By Jo Rittey


If the idea of walking amongst the vines with a glass of wine in your hand admiring sculptures from some of Australia and New Zealand’s finest sculptors sounds like you, then I have just the place for you. Autumn is the perfect time to visit to really get the full colours of the season reflected in the vines.


Montalto is a winery on the Mornington Peninsula producing premium cool climate wine. The estate boasts an intimate cellar door, and beautiful grounds that include an olive grove, acclaimed restaurant and café, sculpture walk and wetlands. This unique offering has been awarded Best Winery Tourism Destination by Gourmet Travellermagazine and given a 5-star rating by Australian wine critic and vigneron James Halliday.


The restaurant is in the capable hands of Head Chef Gerard Phelan,who has worked at Entrecôte and the Lake House in Daylesford, amongst other notable Melbourne restaurants. You can choose between his fare in the restaurant, a more casual offering in the Piazza cafe or check out the Montalto picnics where you wander through the vineyard to your picnic site and find a packed box of goodies for 2 – 8 people.


There are 30 permanent sculptures sensitively sited throughout the Montalto grounds, monumental works sited in open spaces, through to more intimate pieces to discover amongst the wetlands and vines.


The abundant birdlife, wetlands and gardens add to the experience as you meander the Sculpture Trail.


From February through to October, this permanent collection is joined by at least another 20 works which form the annual Montalto Sculpture Prize, an acquisitive award open to all artists working in any medium, and runs from February to October each year.


John and Wendy Mitchell share a passion for wine, food, nature and the arts. Montalto was borne out of a desire to share this with others. The Montalto Sculpture Prize is an essential expression of this spirit, designed to encourage artistic pursuit, and to allow guests to enjoy the natural beauty of the property in association with the wonderful creativity of the sculptures.


Food, wine and art amongst the vines, what more could you want?



Jo has an exotic (kiwi) accent, loves good food and wine and has just a touch of the required culinary cynicism when it comes to the misuse of apostrophes and the hype over kale.








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