.
Some of the best places to eat are conveniently located in the midst of the vineyards that gave life to their wine lists. By best, we don’t necessarily mean fanciest. Many a great Sunday has been spent devouring pizzas whilst listening to the dulcet tones of the Sunday session band at Leura Park Estate. Options include:
- Jack Rabbit Vineyard – the House of Jack Rabbit has a more casual vibe with an easy menu, a glorious view and beautifully lush hills for little people to roll down. Jack Rabbit Restaurant is a more polished and formal experience, still with that glorious view. Open seven days, 85 McAdams Lane, Bellarine.
- Terindah Estate – don’t let the name fool you, the walls of The Shed restaurant are glass, so you can eat with views of the wines and Port Phillip Bay beyond. Casual bites and drinks on the deck are a good, low-key option. Terindah Estate – open Thursday to Monday, 90 McAdams Lane, Bellarine.
- Leura Park Estate – grazing is a great option – pay a per-head price and spend the meal being surprised and delighted at what turns up! There’s a quick and casual menu too if you’d rather be in control. open Thursday to Sunday, 1400 Portarlington Road, Curlewis.
- Bennetts on Bellarine – pizzas and platters suit the relaxed atmosphere and, obviously, are best enjoyed with a bottle of Bennetts on the side. Open Thursday to Monday, 2171 Portarlington Road, Bellarine.
- Curlewis Winery - Family owned vineyard and winery producing highly rated handcrafted Burgundian style wines. The new boutique cellar door ‘Apellation’ offers unique wine tastings in test tubes. Relax in the gardens of Apellation and enjoy the wine and delicious food. Open Saturday and Sunday, 55 Navarre Road, Curlewis.
DID YOU KNOW?
This region has been expanding its repertoire beyond wine for a while now, with gin varieties and more recently whisky distilled at The Whiskery, cellar door for Bellarine Distillery in Drysdale. The best approach is to spend some time tasting the various combinations and cocktails concocted by the expert staff on site before settling on what bottle(s) to take home. Open Thursday to Sunday, 2102/2120 Portarlington Road, Drysdale.