If you’ve ever toured a region’s wineries tasting the local vintages, you’ve probably also stayed in a local hotel or bed and breakfast. But what if you could combine the two and just stay inside the winery? At Port Phillip Estate, about 90 minutes outside of Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula, you can do just that — and do it in style.
In December the winery launched six luxurious suites with private terraces. Stumble out of your king-size bed, throw on a Missoni bathrobe, and stroll across the lawn to meander amid the vineyards, taking in the fresh air and views of the undulating hills and sea beyond.
The contemporary European decor features evocative Bill Henson wall art, a sunken living room area, and a reindeer pelt tossed over the large black sofa. A deep white bathtub and Aesop bathroom products stand by for a relaxing soak or two.
The accommodation occupies a mere nook of the building, which unfurls gracefully across a ridge and features a massive eastern wall, bringing to mind both fortress and sculpture — it’s art as much as architecture.
Inside the rammed-earth walls are cutting-edge wine-making facilities, which you can tour, and a cozy wine library. And taking advantage of the ridge-line views are The Dining Room, where you can sit outside on an expansive timber deck and enjoy the creatively classic dishes of executive chef Simon West, and the casual Cellar Door Bistro, which features provincial French fare with a modern touch and seasonal produce.
Complementing the meals, of course, are the wines grown and produced here, namely the Kooyong and Port Phillip Estate labels. The zesty Pinot Noirs and crisp Chardonnays of the latter feature particularly delightful aromatics. Before your meal, sample the wines at The Cellar Door, an elegant tasting bar that takes in the spectacular scenery.
The suites at Port Phillip Estate start at about US$530 per night. Reservations for The Dining Room are recommended.