About us

Fine Wine Merchant was established in 2010 and remains one of Australia's leading independent fine wine retail stores. We specialise in boutique and premium Australia wine, as well as great wine from the world's best regions and producers. We also carry a select range of premium spirits, beers, glassware and accessories. We host a range of dinners and tasting events on an ad-hoc basis, as well as regular in-store tastings.

Our store

Our store is located in the village of Mount Eliza, about 45 minutes drive south of Melbourne on the beautiful Mornington Peninsula.  The address is shop 9, 87 Mount Eliza Way, Mount Eliza.  We generally carry around 1,200 different wines in-stock at any time, roughly half Australian and half imported, representing all of the world’s great wine regions, styles and producers.  We offer wine from $10 to many thousands of dollars per bottle, and all wines we offer are physically in-stock.

We also offer a tailored, premium selection of local and international spirits, such as tiny-production gins, classic Scotch Whisky, exotic liqueurs and classic benchmark distillations from around the world.  We also carry a range of local and international beers, from boutique brews to famous imported brands – ALL of which are the real thing, fully-imported, fresh and brewed in their place of origin – no ‘brewed under licence’ imitations!

Rather than merely providing an online list of our stockholdings, this website is designed to provide significant and substantial information on the various regions, producers and wines that we offer.  All of this content, including all photos, tasting notes and producer information is drawn from our years of visiting these regions and producers, and we hope demonstrates our vast experience and integrity in offering these wines.

Our selection

We offer wines that we believe are of high-quality from makers striving to produce unique wines reflective of their site, and that also represent good value.  These considerations tend to identify boutique producers from Australia and New Zealand, as well as world-renowned producers from classic old-world regions.  Each producer and every wine is selected by us as being worthy of your consideration.  Many, if not the majority of these wines, come from producers who utilise eco-friendly, sustainable, minimal-intervention techniques, and are often organic and/or biodynamic.

Importantly, all of the wines listed on our website are physically in stock and owned by our business – not merely a reproduction of various suppliers’ wholesale pricelists that may or may not actually be available. We are a genuine fine wine merchant in the traditional sense of the occupation.

We look forward to your custom, and thank you for your support.

The merchants

STEWART PLANT

Stewart has worked as a specialised fine wine merchant for more than two decades, having previously been a diplomat with the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.  Apart from extensively sampling the world’s great wines for many years, he has completed significant formal wine training, including the London-based Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET) Intermediate and Advanced Courses, as well as successfully completed the first year of the notoriously rigorous Master of Wine qualification (before his children devoured his study time!).  In 2004 Stewart won the prestigious Negociants Australia ‘Working With Wine Fellowship’, and also won the separate Wine Writing Award the same year.

Stewart has been an Associate Judge in several major wine shows, has had articles appear in numerous publications, including The Age ‘Epicure’ and Gourmet Traveller Wine Magazine, and for several years hosted a weekly wine segment on Brisbane radio station 4BC.

Whilst he enjoys nearly any great wine style, his personal preferences include Pinot Noir (both local and Burgundian expressions), Barolo, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Spanish wines (especially from Bierzo and Rioja), and great Chardonnay.  He also has a compelling interest in the great wines of the Napa Valley, Sonoma Valley and Santa Cruz Mountains.

Stewart lives on the stunning Mornington Peninsula with his beautiful wife, Melissa, and their slightly crazy family of six kids.  Outside of wine, he is also a practicing solicitor, and is currently completing a Master of Laws degree focusing on environmental, biodiversity and climate change law.

PETER BESSEY

Peter has been actively involved in the wine industry since the mid 1990s in a range of capacities, including winery manager, COO and general manager, and has also owned and run restaurants and bars during his years… not to mention being a professional golf caddy and running a golf course design business (which he claims are work).  Peter established the Mount Eliza store with Stewart in October 2012.

Notwithstanding a love of gin and tonic, Peter adores Champagne, Spanish and anything Italian.

Peter is a long-term Mount Eliza resident with his wife and daughter.

RHIANNON KANE

Rhiannon is the newest addition to the FWM family.  She discovered an interest in wine while studying a linguistics degree and decided to change her career trajectory.  She has spent the last few years travelling to different wine regions and working vintages around the world and Australia.  She has worked in California, Tasmania, Vancouver Island, the Yarra Valley and most recently here on the Mornington Peninsula.  She made the move from wine production to retail as a way to learn more about wine on a global scale and loves sampling wines she normally wouldn’t be able to – research is incredibly important!  She is part-way through her university degree studying viticulture and oenology, with a view to one day returning to winemaking.

Rhiannon enjoys drinking Burgundy, both red and white, and will take any opportunity to pop a bottle of Champagne, much to the detriment of her bank account.