The Mornington Peninsula hasn’t always been the food-and-wine destination it is now. And if not for winemaker Garry and wife Margaret Crittenden, it may never have become so. Not only were the Crittendens some of the first vignerons on the Peninsula – planting their first vineyard in 1982 – they were also the first to open a cellar door and winery cafe, recognising as far back as 1992 the importance of a complete wine and food experience.
While there is a myriad of options for dining and drinking on the Peninsula today, Crittenden Estate – now run by son Rollo and daughter Zoe Crittenden – remains one of the best. There is an on-site restaurant, Stillwater at Crittenden, which is open for lunch during the summer months and dinner all year round. For something less formal but still unique, try the Crittenden Estate Wine Centre. It’s their answer to a Cellar Door, but rather than a quick run through of the wines while you’re standing over a counter, it’s a sit-down experience, complete with tasting notes, and is much more immersive and educational than a standard cellar door experience. Bookings for groups of six or more are recommended.
Crittenden Estate also offers on-site accommodation. The Lakeside Villas consist of three self-contained villas constructed over the vineyard lake, each with a kitchen, wood fire, spa bath and private barbecue. A great base for exploring the wider Peninsula.
25 Harrisons Road, Dromana VIC
(03) 5981 8322