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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.

The Geelong wine region boasts a winning combination of rich terroir and cool climate, similar to the renowned French wine regions of Bordeaux and Burgundy. The region consistently produces high-quality wine, with more than 13 Geelong wines featured in James Halliday's 'Australian Wine Companion 2012 - Best of the Best List'.

There are diversities within the greater region, spread from the maritime microclimate of The Bellarine and Surf Coast to the dark volcanic topsoils and dry, sandy outcrops of the Moorabool Valley. These sub-regional nuances add an intriguing, multi-faceted complexity to Geelong wines.

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. Visit the Wine Geelong website by clicking here.

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. The Bellarine Taste Trail and Otway Harvest Trail are worth exploring. Call into a visitor information centre for a guide.

Highlights

Blakes Estate Winery

Blakes Estate is located in Deans Marsh, nestled in the foothills of the Otway Ranges in western Victoria. The winery is situated only 16 km from the coast near the town of Lorne and the Great Ocean Road. The close proximity to the coast ensures a warm summer and a long, dry autumn with temperatures modified by the maritime influence. This climate, together with the light, sandy, Tertiary aged Otway soils are perfect for growing Pinot Noir vines in which the vineyard specialises. Specialising in "Burgundy style" Pinot Noir and a "Champagne style" sparkling wine from their very own Pinot grapes. Also making a small volume of Rosé to compliment the other wines. Attention to detail and their small acreage of four acres enable Blakes Estate Winery to make a first class Pinot Noir, rich in fruit flavours with a satisfying middle palate and a long finish. The wines are matured in fine French oak barriques for up to 12 months and kept in the bottle for a further year prior to release. The vines are hand pruned, the grapes hand picked and the wine is hand made in the authentic French "Burgundian style", the area of origin of the pinot grape. The wine is not filtered, instead relying on racking between barrels for clarification, and using a minimum of preservative to ensure the full pinot characteristics come through in the finished wine. The Deans Marsh and Pennyroyal areas on the northern flanks of the Otway Ranges are noted for their strawberry and raspberry farms, which date back to the 1930's. Berries were sent daily by steam train to the Melbourne markets. Not surprisingly, there is a strong hint of raspberry with a touch of plum in our wine.

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 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. Our suppliers are local including the wines, beers and ciders. In the produce shop you will find a variety of Gentle Annie's jams, chutney's, sorbets and a selection of local produce.

Gosling Creek

Nestled in the stunning Otway Ranges of South Victoria, come celebrate what Gosling Creek Wines have to offer. Gosling Creek flows from the Great Otway National Park through fern gullies and picturesque rolling countryside to the Barwon River. The vineyard is located on the northern slopes, where the maritime influences of Bass Strait make an ideal location for cooler-climate grapes. The Gosling Creek wines range from pinot noir, which was the first set of 2000 vines planted, 10 years ago. Following that there are 2500 Shiraz and 2000 Riesling vines. The cellar door is open on weekends from September to June and everyday in January. Gosling Creek serves light lunches over the warmer months.

Geelong Wine Region

Whether it is the distinctive maritime flavours of The Bellarine, the ancient richness of the Moorabool Valley Wine Region or the rugged, exposed coastline of the Surf Coast, the Geelong Wine Region is united by boutique, family owned winegrowers producing premium quality hand crafted wines. With each sub region and winery displaying their own unique characteristics, visitors are invited to explore the diversity of the Geelong Wine Region's stunning scenery, touring routes and restaurants whilst sampling some of Victoria's finest cellar door experiences. Geelong's family owned boutique operators maximise their wine's potential by hand pruning, hand picking and hand crafting their wines allowing regional characters to develop. Areas within the region have varying microclimates influencing the depth of colour, bouquet and flavour of the wines. The Bellarine has a maritime climate with bay breeezes and spectacular views, whilst the hills and valleys of the Moorabool Valley – Anakie areas have a warm, continental style climate. The renowned Surf Coast is famous for its long summer days and cooling ocean breezes. James Halliday in his Wine Atlas of Australia and New Zealand wrote: "If there is a unifying feature in all of the Geelong wines, it is their strength and depth of colour, bouquet and flavour." Not only does the Geelong wine region produce some of Australia's best wines, but the wineries are surrounded by some of Victoria's best scenery and touring opportunities. The Geelong Wine Region. Fine wines – from our hands to yours. For a map of the winery region visit: http://www.winegeelong.com.au/wine_region/map

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.

