Booze, cheese and views are the best way to spend a balmy day on the Bellarine Peninsula.
The lesser-known western cousin of the Mornington Peninsula, the Bellarine Peninsula is the ultimate blend of luxury, relaxation, indulgence and the great outdoors.
From first-class surf breaks, charming seaside villages and award-winning cool climate wineries, to a gourmet food scene and historic streetscapes, the Bellarine Peninsula is an absolute treasure trove just waiting to be discovered.
Relax and unwind in the Bellarine with this truly incredible collection of wineries, breweries, distilleries and hot spots to explore:
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Scotchmans Hill is a leading local winery in the heart of the Bellarine Peninsula that has been producing cool climate wines since 1982 and rated among James Halliday’s Top 100 Australian Wineries.
Leading the winemaking team for more than 30 years, Chief Winemaker Robin Brockett is known for his consistent winemaking and has been instrumental in the development of the vineyards and winemaking style of Scotchmans Hill, a style well-known and well-loved by locals and tourists alike.
A trip here is a chance to enjoy some excellent wine in an iconic and beautiful area. With a humble charm and initial cottage sight, the rustic cellar door instantly strikes your curiosity. Inside the setting is light-filled and homely, with an intimate tapered roof and lengthy wooden L-shaped bar with a full range of their estate-grown wines for tasting at the cellar door with knowledgeable staff on hand.
Outside is the undercover terrace, where you can enjoy a delicious lunch while lapping up the picturesque view of the immaculately maintained vineyards, accompanied by Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne skyline. It’s a perfect (and spacious) backdrop to enjoy a glass of your favourite drop with your favourite company.
Where: 190 Scotchmans Rd, Drysdale
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Located on the Bellarine Peninsula just a short drive from Queenscliff, Basils Farm is a where to go to be seduced by the natural beauty of the location, the panoramic views across Swan Bay, the native birdlife, indigenous plants, and trees.
With a vineyard, cellar door, farmhouse cafe and modern pavilion, here they’re passionate about biodynamics and specialise in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Shiraz – our favourite kind of grapes! Embracing traditional winemaking principles, the wines are made with minimal intervention and also include other varietals such as Rose, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Sparkling, all available for tasting.
Whilst wine is at the heart of their business, this is where you can go to enjoy a walk through the extensive gardens and orchard, indulge in a wholesome, house-made dish in Basils Cafe or relax on the lawns overlooking the vineyard with a glass of wine surrounded by nature. Even the kids can have fun in the large sandpit, playing outdoor games, or feeding the Llama Basil.
They also have outdoor dining areas under umbrellas that are perfect for those dining with dogs all year round, as well as some spots on the verandah, plus they often host talented live musicians on Sundays in the warmer months.
Where: 43-53 Nye Rd, Swan Bay
With unrivalled panoramic views across the bay to Melbourne, the You Yangs, Geelong and beyond, Jack Rabbit Vineyard’s restaurant, winery, cafe and cellar door has become a must-visit destination on the Bellarine. Forging a reputation as a gastronomic showpiece for the Bellarine alongside a stable of sophisticated cool-climate wines, it’s easy to lose a day at Jack Rabbit.
Looking to the wine, Jack Rabbit’s grapes enjoy classic cool climate growing conditions – a long, slow ripening period facilitates maximum intensity from nose to finish. You’ll find a rich, diverse stable of sophisticated wines including Sparkling Blanc de Blanc, Moscato, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Chardonnay, Rosé, Pinot Noir, Merlot, Cabernet Shiraz and Shiraz.
You can taste the wines at the spectacular ‘House of Jack Rabbit’ Tasting Room and Cellar Door, which has been a magical addition to the Jack Rabbit experience, offering a more casual, laid back experience serving simpler fare with a more casual service. There is a provedore, a large deck space and sprawling grassland to enjoy as you sip on Jack Rabbit’s array of wines and muse over the views.
Of course, Jack Rabbit is renowned for its elegant and innovative fine dining restaurant. Jack Rabbit’s restaurant team have created a stunning, seasonal a la carte menu to complement the amazing elevated bay and vineyard scenery. Featuring an abundance of local produce to indulge even the most discerning culinary whim, the past few years has seen Jack Rabbit Vineyard land double gold in the 2019 Victorian Golden Plate Awards – both the state wide Golden Plate as well as the gong for Best Contemporary Restaurant Dining as well as been crowned ‘Best Restaurant in a Winery’ as well as ‘Best Tourism Restaurant’ (Victoria & Tasmania) in the prestigious Savour Australia Restaurant & Catering Awards in 2019 and 2022, among others.
