The Peninsula Picnic announces headlining wineries

Six of the best to join the festivities

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Peninsula Picnic - Mornington Peninsula.

Peninsula Picnic - Mornington Peninsula.

Crittenden Estate - the family
Peninsula Picnic - Mornington Peninsula.
Montalto Vineyard, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria
Merricks General Store, Mornington Peninsula, Victoria


From sun-dappled wineries to the dustiest cellar doors, The Peninsula Picnic will include wine from six of the leading winemakers and vineyards across the Mornington Peninsula. Delight in a decadent glass of wine – or two – and feast on fresh and tasty local produce whilst relaxing with live music from The Waifs, Paul Dempsey, Pierce Brothers, Tinpan Orange and Hayden Calnin.

The most extensive food, wine and music gathering ever created on the Mornington Peninsula, The Peninsula Picnic (29 March) is the perfect regional getaway or home-grown retreat to discover hidden gems from the region’s famous wineries, gourmet restaurants and passionate food producers, all set to the serene soundtrack of some of Australia’s finest live music acts.

Sample the award-winning wines from Circe.  With one of the country’s top Pinot Noirs, their selection will leave you in no doubt as to why this proudly Australian wine features on menus from New York to London. From their stunning surrounds of rolling hills overlooking the ocean, Montalto wines are a favourite for connoisseurs, whilst the family vineyard Crittenden Estate provides intimate and carefully curated wines.

Merricks General Wine Store, a renowned fixture of the Mornington Peninsula, will showcase their three esteemed wine labels: Ballieu Estate, Elgee Park and Quealy. Prancing Horse will be presenting their unique wine made using their own organic and biodynamic practices, whilst T’Gallant will be showcasing their Australian twist on well known European winemaking styles.


Circe started in 2009 with a clear aspiration of becoming one of the country’s top Pinot Noir producers. Dan Buckle (Chief Winemaker at Domaine Chandon) and Aaron Drummond (Mount Langi Ghiran) both grew up on the Mornington Peninsula and wanted to get back to making Pinot Noir from the region due to the cool climate and rich healthy soil.

Circe has now grown to three vineyards and is poured in some of the best restaurants here and abroad. In 2014 Circe was rated 5 stars by James Halliday, featured in the Top 100 wines by UK Wine writer Matthew Jukes and was named the top Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir producer by famed US publication

Montalto will be showcasing their bespoke Pennon Hill range at The Peninsula Picnic. Known for their rich character, The Pennon Hill wines are made from 100% Mornington Peninsula regional blends across six vineyards that deliver a bright, fresh style with juicy, textured fruit flavours.

Served at the Peninsula Picnic will be the 2014 Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Grigio - tasting of Nashi pear, Granny Smith apple and rose petal it's a crisp, refreshing and moreish wine; the 2014 Montalto Pennon Hill Rose, which features a spicy and leafy lift with strawberry and kirsch in support with juicy red current and floral undertones; and the 2013 Montalto Pennon Hill Pinot Noir. Perfumed, it has brightness of fruit and holds its form well through the finish with the taste of Jubey cherries, violets, dried spices and cedar-spice.

Crittenden Estate: since 1982 the Crittenden family has nurtured soil and tended the trellises in the foothills of the Mornington Peninsula to grow grapes in the Peninsula’s acclaimed maritime climate. From an early passion for chardonnay and pinot noir in the 1980s the Crittendens now also embrace exciting new styles from Italy and Spain. All processes are managed within, with Garry overseeing the vineyard, Rollo heading the winemaking and Zoe co-ordinating the marketing.

It’s called Crittenden Estate and it has been described as one of Australia’s leading small family vineyards, but the Crittendens just call it ‘the farm’. They consider themselves lucky to have grown up among the vines, fruit trees, almonds, chooks and dogs. These days, they're still there and still making beautiful wines for your enjoyment.

Merricks General Wine Store will showcase their three esteemed wine labels - Ballieu Estate, Elgee Park and Quealy. Baillieu Wines have clear, clean varietal flavour. Their reds clearly enjoy the warmth and sunshine of their Merricks North site. They are deeply coloured with full, soft palates. Their white wines have lovely perfume and freshness.

Elgee Park
is the oldest vineyard on the Mornington Peninsula. Baillieu (Bails) Myer, in consultation with leading minds of the times, established the first vineyard in 1972. In an era of classic site selection, he chose a site on his property that is a natural amphitheatre. This essentially north facing amphitheatre has formed the basis of the great Elgee Park wines. One of the first vignerons to plant Viognier, the Family Reserve continues to be a benchmark wine in Australia.

Kathleen Quealy is the winemaker behind the label that bears her name. Her wines are exclusively from the Mornington Peninsula. Quealy creates stylish wines based on new varieties, blends and approaches. They are beautiful modern wines, fresh and cool, emulating the maritime region where they are grown.

Prancing Horse Estate aims to achieve balanced wines with intense flavours and structure.Their imprint on the Australian and French wine landscapes has been achieved through an uncompromising approach using organic and biodynamic principles across vineyards and in the winery.

Throughout the winemaking process, Prancing Horse winemaker, Sergio Carlei oversees the gentlest biodynamic approach. In the Vineyard, Paul Danaher and his team engage in a rigorous program of biodynamic viticulture. The aim is to improve wine quality and optimise fruit flavours the natural way by continually improving the quality of the soil. These elements have fused and frame their ambition to be regarded as one of Australia's truly great cool-climate producers.

T'Gallant: drawing inspiration from tours of the wine regions of Friuli in Italy and Alsace in France, T’Gallant established three Pinot Gris vineyards, which would be their starting point for founding the company in 1990. Adding an artisan and pure flavour that reflects the character of maritime Mornington Peninsula. With an expressive winemaking style and adding an Australian twist on European wine styles their bold move enabled T’Gallant to become an


  • Mornington Peninsula (VIC)

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March 04th, 2015
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