It’s not often you get the opportunity to get up close and personal with Melbourne’s top food and wine makers—they’re busy people, and they certainly like to keep their secrets secret! However, if you are looking to get hands-on with Melbourne’s top makers, there’s a new boutique food and wine tour in Mornington Peninsula that should be top of your list. Wine Compass, Melbourne’s best wine tour for a cracking day of food, drinks and sight-seeing, has just announced its Meet The Makers series, and boy, do these daytrips look good!
Running on Fridays and Saturdays throughout May, the Wine Compass Meet The Makers food and wine tours give you the chance to try some amazing wines, gins, beers, charcuterie and more from top-notch producers, as well as getting behind-the-scenes insight from the makers themselves. All of the producers are pioneers in small-batch production (because if I want a tour of mainstream booze, I’ll just save myself the expense and head to the nearest BWS…) and have been hand selected, meaning it’s one of the best wine tours in Melbourne for those who want to spend time with the people behind Victoria’s more exclusive boutique labels. You can book in alone or in small numbers to a Meet the Makers tour or, if there's enough of you, Wine Compass will arrange your very own private tour with the experts—too easy!
But just because these guys take their food and drink seriously doesn’t mean they don’t know how to have a laugh. Wine Compass provides the best wine tours in Melbourne for a day out that’s genuinely fun from the word ‘go,’ rather than fun after the fourth winery stop-off. The team are young, passionate and go-getting, meaning their wine tours are light on the fuddy-duddy jargon and patronising attitude, heavy on the delicious produce (lunch is laid on at either Red Hill Epicurean or Polperro, both of which are peninsula foodie institutions) and behind-the-scenes know-how.
They’ve also managed to lock in some of the most witty and charming producers in the region, meaning you’ll leave with some wonderful insights and a smile on your face. Polperro founder Sam Coverdale is one to look out for, and selected tours will be run by Judy Gifford of Darling Park, one of the Peninsula’s charming treasures who has clocked up almost two decades’ worth of winemaking experience in the area.
Much to our delight, Meet The Makers tours provide a more intimate experience than your standard wine tour in the Mornington Peninsula area—numbers are capped at eleven people per group (goodbye, 50+ bus tours of misery!)—and you’ll get to sip on exclusive batches and mouth-watering premium releases not available to the public. Want to find out how your favourite wine is aged, or wrap your mouth around some limited edition back vintages? You’ll be given access to the brains behind the bottles at Quealy Winemakers, Bass & Flinders Distillery, Red Hill Brewery, Moorooduc Estate, Tucks Ridge, Darling Park and Ocean Eight, so come prepared with those burning questions.
We don’t know about you, Listers, but we’re sick of having that argument about who’ll be the designated driver on our epicurean day out. Thankfully, the Wine Compass team will pick you up from Federation Square, Chelsea Heights or the Mornington Peninsula and ferry you back again after a day’s indulgence, so there’s no chance of getting lost and turning up late to the first tasting (been, there, done that…).
The latest series of Wine Compass Meet The Makers tours are on sale now. Numbers are limited, so if reading this has whet your appetite (if it hasn’t, there’s definitely something wrong with your tastebuds…) you’d better book in asap.
Wine Compass also runs bespoke tours in the Yarra Valley and Mornington Peninsula areas. If you’re looking for a special event for an occasion, or to visit a particular boutique producer, simply get in touch via email.
Meet The Makers will run Friday 15th & Saturday 16th, Saturday 23rd, Friday 29th & Saturday 30th May, Friday 5th June and Saturday 5th September
Visit the Wine Compass website to book your spot
TUL Note: This article is proudly sponsored by Wine Compass and endorsed by The Urban List. Thank you for supporting the sponsors who make The Urban List possible. Click here for more information on our editorial policy.
Image credit: Jacqui Wilkins for The Urban List