Food Guides

No Designated Driver? You Can Get a Cheap Uber Ride to These Amazing Wineries in Victoria

Victoria is the smallest of the Australian mainland states yet it has the highest amount of wine producers. With 21 distinct wine regions and over 600 wineries, you’ll come across various grape varieties including everything from a Mornington Peninsula Pinot Noir to a King Valley Prosecco.

Victorian wine is impeccable, the producers are incredibly knowledgeable and the cellar doors are simply charming. The only downside is that all of the vineyards are in the middle of nowhere. Obviously, this is to be expected and a cellar door perched on the side of the freeway is somehow not quite as appealing. But it does mean that unless you have a designated driver or pay for a hefty guided wine tour, many vineyards are inaccessible to the thirsty wine lover.

Fear not! After extensive research I’ve curated this epic list of the best Uber-friendly wineries in Victoria. A definitive list of highly-rated wineries that are just a short Uber trip from the nearest town or train station (less than $20 fare).

Panton Hill Vineyard & Winery
Panton Hill, Nillumbik

A trip to Panton Hill Winery will have you believe you’ve been transported straight to a vineyard in Italy. The beautiful stone buildings have been built by hand using convict-mined sandstone, recycled timber and slate from the hulls of early ships to Australia. Despite the idyllic location, Panton Hill Vineyard is only a $10 Uber ride from Hurstbridge train station, where direct trains run from Melbourne Central every 40 minutes. The husband and wife team at Panton Hill offer free wine tastings and delicious wood-fired pizzas at the weekend.

Helen’s Hill Estate
Coldstream, Yarra Valley

Undoubtedly the most famous of Victoria’s wine regions, the Yarra Valley has to be on your to-do list when you visit the Melbourne area. Helen’s Hill Estate is the first winery you’ll come across when you leave suburbia and enter the beautiful countryside. From Lilydale train station, an Uber to Helen’s Hill will cost you $16 and drop you off amongst the vines of the charming family-run estate in Coldstream. The cellar door is open everyday, where you can taste their excellent 2019 Vintage Pinot Grigio amongst many other delights. At the weekend, enjoy sharing platters or pizza on the deck overlooking the vineyard, with a glass of their delicious sparkling Blanc De Noir in hand.

A $16 Uber will also get you from Lilydale train station to Coombe Yarra Valley, a chic winery & restaurant in the former home of famous opera singer Dame Nellie Melba. Similarly, pay $17 in Uber fares to travel from Lilydale station to Oak Tree Vineyard, a boutique estate specializing in Pinot Noir, Rosé and Cabernet Sauvignon.

Crittenden Estate Wines
Dromana, Mornington Peninsula

Most of the Mornington Peninsula wineries are found in the Red Hill area, a rural hinterland town which is a bit of a pain to get to. However, Crittenden Estate is one of the oldest wineries on the Peninsula, and it’s only an 8-minute drive outside of Dromana. An Uber from Dromana town centre to Crittenden Estate will cost you just $15, where you’ll enjoy a personalised wine tasting experience on the outdoor terrace, overlooking the beautiful private lake.

After your tailored cellar door session at Crittenden, it’s definitely worth taking the 15-minute walk up the road to Trofeo Estate Vineyard. The restaurant and cellar door are found in an impressive converted factory that was built nearly a hundred years ago, and their brilliant wines are aged in terracotta pots instead of oak barrels.

Witchmount Estate Winery
Bonnie Brook, Sunbury

Sunbury is a small wine region that’s ideally located on the northwest outskirts of Melbourne. Specialising in award winning Shiraz & Cabernet, Witchmount Estate is one of the best wineries in the area and so easy to visit without a car. An Uber to Witchmount will cost you around $13 from Rockbank Station, which is just a 30-minute train ride from Southern Cross in the city. The winery offers cellar door tastings from Wednesday to Sunday, as well as lunch and dinner in their excellent onsite restaurant. Witchmount is casual and very dog friendly – you may even see Wilbur, the resident Bernese Mountain Dog if you’re lucky!

Scotchmans Hill Winery
Drysdale, Bellarine Peninsula

With immaculate vineyards overlooking Port Phillip Bay, head to Scotchmans Hill Winery for cool maritime climate wines in beautiful surroundings. Just an 8-minute drive from the popular coastal town of Portarlington on the Bellarine Peninsula, an Uber will cost you around $16. The winery offers daily cellar door wine tastings, graze boards with local produce or a three-course lunch in the highly rated bistro.

Whilst you’re in Portarlington, a $15 Uber ride will also get you to Bellarine Estate Winery for a meal at Bouchon at Bellarine, one of the best restaurants on the Bellarine Peninsula. Alternatively, a $15 Uber will transport you from Portarlington to Jack Rabbit Vineyard for Modern Australian cuisine overlooking the ocean. Even better, why not visit all three wineries and create your own mini wine tour with cheap Uber rides.

Portalington has loads of great accommodation options, or you can get a direct ferry from Docklands in Melbourne which takes one hour.

Bellbrae Estate
Bellbrae, Surf Coast

Nestled in between Torquay and Anglesea on the Great Ocean Road you’ll find Bellbrae Estate, a coastal vineyard where each wine is named after a famed surf break at local surfing spot Bells Beach. Their best-seller is the 2018 Longboard Pinot Noir, closely followed by the 2017 Sparrows Semillon. An Uber from Torquay town centre to Bellbrae Estate will cost you $20. It’s best to visit at the weekend for cellar door tastings, food and live music amongst the vines.

Mandurang Valley Wines
Bendigo

If you love a bold red, then Bendigo needs to be on your bucket list. The first vineyards were established here during the Gold Rush era in the 1850’s, meaning the region’s wine makers have been perfecting their Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon for nearly 200 years. You can find excellent local wine at Mandurang Valley Wines, a $20 Uber ride from Bendigo station. Head to the charming cellar door for a glass of their 2016 Shiraz and a grazing platter. They also do excellent Chardonnay & Riesling.