In Part Two of our Best Winery Experiences around the country, we head to Victoria to visit Montalto, Tahbilk, Fowles and De Bortoli. Creative, indulgent and revealing, one of these winery experiences could be the highlight of your next long weekend away.
Pinot Noir & Chardonnay
In an age of advanced agriculture and supermarket convenience, it's easy to forget our place in the natural cycle of the seasons. With its own working vineyard, olive grove, fruit orchard, berry plantation and kitchen gardens, Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove is fantastic place to reconnect year-round. The Estate To Plate: A Gourmet Indulgence lets you taste grapes as they approach vintage, learn what to cook in season, and have it all come together over 3-courses matched with Single Vineyard wines.
Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Marsanne, Viognier & Roussanne
Made from the Rhône varieties of Shiraz, Grenache and Mourvedre, Tahbilk's traditional red wines are fermented in the same vats that were used over a century ago. But much has changed since this beautiful and historic winery was established in 1860. Winemaking: Old & New is a personally guided tour which explains why some older techniques are still preferred and where new practices have led to better wine. Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something... red. This experience has it all.
Chardonnay, Riesling & Shiraz
100 kilometres north of Melbourne, among the shady gums and cool climes of historic Ned Kelly country, you'll find Fowles Wine. It's the world's first winery to craft wine specifically blended to match wild game. The Are You Game? Experience includes a casual tasting at the award-winning Cellar Door Cafe before things get wild. Indulge in the 'Gamekeepers Platter', four tastes of game paired with Ladies who Shoot their Lunch and Are you Game? wines.
Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon & Shiraz
The words 'children' and 'winery' seem irreconcilable, but the clever folk at De Bortoli Wines have created a perfect family day-trip into the heart of Victorian wine country. The Yarra Valley Wine & Wildlife experience begins at Healesville Sanctuary for an interactive tour of our unique and endangered wildlife. 20 minutes drive brings you to De Bortoli Yarra Valley Estate for a 2-course lunch and wine tasting at the Cellar Door. Things end on a sweet note 5 minutes away, with samples at the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie & Ice Creamery.
Cheese, wine and Italian cuisine. The Gourmet Food & Wine Experience offers a longer, more decadent experience at De Bortoli Wines. Take a seat in the Trophy Room for a tasting of select current and older vintages with a personalised gourmet cheese platter. Enjoy a seasonal 3-course Italian-inspired lunch with matched wines at 'Locale' – a restaurant reflecting the winemaking family's heritage and warm hospitality in the Yarra Valley.
The Pick of the Cellar?
Is the Montalto & The National Package what awaits golfers who die and go to the proverbial? Located at Cape Schanck on the spectacular Mornington Peninsula is one of Australia's finest pieces of golfing real estate. Enjoy 18 holes at The National Golf Club followed by a 3-course culinary feast of Victorian produce with expertly matched current release and vintage wines – all hosted and curated by the winemaker at Montalto Vineyard & Olive Grove. Prices vary per winery experience. These Victorian wineries are part of Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia – a hand-picked collection of premium wineries where tasting great wine is only part of the experience.