Foxeys Hangout grows and makes premium sparkling and still varietal wines in the cool climate maritime region of Victoria's Mornington Peninsula
Brothers Michael and Tony Lee personally make a select range of sophisticated sparkling wines using the exacting bottle fermented process pioneered in France's Champagne region. Their highly rated still wines showcase the Peninsula's flagship varieties of pinot noir, pinot gris and chardonnay. On a beautiful and historic property at the gateway to the Peninsula's vine draped hills, the Lee brothers offer visitors wine, food and the rare and exciting opportunity to create and bottle a unique sparkling wine blend of their own. After two decades of owning and running popular and award-winning Melbourne hospitality businesses, brothers Michael and Tony Lee turned their years of love and knowledge of fine wines into a livelihood on Victoria's beautiful Mornington Peninsula.
The brothers planted their first vineyard in 1997, at Merricks North near the iconic Peninsula road junction named Foxeys Hangout, from which our label takes its name. The pair later assumed the management of the former Massoni vineyard at Red Hill then owned by their mentor, the Australian sparkling wine pioneer Ian Home. The brothers have undertaken further plantings of pinot noir, chardonnay and pinot gris in Red Hill on a historic farming property, the home of Foxey's winery and cellar door. Inspired by the benchmark vintages of France's Champagne region, Michael believes that the Mornington Peninsula's potential as a producer of great sparkling wine is yet to be fully realised.
Michael began his career in the corporate world but quickly found himself buying, operating and renovating a series of Melbourne cafes and restaurants in partnership with his brother Tony and their mother Margaret, including the French restaurants Les Halles and Garcon.
Together the brothers opened one of Melbourne's first gastro-pubs in the early 1990s, South Yarra's Argo Hotel, which specialised in Victorian and fine European wines. In 2002, this enterprise was sold, allowing Michael and Tony to focus on Foxeys Hangout. Michael is responsible for Foxey's sparkling winemaking and unique cellar-door sparkling disgorgement program.
Tony was 15 when he spent a week on work experience at Fergusson's Winery in Victoria's Yarra Valley - and he was hooked. He confesses that at the time his desire to become a winemaker may have been driven as much by his awe of Peter Fergusson's red sports car and glamorous girlfriend as by his newly awakened interest in wine.
Nevertheless, two years later he was off to South Australia's Roseworthy College to study winemaking, studies destined to be interrupted, but which he resumed in the 1990s at Charles Sturt University in New South Wales. In the intervening years, Tony trained as chef as well as training his palate in highly specialised industry wine courses and competitions, while running the family businesses with Michael. Tony is primarily responsible for the production of Foxey's still wines, as well as cooking for visitors at the cellar door kitchen. Foxey's take great pride in their award winning Peninsula shiraz range. Their White Gates single vineyard makes an outstanding pinot noir that's only available through the Foxeys Hangout cellar door.
Hand tended and made by hand, the Foxeys wines are the Lee brothers’ personal expression of regional integrity, respect for the vineyard, exacting winermaking and exciting flavours. In 13 years of growing and making wine on Victoria's Mornington Peninsula, Michael and Tony Lee have focused on the Peninsula's flagship cool-climate varieties - pinot noir, pinot gris (also known as pinot grigio) and chardonnay.