Situated on a majestic Bellarine peak amidst rolling paddocks and coastal cliffs, Jack Rabbit Vineyard is an absolute must-visit.
Where: 85 McAdams Lane, Bellarine
A multi-dimensional food and wine experience, featuring a vineyard, cellar door, and highly lauded restaurant on a 100-acre property, Terindah Estate embraces the good life. Topped off with panoramic views over Corio Bay and the You Yangs, that span to Melbourne’s city skyline, award-winning wines and delectable food, Terindah Estate is casually elegant and the ideal location to wile away the afternoon.
At the heart of Terindah is The Shed, a converted hayshed houses the restaurant, with its floor-to-ceiling glass walls giving way to spectacular views of Terindah’s surroundings, including its impressive vineyard. Head here for a lunch or platter you’ll never forget.
There’s also the cellar door and deck which serves as the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine and grazing platter with friends. With an amazing sun soaked aspect, laze back in the comfortable lounges or pull up a stool and enjoy Terindah Estate’s collection of award-winning wines, including Sparkling, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, and Zinfandel.
If that wasn’t enough, there’s also the new ‘Peter’s Odyssey’ Tram Bar – a fully refurbished W class tram where you can sit on the expansive, elevated deck and enjoy a glass of wine and grazing box while soaking in the sun.
As one of Victoria’s most beautiful and exciting venues, here you can taste the delicious wine and food, see the mussel farmers in the local waters, take a stroll through the fig trees or the vines and experience all that this regional gem has to offer.
Where: 90 McAdams Lane, Bellarine.
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Tucked away in Marcus Hill sits Banks Road Vineyard, a family-run, boutique production winery, cellar door and restaurant, boasting stunning bucolic views and producing exquisite wines.
Owners William and Avanelle Derham established the vineyard in 2002, planting first five acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay then expanding to 12 acres with Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Shiraz, wines perfectly suited to their coastal climate. With Will’s winemaking philosophy of minimalist intervention from the low yielding vineyard (which encourages high natural acidity and sugar levels) the result is well-structured, elegant wines made with passion, receiving accolades at regional and national shows for full flavours. All Banks Road wines are made on site, so from grape to bottle to tasting counter, the estate wines travel only 400 metres.
On top of a gently sloping hill, you’ll find a picture perfect cellar door and cafe with beautiful walls of glass, where you can taste all the current release Banks Road vintages, local, seasonal dishes and glass of wine in a relaxed setting looking over the vineyard to the Rip.
With plenty of space outdoors, kids can run around and dogs are more than welcome with the winery’s resident golden retrievers often at the cellar door greeting guests.
Where: 600 Banks Road, Marcus Hill, Victoria.
With its laid back atmosphere and truly sensational view, Bennetts on Bellarine is a family-run vineyard that provides the perfect mix of rustic rock and old-fashioned hospitality.
Located at the corner of McAdams Lane and Portarlington Road, this charming vineyard is one of the newest on the Bellarine, providing a perfect spot to stop for a bottle of wine, delicious food and incredible live music.
One of the newest on the Bellarine, Jamieson Bennett is at the helm of Bennetts on Bellarine, boasting an extensive hospitality background with a strong belief in hands-on involvement in every aspect of his business. In terms of wine, the result of this approach speaks for itself, with quality grapes and a great vintage. Wines include sparkling, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Rose and Shiraz.
With the ideal location to enjoy these wines, guests can also indulge in delicious wood-fired pizzas and beautiful cheese platters that feature great local products under the sugar gums to the sound of live music on weekends. We recommend the tasting board, which is an interactive food and wine experience featuring six courses of Bellarine produce paired with Bennetts wine.
Stunning in every way, this relaxed, open-air venue is family-friendly and dog-friendly, making it a must-visit on your next trip to the Bellarine.
Where: 2171 Portarlington Road, Bellarine
Lethbridge Wines has a hell of an origin story, started by three scientists, Ray Nadeson, Maree Collis and Adrian Thomas who recognised the importance of terroir (soil, climate, aspect and bio-diversity) in the production of distinctive wines.
Now with Ray and Maree at the helm, the passionate couple has transformed Lethbridge into one of Australia’s most environmentally sustainable vineyards, producing a range of award-winning, internationally acclaimed wines across four labels – Lethbridge, Between Five Bells, Il Modo and Nadeson Collis.
With one cellar door and vineyard in the Moorabool Valley, Lethbridge went on to open a second cellar door and vineyard in the heart of the Bellarine Peninsula: Lethbridge At Hat Rock.
