Geraldine McFaul

Set in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula, with the sea never far away, LL Vineyard (formerly named Willow Creek Vineyard) produces cool, maritime climate wines that are intimately connected to the region’s windswept coastline and earthy bounty.

Winemaker Geraldine McFaul confesses she's enchanted by it. 'Every LL Vineyard vintage reflects the season so clearly, and we end up with wine time capsules that reflect the beauty – serene or wild – that nature's delivered us.'

'In the rolling hills around our corner of the Peninsula there are dozens of cellar doors, breweries, distilleries, farm gates, growers, galleries and restaurants,' Geri says. Their common thread? An 'expression of passion and place'.

The relationship between creativity and nature on the Mornington Peninsula is self-sustaining for Geraldine and many of the region's makers and producers. 'The region lends itself so beautifully to these pursuits, and I love being among a community of creatives.'

Closer to home, she says, the people she works with at Jackalope – a stunning luxury hotel set within the vineyard, which also includes two restaurants, Doot Doot Doot and Rare Hare – are also a huge motivation. 'With their focus on absolute excellence in hospitality, I am inspired to make wines that match their brilliance.'

Geraldine shares some of her top inspirational spots on the Mornington Peninsula.

1. Coastal walks

The walk from Somers to Sandy Point along the shore of Western Port Bay is a favourite of Geraldine's. The sandy stroll is incredibly peaceful, with views out to Phillip Island and French Island as you near the point, and bonus dolphin-spotting on the way.

2. Moorooduc Estate

Richard McIntyre of Moorooduc Estate wines makes incredible sourdough bread, if you're lucky enough to get a loaf. Pop in on Saturdays and Sundays to fill your bread bin. Pick up some of wife Jill McIntyre's preserves and produce, and sample the wonderful Moorooduc Estate wines.

3. Sculpture trails

The Mornington Peninsula is renowned for its easy combination of award-winning art and wine. Take Geraldine's advice and explore the sculpture trails at McClelland Gallery, Montalto and Pt Leo Estate wineries, where larger-than-life creations dot the natural landscape.

4. The Somers General

Geraldine's top tip for brekkie is The Somers General. 'Their wood-smoked ham and gruyere Benedict is a staple,' she says. Perfect paired with a windswept beach walk before or after your jaunt.

5. Rare Hare

'My absolute favourite,' Geraldine says, is 'lunch overlooking our own LL Vineyard at Rare Hare.' Okay, perhaps she's a little biased, but with excellent reason. This award-winning restaurant combines exceptional regional produce with plentiful vineyard views.

"I'm enchanted by the changing land and seascapes of the Mornington Peninsula, which have such a visceral impact on the growing and making of our wines."

— Geraldine McFaul, LL Vineyard


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