Among the vines
With more than 50 wineries on the Mornington Peninsula, mostly specialising in cool climate wines such as pinot noir and chardonnay, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by choice – but Lindenderry at Red Hill may provide the panacea. Nestled among 14 hectares of gardens and vineyards, the 40-room hotel recently underwent a multimillion-dollar renovation, with Melbourne interiorbdesign firm Hecker Guthrie bringing a contemporary edge to the country estate.
Having been awarded a five-star winery rating in James Halliday’s 2017 Australian Wine Companion, Lindenderry’s cellar door is attracting attention, as is The Dining Room, relaunched in January under the direction of executive chef Paul Withington, formerly of London’s Soho House.
A masterfully orchestrated six-course degustation not only showcases local produce, but also offers a tour of wines chosen by Lindenderry’s sommeliers as the best the region has to offer, from wineries such as Ocean Eight and Port Phillip Estate – all the tasting without the trouble of criss-crossing the Peninsula.
Lindenderry also enjoys close proximity to one of the area’s more recent additions, the Pt Leo Estate winery and sculpture park. Views from the dining room right across to Phillip Island and Bass Strait are interrupted only by large-scale sculptures dotted around the 6.5-hectare park, in a take on the popular Sculptures by the Sea event. Curated by Geoffrey Edwards, a former curator at the National Gallery of Victoria, the collection of more than 40 pieces is reputed to be valued at more than $50 million.
Should all that walking seem a bit too hard, there’s always the option of enjoying a Lindenderry wine or local tipple – such as handcrafted gin from the nearby Bass & Flinders Distillery – with a cheese or antipasto platter in one of the hotel’s cosy sitting rooms, or in front of the open fire in a spacious Balcony Suite (starting at $540 a night).