Otways Wine & Food Lovers Trail

This trail traverses some of the most fertile land in Victoria which grows some of the state’s best produce. Breakfast can be enjoyed anywhere between Apollo Bay and Lorne before turning left into the Otways hinterland. The Deans Marsh and Pennyroyal area is renowned for its berries, olives and wineries. Further North, Birregurra is the hub of Otway produce and the perfect lunch stop. Heading back towards the Great Ocean Road via Forrest, which has a boutique brewery and an atmospheric cafe. Continue South through towering rainforest to Apollo Bay. Brochures for the Otway Harvest Trail, which details the growers and producers in this hinterland region, are available at local visitor information centres.

Dinny Goonan Wines

Dinny Goonan Wines is one of a handful of families pioneering grape and wine production in the Otway hinterland. Their wines have won numerous awards since the first commercial release in 2001. The vineyard and cellar door are conveniently situated on the inland road to Lorne, between Winchelsea and Deans Marsh. This location provides a great springboard to explore the Otways and surrounding attractions, and they are happy to share some local knowledge of other places to see and visit. Visitors are welcome to taste their wines and relax in the peaceful vineyard setting. You can find out more about the wines by talking to Dinny the winemaker, or stroll around the vineyard and winery. Vineyard platters are available on weekends between November and April and every day during January, so it is a great chance to take some time out to enjoy the wines, surrounded by the vines that produced them. The platters have a regional focus providing the opportunity to match local wines with regional produce. The only distractions will come from the Crimson Rosellas and Blue Winged Grass Parrots that have made the vineyard their home. They also offer a great coffee and a selection of local foodstuffs and oils. And then of course, there are their award winning wines. As a family run enterprise, everything is very much "hands on". The vines are hand pruned; they pick the grapes by hand and use traditional vinification and elevage techniques within the modern winery. They specialize in the production of cool climate Shiraz and Riesling. They also produce limited quantities of Cabernets (a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Malbec), a Semillon/Sauvignon and a Sparkling wine (a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay) which are available exclusively to their cellar door customers.

Forrest Brewing Company

Forrest Brewing Company equal parts micro brewery, eating place and mountain biking hang-out located in the Otways Hinterland township of Forrest. Brother and sister duo Matt and Sharon Bradshaw resurrected and rebuilt the former general store in Forrest, opening its doors in late 2010. The Forrest Brewing Company embodies all of the things to love about life, great beer, informal eating, good people, mountain biking and some occasional fishing all surrounded by an active community and beautiful environment. The Forrest Brewing Company, provides a place to stop, take a break, rest and relax in unique natural surrounds. The prefect start or end to your day's Mountain Biking or journey through the Great Ocean Road region. The restaurant serves fresh, informal, locally sourced food including breakfasts, lunch and dinners, washed down with our micro-brewed beer or locally roasted coffee. Forrest Brewing Company is an Independently owned, family run business, supporting a small regional township. It is a relatively young micro brewery on the Victorian beer scene with four standard beers available on tap for tasting and take-away, limited release beers available each season. Their beer is produced in small 600 litre batches, the working brewery can be seen via a viewing window, all beers are brewed on site, nothing is contracted. Offering a true boutique product not widely available outside of Forrest, Beers are brewed using water from the Otway's rainforest. Forrest Brewing Company welcomes group and function bookings including car clubs, bike clubs and walking groups through out the year. The brewery is often really busy of a weekend, so it's a good idea to book!

