Red Hill Wine Collective is a far cry from your average bottle shop. The aptly named collective is located at the heart of the Mornington Peninsula’s wine region, and offers something for every taste. Local and owner Tom Portet came from a high profile fine-wine buying position, but decided to pursue enjoyment over the corporate life.
It’s the independence of the space that makes it feel more like a cosy wine bar than a store. The unassuming store-front leads into a space filled with local and international wines, beers and spirits. It’s all too easy to spend an hour perusing the selection and learning from Tom, eager to share his love for the craft of winemaking. Tom keeps the range rotating, tasting up to 100 bottles a week, just getting on the shelf means whatever you choose is worth your pick.
The venture was originally intended to be a showcase of local wines, and brands without cellar doors, but has evolved to offer a much broader range of beverages from near and far. Tom found that customers were not only interested in drinking local wines, but also wanted a taste of what couldn’t be made here. “If you want a big juicy Shiraz” he told us, “you can’t make that down here, so you make it in the Barossa or France somewhere”.
While visiting, a delivery of small and oddly shaped French salami called Saucisson arrived and were hung near the entrance to be bought alongside your next bottle. Unlike large bottle shops, sourcing from smaller producers who take more care means you cannot choose wrong. “If it’s not mass produced it tends to work” - a motto he sticks to passionately, “I enjoy it and that’s all that really matters!”
You can order a curated box of wines via the RHWC website - a half, full or double dozen mix of the best local and international wines.
Tom also runs Nordie Cafe with his wife Rina, two doors up. We recommend making a day of it, heading down for lunch and a wine tasting on Saturdays.