Max's Restaurant at Red Hill Estate
53 Shoreham Road, Red Hill South, VIC
03 5931 0177
Max's Restaurant in Red Hill South encapsulates the pure “Peninsula experience” from the comfort of the dining table. It’s as pleasing on the eye as it is on the taste buds.
Described by Ian Sutton, former CEO of the Australian Winemakers Federation, as “the best view of any vineyard in the world”, Max’s creates sumptuous dishes that display the full range of fresh produce from local farms and suppliers.
Like many Australians, Max Paganoni was inspired by travelling overseas and, after enjoying a working holiday through Europe, returned to his native Mornington Peninsula with a clear vision of what he wanted to do: establish a high quality dining experience to showcase the fine produce and growing reputation of the cool climate wines of the region.
Almost twenty years later and Max’s Restaurant is living proof that dreams can become reality. Max selected his site and went about creating the region’s very first winery restaurant. Red Hill Estate, in the Peninsula hinterland, offers stunning views and is close to other attractions such as the hot springs, mazes and beaches.
The estate was one of the first Peninsula vineyards, with vines first planted in 1989 and the cellar door open since 1991. Since then it has established itself as one of the region’s leading wineries with a five-star rating from James Halliday and a string of award-winning cool climate chardonnay, pinot noir and shiraz. It specialises in textured, complex and elegant wines that naturally express the old, rich and uniform soils, enhanced by the maritime coastal environment.
Since opening its doors eighteen years ago, Max’s Restaurant has established itself as a regional icon, consistently living out its promise of delivering fine food and wine in a welcoming environment, with the scenery to match. This has been recognised by winning “best tourism restaurant in Australia” , inducted into the Hall of Fame by Tourism Victoria.
Max takes an active role in the day-to-day running of the restaurant. Max is the Executive Chef, with Head Chef, Adam Bastian, working alongside him. Max’s Restaurant is open every day of the year for lunch and offers dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings. It is a popular venue for group celebrations, corporate events and weddings, with a modern Australian menu on offer, and a firm focus on local seasonal produce.
Diners look out over the vineyard to Western Port Bay and Phillip Island and the restaurant has a regular flow of returning clientele who appreciate the consistency of food, wine and friendly, professional service.
A multitude of local produce is used at the restaurant. This includes berries from Sunny Ridge; cherries from Ellisfield Farm; cheeses from Main Ridge Dairy, Boatshed Cheeses and Red Hill Cheese; meats from Somerville Village Meats; organic vegetables from Peninsula Fresh Organics; fruits and vegetables from Sciclunas Grocers; beers from Red Hill Brewery and Mornington Peninsula Brewery; and Max’s olive oil and balsamic vinegar produced on the Mornington Peninsula.
In addition to the restaurant itself, Max also has a produce line, two accommodation properties and a new touring business. He works closely with the Mornington Peninsula Vigneron’s Association, Tourism Victoria and Tourism Australia to promote the businesses and the Mornington Peninsula as a whole.