Address: 105 Soho Rd, Drysdale
Phone: 03 5253 1348
Review by: Wine Companion
Former professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the University of Melbourne Bill Sawyer, and wife Diana, planted 1.6ha of pinot noir and 0.4ha of pinot gris between 1998 and 99. The vineyard overlooks Swan Bay and the southwesterly weather off Bass Strait provides a cool climate and ensures the slow ripening of fruit. The intention was to sell the grapes to other wineries, but in 2004 they could not resist the temptation to start making Pinot Noir on the estate. An unusual application of the pinot noir is the making of a fortified wine that has won People's Choice awards at the Federation Square Regional Tasting two years in succession.
Address: 560 Banks Rd, Marcus Hill
Phone: 03 5251 3797
Review by: Marcus Hill Vineyard
Marcus Hill Vineyard is located on the Bellarine Peninsula, a short drive from Geelong towards the coastal townships of Queenscliff and Point Lonsdale. Our small vineyard was established in 1999 with plantings of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Shiraz and finally Pinot Gris.
Our intention is to grow premium quality grapes in an environment where natural balance is encouraged.
The vineyard is part of a small farm with substantial plantings of indigenous trees and shrubs which are home to a wide variety of birds and other creatures which provide natural pest control for the vines – no pesticides are required. The vines receive minimal watering and a variety of natural fertilisers are used to encourage soil and plant health.
The Bellarine is girt by sea, on two sides, and is cool during the growing season. We make our wine in a manner which is sympathetic to our site and area, which produces elegant, delicate and feminine wines. The grapes are picked by hand in small parcels, often with family and friends (see People Madly Stomping Pinot Noir). We handcraft the wines and adopt minimal intervention, handling and processing principles.
Address: 2330 Portarlington Rd, Bellarine
Phone: 03 5259 1386
Review by: Hat Rock Vineyard
This maritime vineyard is set on gently undulating, north facing slopes. The cool climate of the Bellarine Peninsula with its moderate winter rainfall, is comparable with that of the Burgundy region of France. This climate coupled with fertile volcanic clay/loam soils overlying limestone, provides excellent growing conditions for the production of premium fruit from the Burgundian grape varieties, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Hat Rock specialises in the production of small batch, hand crafted Pinot Noir and in a year or two, will also produce Chardonnay in the same, uncompromising way. Our wine making processes reflect the combination of vineyard factors that define our site in order that distinctive wines can be produced. We employ traditional burgundian wine making methods and minimize handling and intervention in our wine making processes.
Address: 55 Navarre Rd, Curlewis
Phone: 03 5250 4567
Review by: Curlewis Winery
We absorb the wine-making styles of Burgundy and Rhone in particular, but set out to take advantage of our more consistent climate and some of the better new techniques to create wines of greater concentration and flavour ripeness yet still with the full length of palate that goes with ultra premium wines the world over.
Success for us is a Grand Cru Burgundy drinker who buys our wine because in her opinion it almost reaches that quality at a tenth of the price.
The winery was established in 1998 by Rainer Breit & Wendy Oliver with the first vintage produced that year. Owner's Stefano Marasco & Leesa Freyer say "the combination of the old vines, deep rich soil and the amazing palate of winemaker Rainer Breit, creates the unique and superior Pinot Noir wine of Curlewis.
The winery produces their premium "Curlewis" brand and a second label called "Bellarine Selection." Their flagship award winning Reserve Pinot Noir retails at approximately $60 a bottle.
In addition to the estate-grown grapes, Curlewis purchases grapes from several other growers in the Geelong region, on both the Bellarine Peninsula and the Bannockburn region. The different microclimates of these two sub-regions allow for different flavour characteristics, which when combined add to the complexity of Curlewis wines.
Address: 30 Pax Pde, Curlewis
Phone: 03 5250 3861 / 0411 142 916
Review by: Barrgowan Vineyard
Our production is very small from our 1/2 acre of vines, 50 cases in 2003 rising to an expected 200 cases in 2014 with no plans to expand further. This will ensure the continued high quality and attention to detail.
The vineyard is unusual in that 5 different clones of Shiraz are planted, and we believe that each clone adds just a little extra complexity to the finished wine.
We hand prune the vines, hand pick the fruit and basket press manually. Diligence, care and gentleness are applied at all stages of the wine making process; for example, most wine transfer is achieved by gravity, not pumped. By scientific measurement during the wine making process, we ensure the absolute minimum use of additives. The overall criterion is quality, not quantity!
The wine matures for 12+ months in the best, ultra fine grained French oak barrels available, and we do not blend, filter or fine.
Address: 120 McDermott Rd, Curlewis
Phone: 0400 220 436
Review by: Wine Companion
Baie Wines takes its name from the farming property Baie Park, owned by the Kuc family (headed by Anne and Peter) for over 30 years. It was not until 2000 that they established 2ha each of sauvignon blanc, pinot gris and shiraz, the first vintage following in 06. The vineyard is planted on north-facing slopes running down to the shore of Port Phillip Bay, the maritime influence is profound. Peter almost single-handedly prunes the entire vineyard every year, and wife Anne is responsible for the meticulous vineyard upkeep. Son Simon manages the farm, and his wife Nadine is responsible for marketing.