St Anne's Vineyard

St Anne's Vineyards is a family owned wine company that was established some 30 years ago in the Pentland Hills at Myrniong, Southern Victoria. Since its humble beginnings, the company has expanded and seen substantial vineyard development at Perricoota, Moama Southern NSW. St Anne's Myrniong Vineyard was established by Allan & Shirley McLean in 1972. The extremely cool climate and high annual rainfall combine to form premium viticultural conditions. The vineyard at Myrniong is low yielding producing premium cool quality fruit. Located 200km North of Myrniong, 250km Melbourne, St Anne's Perricoota Vineyards were established in 1994 by Allan and Shirley McLean. The ideal growing conditions combined with modern viticulture techniques are combined to produce premium quality fruit and in turn, premium quality wine. The 21st century has seen St Anne's management passed down to second-generation family members seeking broader horizons and new challenges. We invite you to sample our product.

The Food Purveyor

The Food Purveyor brings together a collection of exquisite, regional foods made by incredible artisans and small-scale food and wine producers. Tasty basics to get you started through to luxury treats. Everything is made with quality ingredients that are brought to life by passionate people. Take a journey through the Great Ocean Road region and let The Food Purveyor bring the best food to you. Choose one of our delicious hampers and add in anything that you desire such as wine, a little extra chocolate, some more chutneys, the list is endless. The Food Purveyor hamper can be delivered to your home or holiday accommodation. A perfect start to your holiday or weekend away. All packaged in a beautiful keepsake bag which is perfect for shopping, going to the beach or taking a picnic. For more information on the types of hampers available please visit the website.

Advance Mussel Supply

Welcome to Advance Mussel Supply. Their shop is now open! Welcome to the home of Fresh Portarlington Mussels and Angasi Oysters. Fresh from the farm to you, come visit them and see. Advance Mussel Supply is a family owned and operated business that has been farming Mussels in Port Phillip Bay, Victoria, for over 30 years. They are one of the original Mussel farmers in Port Phillip Bay and one of the largest. They have multiple growing sites at Clifton Springs and Grassy point aquaculture zones. Advance Mussel Supply has been a pioneer in developing new growing techniques and building purpose built equipment and boats. Their goal is to produce high quality mussels all year round. After experimenting with Angasi oysters over the last couple of years they now have Angasi (Flat Oysters) for sale. They are now cooking Mussels and Oysters for you to enjoy and selling fresh Mussels and Oysters for you to take home and cook your self. For more information on Advance Mussel Supply please send them an e-mail or give them a call.
 

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Packages & Offers

Twilight Cruise - Searoad Ferries

Take a stroll on the viewing decks, sample some of the regions finest produce, all in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge.

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.

Fireside Jazz Series at Jack Rabbit

Two wonderful evenings featuring seven of the best Jazz musicians in the business, at the gorgeous Jack Rabbit Vineyard.

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort.

Queenscliffe Bricks LEGO Creations

'Queenscliffe Bricks' is bringing its display of LEGO models to Point Lonsdale.

Legendary Blues Train Weekend: Stay & Play, Save 50%

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, cool drinks and a good laugh.

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite.

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

$240 per couple per night

Girls Indulgence Getaway

Reboot your life with an indulgent Girl's Getaway.

Twilight Cruise - Searoad Ferries

Take a stroll on the viewing decks and find the best spot to capture the setting sun. Sample some of the regions finest artisan products from both the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsulas. Enjoy a regional produce platter with an award winning wine, locally made ale or cider, all in the privacy of the Portsea Lounge.

$35.00 per person (includes return sailing between Sorrento and Queenscliff)

Every Friday and Saturday from April to December
4pm sailing from Sorrento
5pm sailing from Queenscliff

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

 

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

 

Fireside Jazz Series at Jack Rabbit

Two wonderful evenings featuring seven of the best Jazz musicians in the business, at the gorgeous Jack Rabbit Vineyard.

Saturday June 21 + Saturday August 2

$90 per person, including three-course dinner and show. Drinks at bar prices.

Limited numbers.

