The London-based Bibendum Hunting Party visited the Mornington Peninsula after touring wine regions throughout Australia. These lads were wined and dined by the nation's most iconic wine brands, so how does the Peninsula go about entertaining six wine hunters who sell over £20 million of wine annually? They pull-out the big guns.
To ensure an unforgettable experience, event organiser, Arthur O'Bryan asks Captain Johnny Wrout, a local fisherman with property on Flinders Island, to fly freshly caught crayfish to his secluded beach-house overlooking Balnarring Point. Here, one-hundred metres offshore, out on Western Port Bay, a padlocked underwater pen is where the Captain’s giant crayfish are fattened up for the pending feast.
A glorious day greets the Hunting Party on Balnarring Beach as they roll-up their trousers and sip Stonier Cuveé while splashing about in the shallows. Out on the water, bare-chested Captain Wrout (wearing his pink budgie smugglers) rows a wooden dinghy out to hunt and gather lunch. After locating the wire pen, he untangles the scaly crays from their watery lair, returning to the beach with four massive creatures splayed out on the bottom of his boat.
The lads enjoy a flight of Mornington Peninsula Chardonnay as Chef Guy Mirabella cooks the orange crustaceans over an outdoor fire, serving them on a linen-draped table festooned with cheese, roast potatoes salads and local chocolates. Feasting on fresh crayfish while the swell rolls along a sun-dappled ocean is without doubt the Peninsula's finest moment.
During summer, the Mornington Peninsula is a glorious location for winemaking. The Southern Ocean wedges this crab-claw of rolling hills, volcanic soils and leafy vineyards on three sides so it's constantly cooled by the maritime breeze. Occasionally this secret spot is shared with the rest of the world. The UK Bibendum Hunting Party left the region with three pallets of Mornington Peninsula wine bound for high-end department stores like Sainsburys and London restaurants like Hibiscus, Sketch and Jamie Oliver's Fifteen.