Our Story

Nestled at the foothills of Red Hill in Victoria on the Mornington Peninsula, Trofeo Estate is a family-owned boutique winery, cellar door and restaurant overlooking 50 acres of scenic rural vineyard. Originally housing a passionfruit cannery circa 1930, the venue’s long-standing history is reflected throughout with tall ceilings and windows, rustic exposed red brick, industrial concrete flooring, and complemented with elegant timber finishes.

The Estate previously operated as a winery in the 1950s, however due to a devastating bushfire in 1967 the vines were destroyed. It was then used as a pasture and dairy cool stores, until preceding owners Bob and Sue Pieme planted vines in 1998. Our current owners Jim and Kathy Manolios acquired the Estate in 2012, where it was named Trofeo meaning ‘trophy’ in Italian, after Jim’s motorsports company. Our owners have since worked tirelessly alongside our founding winemaker Richard Darby to nurture the vineyard, incorporating organic farming and viticulture principles to revive the vineyard.

Jim’s background in science (BSc majoring in Biochemistry) and passion for wine encouraged him to explore alternative winemaking methods in pursuit of producing wine in its purest form, without the use of oak barrels. After researching several winemaking methods, Jim and Richard identified modern Amphorae (terracotta) as a viable way to ferment and mature wine. Today, Trofeo are considered the largest producer of terracotta amphora wine in the Southern hemisphere. Jim’s interest in wine can be traced back more than 300 years to his family’s Greek heritage on the Island of Samos.