There's no better place to sample a region's top drops than at the wineries, breweries and cideries making them. So lovers of Victorian booze will be very pleased to know that the Peninsula VineHop Festival is set to return for its second year, having been awarded a Regional Events Fund grant by the Victorian Government and Visit Victoria. It'll showcase the best of the Mornington Peninsula this November 17 and 18.
Imagine a local version of Rutherglen's long-running Winery Walkabout, only with equal emphasis on craft beers and ciders, and it's not hard to see why VineHop's 2017 debut proved so darn popular. This year, the two-day event runs to the same concept, with affordable shuttle buses allowing visitors to cruise between a stack of participating breweries and wineries, experiencing the best of each along the way. Yes, that's right, no designated drivers required.
As well as the opportunity to sample premium libations just metres from where they were crafted, there'll be a program of food trucks, live music and DJs setting the mood at each location.
Among the venues that will be open for visitors is the gloriously named Hickinbotham of Dromana. The family-run estate produces both wine and beer (via on-site microbrewery Hix) and will also host a Mornington Peninsula Brewery pop-up. To make the most of the stunning scenery, make a stop at Bayview Estate which offers vistas of rolling hills and lavender farms plus the opportunity for a hearty feed — think pig on a spit and Ploughman's platters — at its old English-style pub Pig and Whistle.
Other venues include Mock Red Hill Cider, Stumpy Gully and Red Hill Estate, whose overwhelming popularity at VineHop 2017 has led to a different approach this year: Red Hill will be set up at historic homestead The Briars as the official festival hub.
Tickets to Peninsula VineHop Festival go on sale at 5pm on Friday, August 3. For information on bus options and routes, visit the website.