Named after a geographical feature resembling a hat on the Corio Bay shore, this hidden gem offers a relaxed and informative tasting experience. Operating from Friday through to Sunday, the venue boasts outdoor picnic tables in a beautiful garden setting and a communal tasting table inside the light-filled cellar door. Visitors can also enjoy wine by the glass with a cheese and charcuterie board, or ‘build a picnic’ to have on the grounds.
Where: 2330 Portarlington Rd, Bellarine
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Established in 1996, Bellarine Estate is one of the oldest wineries on the Bellarine Peninsula, with Peter and Lizette Kenny at the heart of it all.
Sprawled across a 100 acre property on the northern slopes of the hills between Drysdale and Portarlington, overlooking Corio Bay, the wine is produced under two labels: Bellarine Estate and Portarlington Ridge. Fruit for the Bellarine Estate label is one hundred percent estate-grown, while the Portarlington Ridge label includes fruit from other growers in the region.
Entirely family run, the labels feature award winning premium cool-climate wines, with their Shiraz and Pinot being highly acclaimed both in Australia and overseas. These are available to taste and buy at their cellar door, or to enjoy on site at the estate’s restaurant Bouchon at Bellarine, which brings a French twist to the Bellarine Peninsula.
Where: 2270 Portarlington Rd, Bellarine
Leura Park Estate is a funky, boutique vineyard with a mighty reputation for exceptional cool climate wines and fun.
With the vineyard established in 1995 and spanning 150 acres, the wines here are 100% estate-grown and predominantly hand picked. A commitment to grape integrity, voice and ‘methode traditionelle’ is showcased in a stable of multi-award winning wines boasting a distinctive and delightful French-style subtlety.
Specialist Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and the vineyard’s acclaimed Pinot Gris (25 d’Gris) will delight even the curious of palates, that is if you can get past their brilliant stable of sparklings – Sparkling Pinot Chardonnay, Sparkling Blanc de Blanc and ‘6 Rows’ Sparkling Shiraz. They are also renowned for their Pinot Noir and Shiraz.
Sitting prominently on Portarlington Road, Leura Park Estate’s architecturally built Opera House-esque pod and cellar door exudes rustic chic ambience or ‘Cirque de Soleil-esque’ POD. With a lush grassy outdoor space, sun drenched terrace and an always upbeat atmosphere, here guests can feast on stunning stone based pizzas, hearty fillet steak sandwiches, Al Fresco platters and cheeses with a glass of wine in hand and live music every Sunday.
Where: 1400 Portarlington Road, Curlewis
If you’re looking for an entirely unique experience to elevate your weekend, Oneday Estate is the place for you.
Located in Curlewis on the Bellarine Peninsula, Oneday Estate specialises in weddings and functions for those who desire privacy, a picturesque country atmosphere and a rustic, handcrafted establishment. Think recycled timbers, stone and iconic fittings, which were all carefully sourced from local landmark buildings and structures, as well as a reception room featuring a solid bevelled glass door that once belonged to Robert Holmes à Court.
With 80 acres of vineyard and reception centre, Oneday’s wine is created with just as much care as its cellar door. The vineyard is tended to by hand while the fruit is handpicked to ensure only the best is used. Wines include Sparkling Cuvee, Sparkling Riesling, Riesling, Rose, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.
The picturesque estate is open to the public on Sundays for their Sunday Sessions each week from 12pm onwards, with fresh paella and other dishes cooked in front of you, as well as live music, picnic rugs, refreshing sea breezes and views and cheese platters to enjoy while you taste the estate’s small batches of handcrafted pinot noir, shiraz or riesling.
Authentic and charming, Oneday winery a perfect estate escape.
Where: 45 Curlewis Rd, Curlewis
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Nestled on stunning coastal farmland Oakdene Vineyards is a unique family-owned Bellarine winery in Wallington.
Established in 2001, Oakdene‘s boutique vineyard specialises in varieties best suited to the Bellarine region; Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. Their handcrafted wines are elegant, whilst reflecting varietal character and complexity.
You can taste these wines in Oakdene’s unique ‘Upside Down House’ Cellar Door, which offers a unique, wondrous and very photogenic journey. Over 45 minutes, guests can relax, learn about Oakdene, hear some history and chat about the wines.
Alongside the cellar door, you’ll also find Mr Grubb @ Oakdene which offers diners lunch and dinner seven days a week. Located at the magnificent Oakdene Vineyards property, Mr Grubb offers an exciting menu of steak, pizzas, burgers and salad, with family friendly options for foodies on a budget. Sit inside, or dine outside on the decking amongst the magnificent birch trees.
