44 Paringa Rd, Red Hill South
03 5989 2669
Having a ‘wine epiphany’ has become something of a cliché, but for Lindsay McCall, this moment led to the establishment of an award-winning winery on the picture-perfect Mornington Peninsula. The wine he tasted was a 1980 Seville Estate Shiraz, which he ordered in a restaurant one night in 1983. Until that moment, he hadn’t realised that Victoria could produce a wine of such calibre.
The following year, Lindsay, a geography teacher at the time, bought an old north-facing orchard. A year later, after clearing it, he began planting the 10-acre property with vines. The business grew and soon Lindsay was able to pursue another vision – to create a restaurant that would make Paringa a food and wine destination. He didn’t want to open a cafe, but a venue that would serve high-quality food to match his wines. This restaurant opened in 1999.
In 2013 Lindsay hired Head Chef, Julian Hills, whose hard work and culinary vision resulted in the restaurant being awarded a Chef’s Hat within a year, and every year since. The beginning of 2018 saw Julian pass the baton on to Paringa’s new Head Chef, Adam Beckett. Boasting a resume that is filled with Michelin star venues such as Hurst House, Lords of Manor and Atlantic Hotel Jersey, Adam moved to Australia in 2014 to work in locally famed venues Jonah’s, Quay and Vue de Monde.
Sharing a similar philosophy to his predecessor, Adam’s menu is a celebration of locally sourced, seasonal produce with flowers, herbs and vegetables grown on-site, while wild offerings are foraged from the surrounding lands of the Mornington Peninsula. Keeping in line with the season, Adam changes the menu regularly though holds true to his signature bold flavours and European influences. Each dish works perfectly with the extensive collection of Paringa Estate wines that Lindsay has created of the past 30 years and wine matching is available.
Thanks to a recent renovation, Paringa Estate now glistens on its iconic hillside location. The competition on the Peninsula is getting pretty stiff, with the recent addition of wineries such as Pt. Leo Estate and Jackalope to the mix, but Paringa stays at the top of its game, reminding any newcomers of the celebrity status that this winery has developed. Guests are lured inside by an impressive, statement door and once inside a luxurious dining room greets you. The updates may be obvious but the warm and intimate vibe that Paringa has become so well known for remains. The wine list has also been extended beyond the Paringa offering to an array of international drops, collated restaurant manager, James Vercoe.
The restaurant overlooks the undulating slopes of the vineyard, where the Toulouse geese roam. They’re not on the menu, maybe try the duck instead. Pair it with a glass of Paringa Estate Pinot Noir, and it’s one of those matches made in heaven. But then, that’s Paringa Estate for you.