Trofeo Estate & Whispering Vines: A Charming Hidden Gem
Address: 85 Harrisons Road, Dromana, VIC 3936
In 2012, Jim and Kathy Manolios saw beyond an ageing plantation station built over 80 years ago. They saw a vision for a charming, well-appointed estate that could encompass a winery, cellar door and café. They saw 42 acres of underutilised vineyards ready to have new life breathed into them.
And that’s exactly what they’ve created with Trofeo Estate. Now visitors to the Mornington Peninsula can enjoy all that this converted heritage site has to offer; a rustic exposed brick and semi-industrial motif, delicious food in their Whispering Vines café, and an overall friendly, relaxed vibe that will make you feel right at home.
Although their neighbours, Crittenden, are better known, this is a well-worthwhile detour.
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With a name that is Italian for ‘trophy’, it’s no surprise that Trofeo Estate stays with the Italian inspiration in their wine offerings. They’ve got a great and varied selection, which ranges from award-winning Shiraz to superbly sweet Moscato.
One of the big rewards for visiting Trofeo Estate is getting to sample the unique flavours of their Terracotta Amphora aged wines. Terracotta breathes in the same way that oak barrels do, except it doesn’t add any oaky flavours. You’ll be able to try this firsthand when tasting wines from both their traditional and terracotta ranges and it is interesting to compare varieties aged in the 2 separate ways.
The on-site Whispering Café has become a talking point for the Trofeo Estate. Serving up a modern menu that changes with each season, it offers a relaxed, homely atmosphere that you don’t often find in the formal dining around Red Hill. They have huge market garden that means their menu is always changing seasonally and the source a lot of local biodynamic and organic produce, which is a lovely touch and great for sustainability.
Wine Compass guests enjoy a 2 course sharing feast including a lovely glass of wine.
What we like
Trofeo Estate’s method of Terracotta Amphora aged wine is a great point of difference that affords a unique experience. There’s also the delicious food Whispering Vines café offers up, which we love for its honesty and authenticity without pretence.
What we don’t like
The café’s casual vibes are great but can mean the lunch service can sometimes run a bit long for a wine tour, but is perfect for a leisurely lunch