"I've always been one for big ideas, so my brief to Wood Marsh Architecture was, 'build me a truly outstanding and uncompromising architectural landmark, the most exciting new winery in Victoria.' They did." Giorgio Gjergia, Port Phillip Estate website
Surrounded by sprawling vineyards Port Phillip Estate is another surprise hidden in Red Hill. Its architecture is abstract yet impressive with limestone rammed earth exterior walls, polished concrete floors and a dramatic stair case descending deep underground to the wine making facilities. Considered a landmark, Port Phillip Estate has been honoured with two prestigious awards at the 2010 Australian Institute of Architects' National Architecture Awards.
Port Phillip Estate
Established in 1987 Port Phillip Estate is set in a natural amphitheatre and the vineyard is planted on deep red loam soil of volcanic origin. Nearby Kooyong Vineyard was established in 1995. The Gjergia family has owned Port Phillip Estate since 2000 and Kooyong since 2004. Both wineries are overseen by praised winemaker Sandro Mosele. The museum wine store includes a barrel room, bottling line, wine processing plant, cellaring and offices.
At five metres below ground level humidity and temperature is easily regulated creating an ideal environment for wine storage. The sophistication of Port Phillip Estate goes beyond its structural architecture with a state of the art water reclaiming plant that converts black water to A grade water for irrigation and ablutions. As well as air washing technology for cleaning wine bottles, solar panels for water heating and LED lighting successfully cutting energy costs by 80 per cent. This is all a part of ongoing philosophy of environmental responsibility at Port Phillip Estate.
Accommodation includes six luxury apartments with king size beds, living rooms, spacious ensuites, kitchenettes, bar areas, coffee machines and panoramic views. One apartment, named the Morillon Apartment after the oldest pinot noir block in the vineyard, has two bedrooms and a larger living room designed for comfort and can cater for a disabled guest. Prices Start from $500 per night.
The Port Phillip Estate dining room is light filled and boasts sweeping vineyard and coastal views from its timber deck. Chef Simon West's style incorporates a modern approach to the classics with an elegant twist. He uses local cool climate produce showcasing tastes and textures without losing the integrity of the ingredients. The menu is orchestrated to compliment wines of old and new world vintages from both Kooyong and Port Phillip Estate.
Open for lunch from Wednesday to Sunday and public holidays with dinner available on Friday and Saturday nights. Bookings can be made by calling 61 3 5989 4444 or book online.
Port Phillip Estate also has a Cellar Door Bistro with a relaxed informal atmosphere and an ever changing menu with a French provincial classics touch. A selection of wines are available for tasting as well as purchase in cellar door. Open for lunch from Saturday to Tuesday, no reservation is required. Sample Menu
Port Phillip Estate Bistro
The Port Phillip Estate winery is in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula 80km south of Melbourne.