If all that wasn’t enough, Oakdene also offers three uniquely themed accommodation rooms in the beautifully restored 1920’s homestead, ideal for a romantic getaway.
Featuring award winning wines and wine tastings, casual dining and accommodation, stay for a while or simply wander around the property enjoying the extensive gardens, eclectic art works and sculptures that seem to be hidden in every nook and cranny.
Where: 255 Grubb Rd, Wallington
Nestled on the Bellarine Peninsula, The Whiskery is the perfect place to yarn over beautiful local gin as you sink into the couches inside, on the outdoor deck or the chairs on the lawn, revelling in the warmth of the fireplace in the colder months.
Just a stone’s throw away from Scotchmans Hill, the unique venue boasts a rustic cellar door, established gardens, tasting room and cafe located within the Bellarine Distillery, and is set on seven acres in the heart of the Bellarine.
Producing their own gin under their label, Teddy and The Fox, as well as single malt whisky, here visitors to experience this award-winning gin, delicious cocktails and scrumptious local produce platters and tasty pizzas in a unique setting. If you’re not big on Gin, marvel through the long list of Australian and international whiskys and gins, and for those who prefer something lighter, have a select range of local wines, craft beers, soft drinks and ciders available as well.
Where: 2 Scotchmans Road, Drysdale.
Signalling an evolution of McGlashan’s Estate (s a small boutique winery offering visitors a more casual and relaxed experience), FarmDog Brewing is a vibrant family-run microbrewery with a keen focus on beer and gin.
Originally a pop-up, FarmDog recently found a permanent home at McGlashan’s estate Cellar Door, operating out of the cellar door from Thursdays through to Sundays. Of course, everything you loved about McGlashan’s cellar door will remain the same with platters, pizzas and wine all still available, including include Sparkling, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Rose, Pinot Noir, and Shiraz.
Here you can expect to find the beers flowing, with the most popular choice being their Pale Ale and Small Batch Gin and Tonic. You’ll also find a crisp and refreshing FarmDog lager, a dark ale, and I.P.A, as well as clever specialty gins. With gin tasting boards and a beer paddle both paired with tasting notes and flavour profiles, the team made you feel like a real pro sipping away on these flavoursome delights. With a local mindset, brewers and distillers are always found onsite to explain all things grains and botanicals to allow your taste buds to understand and embrace our unique flavours.
Outside there’s large wooden bench seating to enjoy the tranquillity, sunshine, wines, live music and food while overlooking the vineyards with your family, friends, kids or fur babies.
With guest appearances from their trusty four-legged farmhands, FarmDog Brewing is a go-to for those looking for a friendly, relaxed atmosphere, quality produce and good vibes that people want to keep coming back to.
Where: 225 Swan Bay Rd, Wallington
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Opening back in 2019, this super friendly independently-owned brew company is renowned for its colourful beers – in both flavour and appearance – and this bright and bubbly venue continues to reflect its signature brand.
Sitting pretty on Ocean Grove’s main strip in one of the town’s most historic buildings, local legends and creators of good beer for everyone Blackman’s Brewery should be top of everyone’s list when it comes to experiencing the best of the region.
With locations in Geelong and Torquay too, the Ocean Grove space includes a beer garden with 12 rotating taps of their core range and seasonals. You’ll find legendary Blackman’s unfiltered lager, the Winnie cider, the Ernie golden ale and the Reginald IPA, as well as rotating limited batches, all brewed just 30 minutes away. If you don’t love beer as much as these guys do, they’ve also got an epic local wine and craft spirit list too.
Providing the perfect place to enjoy a spread, there’s an epic burger menu to indulge in, with other bites like chips, onion rings, mac and cheese croquettes and buffalo wings also on offer.
At Blackman’s brewery, their philosophy is this: we love good beer, it’s really that simple. And that couldn’t be more true for Blackman’s who continually bring their best to Ocean Grove, and have an undeniable passion for what they do. You won’t regret stopping by here.
Where: 82 The Terrace, Ocean Grove
A stone’s throw from one of the most picturesque coastlines in Victoria lies BrewiColo Brewing Co, a local brewery well-loved for its deliciously tasting beers and love of live music that pulls punters from all over town. Opening back in 2018 by the combined powers of local lass Kay Godfrey and her partner Chilla, BrewiColo Brewery was born from the love of beer, and the sentiment of bringing something new and refreshing to the Ocean Grove community.