Address: 90 McAdams Lane, Bellarine
Phone: 03 5251 5536
Review by: Terindah Estate
As you drive down McAdams Lane to the entrance of Terindah Estate, you gain glimpses of the breathtaking views awaiting you. Terindah Estate is open 7 days a week for lunch and wine tastings, as well as weekend breakfasts. Terindah is also the perfect venue for weddings, special occasions and private events.
Visit one of Victoria's most beautiful and exciting venues. Taste delicious wine and food, see the mussel farmers in the local waters, take a stroll through the fig trees or the vines and experience all that Terindah has to offer. As per its name - Terindah is Indonesian for 'most beautiful''.
Address: 190 Scotchmans Rd, Drysdale
Phone: 03 5251 3176
Review by: Scotchmans Hill
Scotchmans Hill was established in 1982 atop Mount Bellarine, an extinct volcano that forms the tip of the peninsula. The land on which the vineyard was planted had been given its name by a group of Scottish immigrants who settled in the area in 1885. Modern and traditional winemaking techniques are utilised at our winery to produce some of Australia's most individual wines, with characteristics typical of the region.
Situated in the heart of the Bellarine Peninsula, the Scotchmans Hill cellar door offers friendly and informative tastings and sales. We offer the full range of estate wines for tasting, including our exclusive Single Vineyard & Cornelius wines. Enjoy the magnificent views of Swan Bay and Port Phillip Bay and with a glass of wine in our sunlit courtyard.
Address: 150 Rhinds Rd, Wallington
Phone: 0438 845 696
Review by: Ponda Estate
Ponda Estate is a small family owned vineyard situated on the Bellarine Peninsula in the Geelong wine region of Victoria.
We are committed to using sustainable and eco-friendly viticultural practices – our low-yielding vines are hand tended, sheep and chooks work the block to sort out weeds/bugs and provide fertilisation for the vines, we water only when absolutely necessary, and family/friends help us hand pick our grapes at harvest time.
The result...stunning hand-crafted wines. Medals, awards yes...but the proof is in the tasting. Cheers :)
Address: 255 Grubb Rd, Wallington
Phone: 03 5256 3886
Review by: Oakdene Vineyards Restaurant & Cellar Door
The Oakdene estate includes many attractions. There's the cellar door building (made to look like it's tipped on its side; tipsy?), strollable grounds dotted with sculptures (like the wheelbarrow tree), a decommissioned train and a fine-dining restaurant. Housed in the original gable-ceilinged 1920s house, the main dining room is loudly coloured with collections of art glass and paintings. The food, too, is energetic: many dishes are made up of multiple elements, and the menu changes almost weekly using what's in season. It's also elegant and refined, as in entrees like tender octopus pieces arranged on charry potato discs. Mains might include a crisp-skinned barramundi fillet topped with floured-and-fried calamari served with a scoop each of Oakdene olive tapenade and cauliflower puree; or some prime beef from the grill. A chocolate sorbet and mousse dessert has tiny marshmallows here, 'soil' scattered there, a leaf placed just so. It's a delightful dinner, lunch or day out.
With its brightly coloured collection of buildings, quirky sculptures and dining room that mixes up scarlet walls with timber panelling, no one could accuse Oakdene of being dull. In the main restaurant, the fine-dining menu aims so high you might wonder if they can really pull it off. It's a relief, then, when beautifully plated dishes start to arrive: a flower-like arrangement of cured Queenscliff kingfish and barbequed octopus with pureed avocado, hot pink radish and popcorn that's a lesson in subtle flavouring and texture; a darkly sticky chunk of pork belly with crisp strands of ear; a simply arranged soft-shell crab piled with matchsticks of apple and endive; or a whole crisp sand mullet with garlic, chilli, lime, coriander and a pickled papaya salad. And don't miss the sensational dessert sampler, which might include a mini choc banana pie, a perfect panna cotta and a pair of house-made ice-creams. Service from the young team is exceptional.
Address: Basils Farm, Nye Rd, Swan Bay
Phone: 03 5258 4280 / 0401 904 907
Review by: Kiltynane Wines
At Kiltynane we aim to produce handcrafted wines that are a reflection of the region, the soils and the season. We believe that good wine starts in the vineyard and our vines and soils are nurtured using biodynamic and organic methods. Produced as naturally with minimal handling, each parcel of fruit is handled separately capturing its full potential. Gently pressed and placed into small vessels these wild ferments produce wines with a subtle complexity and balanced structure that bring out the very best of every vintage.
While our focus is on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, we do offer limited releases of other unique and project wines made with the same thoughtful approach.
Taking inspiration from Rohan Anderson's book "Whole Larder Love", Kiltynane Wines will host a cooking workshop on Sunday 29th March in the Basil's Farm Kitchen, creating dishes from the book. We love Rohan's ethos of sourcing real food and reconnecting with nature. For more information please visit http://wholelarderlove.com It's well worth a look, a refreshing, down to earth approach about getting back to basics and eating real food. As Rohan says "The stuff that I can grow in the soil. The stuff I can hunt and harvest from the fields and the bush".
Taking advantage of the abundance of fresh, organic produce in the Basils Farm garden, participants will help pick, prepare and cook the seasonal ingredients to create a 'Whole Larder Love' inspired banquet for all to enjoy.
Kiltynane Wine's gardener Ben Shaw will also discuss growing your own produce and the biodynamic principles used on the farm.
Full payment is required to secure your booking.