Willow Creek Vineyard

Victoria | Mornington Peninsula

Our Review

Significant changes have transformed Willow Creek. In 2008, winemaker Geraldine McFaul, with many years of winemaking in the Mornington Peninsula under her belt, was appointed and worked with viticulturist Robbie O'Leary to focus on minimal intervention in the winery; in other words, to produce grapes in perfect condition. In '13 the Li family arrived from China and expanded its portfolio of hotel and resort properties in Australia by purchasing Willow Creek, developing the luxury 46-room Jackalope Hotel, the Rare Hare and Doot Doot Doot restaurants, a cocktail bar and tasting room.

About

Fertile grazing land for over 100 years prior, the 11-hectare Willow Creek Vineyard was planted in 1989. Surrounded by ocean on three sides with a cool maritime climate, Willow Creek Vineyard’s wines are a pure expression of the site. Winemaker Geraldine McFaul’s understanding of the terroir and its subtleties is instinctive, while her careful and complementary handling creates expressive wines where less is more. Manipulation of the intrinsic balance provided by each season is avoided wherever possible. With a fastidious focus on cool­-climate chardonnay and pinot noir, winemaker Geraldine McFaul makes some of the most elegant single vineyard wines on the Mornington Peninsula. Under the expert hands of original viticulturists Robbie O’Leary and, more recently, Ant Davenport, Willow Creek Vineyard’s fruit is hand tended, block by block in regard to pruning, canopy management, yield control, and harvest. The vineyard consistently produces fruit of an excellent quality, lending itself to minimal intervention and manipulation in the winery. Willow Creek Vineyard Chardonnay typically exhibits notes of stone fruit and citrus, while a judicious touch of new French oak bestows a delicate nutty character. The palate balances a creamy texture against a backbone of flint, while a fresh line of acidity drives the palate. Our Pinot Noir is enticingly perfumed, displaying lifted aromas of wild red cherries and forest floor, while the palate possesses a structured elegance of finely etched tannins. A portion of whole-bunch and carbonic maceration yields greater structure and complexity to the fruit from our O’Leary Block. When working with exemplary fruit, McFaul says the biggest challenge is “doing less rather than more”. For the wines from the Willow Creek Vineyard it’s all about letting the vineyard shine through. Acknowledging consistent excellence across successive vintages, James Halliday’s Wine Companion has awarded Willow Creek Vineyard 5 Red Stars, for producing wines of exemplary quality and typicity.

Specialities

Pinot Noir, Chardonnay

Cellar Door

Information

Home to our Rare Hare and Willow Creek Vineyard wines, you’re invited to taste the fruits of our labour while looking over the vines and barrels from whence they came. We offer a range of tasting experiences to suit your available time and passion for wine. We currently have three tasting experiences available.

Hours

12pm - 2pm Friday & Saturday

Details are correct at time of writing

Please check winery website for up to date details

Food

Information

Rare Hare Wine & Food Store. Visit www.rarehare.com.au for information and menus.

Cuisine

A hand-crafted wood-fired oven takes pride of place in the dining space. Executive Chef, Guy Stanaway crafts seasonal dishes highlighting the finest produce with a good sense of curiosity and brings a tempting balance of heat, acidity, depth of flavour and texture to each plate.

Hours

Temporarily closed due to Covid-19 restrictions.
Sun: 11:00am till 9:00pm
Mon: 11:00am till 5:00pm
Tue: 11:00am till 5:00pm
Wed: 11:00am till 5:00pm
Thu: 11:00am till 5:00pm
Fri: 11:00am till 9:00pm
Sat: 11:00am till 9:00pm

Details are correct at time of writing

Please check winery website for up to date details

Accommodation

Information

The Jackalope Hotel is located on Willow Creek Vineyard. Jackalope hotel's debut property sets a new standard in luxury accommodation on the Mornington Peninsula. Set on one of the region's most pristine vineyards, intoxicating acreage frames this landmark luxury hotel - unique in both destination and design. The hotel unifies art, design and dining, creating an unforgettable guest experience. Highlights include 42 luxury rooms and suites, two awarded restaurants, and a 30-metre infinity pool lapping over the vines.

Details are correct at time of writing

Please check winery website for up to date details

Details

Rating
Winemaker Geraldine McFaul
Established 1989
Dozens 6000
Vineyards (area) 11 ha
Opening Hours 7 days 11-5
Address 166 Balnarring Road, Merricks North, Vic 3926
Telephone (03) 5931 2502
Website www.rarehare.com.au