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article imagePhoto essay: Wine, olives and art at Mornington Peninsula Special

By Val Williamson     Apr 16, 2012 in Travel
Mornington - I left England's winter to journey to Australia's much milder autumn and sampled not only culinary fruits of the region but cultural ones too.
We had a short family holiday in March on the Mornington Peninsula near Melbourne. March to May are the autumn months in this temperate region of Australia, and the Mornington Peninsular has just the kind of maritime climate that makes it similar to the wine growing areas of Europe.
About an hour outside the city are the wooded lanes of the Red Hill district, famous for locally grown produce, including cheese, wine and olive oil. On the way to our holiday home near Sorrento we called in midweek, mid-afternoon, at the famed Montalto vineyard, restaurant and sculpture park.
Home grown squashes in the Mornington Peninsula restaurant and winery tradition
Home grown squashes in the Mornington Peninsula restaurant and winery tradition
We found the piazza (outdoor restaurant) not taking food orders weekdays and the Mornington Peninsula's only Chef's Hat restaurant just closed until evening.
But the friendly staff took our drinks orders and allowed us to amble among the piazza tables where they were harvesting the fruits of the garden.
On the Sunday homeward journey we allowed plenty of time to lunch there and enjoy the sun and sample the food. We took a lot of photographs among the vines and in the olive groves, and some of the art works.
Sculptures in several types of medium are arranged in the spaces in and around the piazza and the re...
Sculptures in several types of medium are arranged in the spaces in and around the piazza and the restaurant.
Montalto sculpture park  in among the vineyard  showcases Australia s up-and-coming artists and host...
Montalto sculpture park, in among the vineyard, showcases Australia's up-and-coming artists and hosts an annual competition.
Olives make a useful second crop in the region  but often the only way to sample a particular vineya...
Olives make a useful second crop in the region, but often the only way to sample a particular vineyard's olive products is to buy them from the cellar door shop.
On the way home  a reminder that  despite the Italian names and produce  we were not in the Mediterr...
On the way home, a reminder that, despite the Italian names and produce, we were not in the Mediterranean but on the Mornington Peninsula, Australia.
More about Olive Oil, australian wine, mornington peninsula, melbourne resort, wine growing
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