There’s a buzz in the air on Mornington Peninsula, and it comes in the form of a contemporary cutting edge designer hotel, formal restaurant, smart bar, casual dining experience and cellar door. The name is Jackalope – and it’s the new home of Willow Creek Vineyard Wines. The vision of Louis Li's, a 29 year old Chinese national who has been living in Melbourne for ten years, Willow Creek Vineyard is now the site for the world’s first Jackalope Hotel. Moving here as an 18 year old to study film making, Louis Li is well versed in luxury property development with his parents being involved in a number of luxury hotels and residential properties in Kunming in south western China. So in a sense his first solo project is following in the tradition of his family business. Being a film maker Lewis Lee is a great storyteller, and his first foray into hospitality shows his appetite for art and design and food culture, which shines through every element in this property. His debut Jackalope Hotel in Merricks will be followed by a 40 room hotel in Flinders Lane which is scheduled to open in 2019.
“Wow!” The three letter word that Jo and Cosi Melone hear every time a guest steps out of their car and breathes in the view. It is indeed unexpected, a delightful surprise, and breathtaking. Set on a hidden hill that rises over the back of Rosebud and is sheltered by Waterfall Gully, the Blue Range Estate’s view is expansive. Stretching from Western Port Bay and Bass Strait across the Portsea Peninsula and into Port Phillip Bay, the view is unique, and extraordinary.
In 1985, owner and winemaker Lindsay McCall established Paringa Estate winery on 10 ‘home’ acres of derelict orchard in Paringa Road, Red Hill South, which he planted with Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz and Pinot Gris.
With fruit coming from six unique vineyards located across the Peninsula, Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove creates interesting and complex wines reflecting the fantastic diversity of the vineyards, according to winemaker Simon Black. There’s more than the multiple award winning wines and the restaurants 11 chef’s hats since 2002 that make a visit to Montalto such a rewarding place to visit.
There’s nothing we love more than getting off the beaten track. Yabby Lake, is one of these destinations - frequented by many, yet passed by even more as they approach the Balnarring exit (off the Peninsula Link).
Trofeo Estate is situated on the iconic Harrisons Road precinct of Dromana - in the 1930’s it was a passionfruit plantation but today it is one of the Pen’s newest vineyards. From the moment you enter the property, with it’s oak lined driveway, you’re surrounded by vines & beautiful rural views.
Back in the days before impersonal supermarkets and oversized shopping centres, the humble general store was a community hub, a place that served an important social, as well as supply, service. General stores were once prolific in towns across the Peninsula region, stocking everything from kerosene and toothpaste to fresh bread and milk, run by owners who knew many of the customers by name. In 1924, Merricks General Wine Store opened to serve a variety of needs of the local community.
Sam Coverdale believes he has the best job in the world. It’s part agriculture, part science, part marketing, part creativity and part wine decanter full of heart.