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Food & Wine

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Food and Wine

Fertile soil and the maritime climate make this region an ideal place to grow things we eat and drink. These environmental factors combined with the relaxed, easygoing nature of the region make it less pretentious and earthier than other 'foodie' destinations in Victoria and Australia.

More than 40 vineyards and cellar doors in the region welcome visitors to sample their wine. Many also have restaurants, art features or accommodation on site.

The wine is terrific, but it's only part of the story in this region. Some specialty produce has long been established in the region, but some newer food product is beginning to make waves in the region.

Bounded on three sides by water, fresh seafood has always been a feature of the region. Recently this amazing product has become even more accessible with the emergence of local fisheries, provedores and fishermens cooperatives selling direct to the public. Portarlington mussels and Apollo Bay crayfish have long-standing reputations among the local food and restaurant crowd.

The rolling hills of the hinterland, volcanic plains and lush peninsula soil are growing all sorts of delicious treats. There are olive groves producing some of Victoria's best fruit and oil, berry farms where the family can roll up their sleeves and pick their own - the taste of fruit freshly picked by your own hand is incomparable.

Other foods are emerging too - cheese, hydroponic vegetables, eggs and other meat products are being grown locally and, in many cases, featured on the menus of local eateries.

Many of the food and wine experiences in the region have been packaged up into neat touring routes, complete with maps and information about their specific area.  Otway Harvest Trail and 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail are worth exploring. Call into a visitor information centre for a guide.

Highlights

Gentle Annie Berry Gardens

Nestled in the picturesque Pennyroyal Valley near Deans Marsh; Gentle Annie Berry Gardens look forward to welcoming you and your family to their berry farm. Spend time wandering the farm picking a variety of berries, organic vegetables and orchard fruit, or simply drop in for a coffee and piece of cake, Devonshire tea, lunch or afternoon tea in the licensed cafe. Gluten free and dairy free offered on menu. When possible Gentle Annie choose to use organic produce and products. Their suppliers are local including the wines, beers and ciders. In the produce shop you will find a variety of Gentle Annie's jams, chutneys, sorbets, wines, beers and a selection of local produce. Now also open for Twilight Dinners on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Phone for details & for bookings. They can offer Gentle Annie as your next function or wedding event. Check website for updates on fruit in season and special events.

Otway Estate

Otway Estate occupies a forest clearing in the northern foothills of the lovely Otway range. Initially a winery, the mainstay of the business is now the hand-crafted Prickly Moses Beer and Forbidden Fruit Cider manufactured on-site. Otway Estate offers self-contained spa cottage accommodation set amongst the bush with views over the vines. Relaxing spas, your own deck, undercover parking and plenty of privacy, the cottages really do offer a unique getaway and enable guests to experience the peace and tranquillity of the bush surrounds. Now dog friendly, Otway Estate welcomes well behaved canines on leash. Both in the Brewery outlet and accommodation, you are welcome to visit with your canine companion. Also now offering dog training facilities at the Estate with a qualified dog trainer. Any beer connoisseur knows you need good water to make good beer. Otway Estate beers are produced using pure Otway rainwater, so not only are they good beers, they are sensational beers. Offering an excellent conference and function facility, Otway Estate is available for functions, special events, conferences, weddings and group bookings from the small and intimate, to large and corporate, Otway Estate can cater to your needs. The Brewery Outlet is open Friday through Sunday, offering a small selection of light meals during lunch hours. Held annually is Otway Estate's Oktoberfest event, offering authentic food, music and of course great beer, it is an event not to miss.

Otway Harvest Trail

The unique combination of aspect, soils, climate and farming practices of the Otway hinterland produce distinctive and exceptional flavours in our produce that cannot be found anywhere else. The Otway Harvest Trail is a celebration of the seasons that bestow their rich bounty on a luscious part of Victoria. Spring is a time of plenty and promise. As the winter gives way to warm sunny days, see the bright patchwork of yellow canola fields appear, the farmers out mowing their grass and baling their hay and the spring lambs frolicking on a frosty morning. The first berries appear. Green shoots can be seen in the vineyards as the vines burst their buds and flowers and spring vegetables appear at farm gate stalls. New release wines can be found at cellar doors. Summer is all about being outdoors. All the berry farms have opened and their sweet juicy berries are ripe for the picking. The lush emerald green of the vineyards become more distinctive as the land around slowly turns a golden brown. People clamour for outdoor tables and chairs at cafés and restaurants to soak in the warm days, mild evenings and glorious pastel sunsets. Local wines and beers go so well with the seafood, vegetables and fruits in plentiful supply. Wine lovers are welcomed at cellar doors and their curiosity is rewarded with the discovery of new wines. Autumn is a time of harvest. The days become still and warm, and the crisp cool nights are perfect for sleeping. With the winter rains not far away, the wineries are busy harvesting their fruit and the vignerons hands become garnet red as they nurture the new wines through their ferment. It is also time to harvest the olives from their groves before the first frosts of winter arrive. Smell the fruity aroma of the extra virgin olive oil as it flows from the presses. The last of the berries are picked. Winter is a time for taking stock of the seasons passed and making ready for the farming year ahead. The farmers plough their fields and sow their winter crops. Vineyards, olive groves and orchards are pruned and readied for a new season. Fences are mended. The days shorten and become colder. Cattle turn their backs to the wind. Dams pent over the summer begin to refill. Root vegetables appear at the farm gate stands. It’s a time for reflection and for savouring the joys of recently harvested produce. Lengthy conversations occur over bottles of wine in front of toasty log fires. Eventually the tell tale signs of another Spring begin to appear.
 

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Packages & Offers

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people.

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

High Tea on the High Seas - Searoad Ferries

Experience High Tea on the High Seas in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge on board the Queenscliff Sorrento Ferry.
Enjoy table service in elegant surroundings, exquisite food, quality tea and real coffee!

$40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.

Every Sunday from February to November
12pm sailing from Sorrento
3pm sailing from Queenscliff.

To book visit www.searoad.com.au or contact 03 5258 3244

 

Blues Train & BIG 4 Beacon Resort - May and August

Enjoy the legendary Blues Train and the equally legendary BIG4 Beacon Resort with this package, from $497 for two people:

  • $40.00 per person and includes immediate return travel on the same ferry for a leisurely experience.
  • 2 nights accommodation.
  • Charcuterie Plate dinner and live band at Flying Brick Cider House, and a 1 litre cider ‘Growler’ to take home.
  • $50 voucher for Mud Day Spa, located at the resort.
  • Breakfast hamper.
  • Extend your stay with early check in (10am) and late check out (6pm).
  • P: 5258 1133 or book online

Only valid for Blues Train events in May and August 2015. Terms & conditions apply.

 

Family Supatramp & Stay Package at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Bring the kids and their bucketloads of energy to BIG 4 Beacon Resort with this Supatramp accommodation deal for 2 adults and 2 children, from $459.

  • 2 nights in a Queenscliff cabin.
  • A Supatramp pass for each child including an hour of clip ‘n climb and an hour of trampolining, plus socks and $10 to spend in the café.
  • 1 hour GoKart hire at the resort.
  • Unlimited DVD hire and a milkshake for each child from the resort shop.
  • Late 6pm checkout.
  • P: 1800 351 152 or book online

Offer available from 11 March to 30 April 2015. Terms and conditions apply.