Between the calm waters of Port Philip Bay and the howling seas of the Bass Strait, there is a narrow stretch of land that is home to a vineyard and restaurant known as The Cups Estate.
As a child, Joe Fisicaro and his family immigrated to Australia from Sicily, settling down on his grandfather’s farm in southern New South Wales. Joe later pursued and succeeded in a career in finance but the call of the land was too strong, so with help from his family and viticulturist Greg Thomson, he set about creating his own vineyard.
They planted their vines along a southern strip of the Mornington Peninsula renowned for its undulating sand dunes that form the shapes of cups and saucers. Situated further south than most vineyards, the terroir is coastal and features calcareous, sandy soil with limestone reefs that produce delicate, perfumed wines. Today, Lee Fisicaro runs the family business, continuing and expanding upon his father’s dream.
Venture into the restaurant for sophisticated yet relaxed dining with stunning views across the vineyard. Nick Bladin leads the kitchen team as they prepare a range of European tapas and sharing plates inspired by the family’s Sicilian background and travels abroad. Being a Mornington Peninsula local, Nick incorporates some of the best local produce into his menu, while herbs and some vegetables are grown on-site in their organic kitchen garden.
Whet your appetite with pulled pork and morcilla croquettes topped with smoked tomato and aioli or warm olives grown just a few meters from the restaurant. Take your tastebuds on a trip to Europe with some of the best Italian and Spanish charcuterie. When it comes to more substantial offerings it’s hard to go past the pan-roasted duck breast with butternut pumpkin puree, pickled apple, hazelnuts and bitter leaves.
Traditional Sicilian donuts are the perfect way to conclude your evening, especially when they’re topped with white chocolate ganache, strawberries, almonds and vanilla ice cream.
No matter your culinary selection you’re sure to find a perfect drop to match among The Cups range of wines. The single vineyard, cool-climate creations showcase the natural characteristics of each grape variety while also highlighting The Cups’ unique terroir.
The Cups Pinot Noir is delicate, elegant and perfect for enjoying with a meal. Featuring a fragrant nose and a true Burgundian character, the palate is bright and uplifting with earthy characteristics that balance perfectly with the natural cherry flavours of the fruit.
As you take in the fragrant characteristics of the wine, let your eyes gaze over the rolling sand dunes, olive grove and vineyard that has provided the very fruit you’re drinking. The wall-to-ceiling windows of the distinctive hexagonal shaped building bring the view and vines onto your table.
The friendly and welcoming staff can help incorporate visits to local landmarks such as the neighbouring Peninsula Hot Springs. If you’d rather spend the day indulging in their delicious wines, accommodation packages are also available.
Conveniently located near Portsea, Sorrento, Blairgowrie and Rye, The Cups is the perfect addition to any Mornington Peninsula trip.