To book phone 52512223 or email functions@jackrabbit.com.au

www.jackrabbitvineyard.com.au

 

Drive In + Chill Out at BIG4 Beacon Resort

$317 for 2 adults & up to 2 children (save 60%)

  • 2 nights in a Lonsdale Villa
  • Unlimited Mountain Bike Hire
  • Unlimited DVD Hire
  • A daily Espresso Coffee or Hot Chocolate per person
  • A bottle of local wine
  • Free Daily Kids Activities
  • An extra Long Late Check-out to 6.00pm

Plus get two LI'TYA Deep Ocean Renewal Facials for the price of 1 at the resort's Mud Day Spa (save $120)

And there's plenty of indoor fun at the resort with an indoor heated swimming pool and 8-seater spa, an indoor toddler playroom and a games room. Add another layer of clothing and there's even more to explore outside! BIG4 Beacon Resort is the ideal base to check out Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale.

Phone 1800 351 152 or Book Online.

Terms and Conditions: Offer expires on 31/08/2014

 

Queenscliffe Bricks LEGO Creations

'Queenscliffe Bricks' is bringing its display of LEGO models to Point Lonsdale.

Featuring new displays, a free-play area, retail shop and a “selfies” LEGO movie stand.

21 + 22 June 2014
Point Lonsdale Primary School
$10 - Adults
$6 - Children 6 - 14
FREE - Under 5

Book online at www.trybooking.com/71506

For more information and ticketing visit www.queensclifferotary.org.au.

 

Legendary Blues Train Weekend: Stay & Play, Save 50%

A unique musical experience! Toe tapping entertainment, cool drinks and a good laugh. Make a weekend of exploring Queenscliff with 2 nights’ accommodation at the award-winning BIG4 Beacon Resort including Blues Train tickets, return transfers to the event, buffet breakfast, 6pm checkout, local discounts and more.

Only $487 per couple.

Phone: 1800 351 152 or visit BIG4 Beacon Resort for more information.
 

Seahaven Village - Taste of The Bellarine $495

Relax at stunning Barwon Heads Friday and Saturday night in a cosy 4.5 star one bedroom spa suite. Enjoy fabulous bonuses including:

  • A $70 dinner voucher
  • Welcome pack including wine, chocolates and a breakfast basket
Stay between Sunday and Thursday nights and receive THREE nights accommodation for the same price.

T: 03 5254 1066
 

Barwon Heads Golf Club - Winter Escape with Free Golf

This winter, guests who book a standard room at our normal Bed and Breakfast rate play golf for free. Want an even better reason to take a break? The Club is rated one of Australia’s Top 10 public access courses.

From $240 per room per night.
($120 p/p twin share)

  • Accommodation in a standard room with ensuite at Barwon Heads Golf Club
  • Fully cooked breakfast
  • A complimentary round of golf each person (normally up to $85 each).

Address: Golf Links Rd, Barwon Heads, Victoria 3227

To book:

Phone: 03 5255 6255
Fax: 03 5255 6266
Website: www.bhgc.com.au
Email: reservations@bhgc.com.au

T&C's: Valid Sunday to Thursday inclusive. 1st June to 31 August 2014. Dress requirements apply on course and in the clubhouse.
 

Girls Indulgence Getaway

Reboot your life with an indulgent Girl's Getaway. When life gets a little overwhelming, an escape with your best friends can be the best way to share some uninterrupted catch up time, a little relaxation and, of course, some well-deserved indulgence on looking after you.

$798 is for 4 people ($199.50 per person) and includes:

  • 2 nights accommodation at Beacon Resort in a Curlewis Villa
  • A Food Purveyor "Little Extra" Hamper (special treats from our region including jams, chocolates, tapenade and much much more)
  • 1 x bottle of Jack Rabbit Sparkling
  • 4 x 60 minute relaxation massages in our day spa
  • Return transfers to a venue of choice (within 3225 postcode area during your stay)
  • Unlimited DVD Hire
  • 12 noon check-out

This offer is valid until the 20th December 2014; No further discounts apply; Some exclusion periods to apply; Package is subject to availability at the time of booking.