Inspired by Chilla’s Fijian background, the pet-friendly brewery represents everything you would expect with its chill vibe, fun palm tree logo, large outdoor area and of course the delicious craft beer. Amongst their ever-changing brewery range, you’ll find a handful of mainstays that is sure to please the beer aficionados out there.
From their Ocean Grove Lager, Wai-koula Golden Lager and their Palm Pale Ale, to their more adventurous Kofe brown ale (made with real coffee beans) and their citrus-driven Piqi bright lager, there’s something for every taste. If you’re less into beer but still want a brewi, they also offer a selection of Oakdene wines, gin, rum, soft drink and some cheeky cocktails. Weekends see the inclusion of live music and food trucks.
If the idea of chilling out and sipping on locally-made beer right where it’s brewed sounds pretty appealing, BrewiColo Brewing Co is your nirvana. Not only can punters enjoy a cold brew in a groovy space, but you can also watch their operational brewhouse while you do it. From the moment you step onto the ground floor, you’ll find yourself amongst the brewhouse, fermentation tanks and a tasting room which is open to the brew area. You can even head upstairs for a full view of the brewhouse and operations.
Where: 32 Marine Parade, Ocean Grove
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Open seven days a week in the rural township of Wallington, the Flying Brick Cider House is a retro-inspired landmark venue that demands to be seen.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll be blown away by the innovative space while you enjoy a tasting paddle of ciders, amazing food without the ‘fancy’ plus the best Bellarine wines around and a solid selection of beer. Weekends also see live music take to the grounds, featuring the roots of rock, soul, rhythm and blues.
The hero is of course the ciders, with the core range comprising of three ciders – Original, Draught and Pear. These are made from 100% fresh fruit, traditionally crafted and unlike the majority of mainstream ciders on the Australian market which are nothing more than synthetic carbonated water, contain no sugars, colours, flavourings or concentrates. Today, Flying Brick Cider is one of the fastest growing boutique ciders in Australia with distribution moving across Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.
Open seven days for lunch, you can enjoy coffee, lunch and assorted delectables (sneakily designed to go perfectly with your favourite cider, wine, beer, fair trade coffee, loose leaf tea or soft drink), or dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings from 5:30pm.
Choose to sit outside under a shady umbrella or inside watching the busy kitchen work its magic. It’s a venue you can visit as a big group with some amazing tasting platters to share or just a quiet dinner with your favourite friend.
Where: 1251/1269 Bellarine Hwy, Wallington
Tucked into the elbow of the Bellarine is a charming wine bar, Noble Rot.
Situated in the heart of Point Lonsdale, this wine store/bar is a great place to enjoy a stunning coastal view and a glass of wine or two from their large selection of local and international wines with a delicately curated pairing menu of fresh food.
Perfect for those who are interested in the cultivation of wine, with the owners and occasional connoisseurs available to chat with you about all things grape. Noble Rot is a gorgeous seaside bar with a focus on attention to detail.
Where: 51 Point Lonsdale Rd, Point Lonsdale
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Previously Roberta’s Wine Bar & Deli, The Covenant Wine Bar sits at the west end of The Terrace, gifting locals a central spot for local wines, scrumptious cocktails, platters of specialty cheeses and cured meats, and delicious pizza’s in the beautiful seaside town of Ocean Grove.
Transformed by Rachael & Ty Simons, the name of the wine bar reflects Ocean Grove’s history in having a covenant from its Methodist past – “no part of the above land shall be used for the manufacture of sale of malted spirituous or vinous liquors”. To this day a covenant still exists on parts of ‘old’ Ocean Grove and businesses wanting to sell or serve alcohol have to apply to have it lifted.
Where: 2/62 The Terrace, Ocean Grove
If you’re looking for a great bar with live music and breathtaking views, this is the one for you. While the location and the almost museum-like collection of original guitars and records signed by the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Kurt Cobain, The Traveling Wilburys, Rolling Stones, Elton John, Queen, U2, and Pink Floyd is enough to get you there, the mouthwatering cocktails, pizza and local live musos are enough to make you stay.
Where: 63 The Terrace, Ocean Grove
The Barwon Heads Wine Store is an independent wine merchant, offering a vast selection of products and bringing the finest wines, spirits and beer to the Bellarine Peninsula. There’s a heavy focus on unique, small-batch producers, along with a dedicated “local wines” wall so there’s a lot to love about that.
Here they’re super friendly and will often go out of their way to help you find what you’re looking for, and sometimes they’ll let you try before you buy, depending on what they have on tasting. Plus, if you don’t feel like driving they even deliver.
Where: 2/86 Hitchcock Ave, Barwon Heads
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This article was made in partnership with Visit Geelong & The Bellarine.