Here are our picks for an autumn afternoon in Victoria, indulging in some of the freshest – and greatest – gourmet treats the state has to offer.
The Mornington Peninsula is home to myriad gourmet delights, and is one of the hottest food and wine destinations in the state – if not the country! Boasting wineries, cellar doors, farm gates and restaurants, this neck of the woods is sure to delight – and satiate – any traveller. To get your fill, jump on the Wine Food Farmgate Trail, which allows travellers to eat, drink, shop, learn, tour and even forage for themselves.
A highlight of this trail includes the Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm, in Main Ridge, where visitors are able to pick their own strawberries. The strawberry farm also includes a café, where you can indulge in some truly delicious strawberry desserts, coffee and even Devonshire tea with fresh strawberry jam!
While many associate Bendigo with history and culture, what you may not know is that Bendigo is also home to a thriving wine region. Famous for its deep red shiraz and cabernet sauvignon blends, Bendigo’s stunning hills and valleys conceal hidden wineries, many of which are family owned and operated.
One such hidden delight is Sandhurst Ridge, in the Goldfields region. This boutique winery has been producing award-winning drops since it was established in 1995. Wine buffs can partake in a vertical tasting – where different vintages of the same wine blend from the same winery are tasted – and see how soil, climate, seasonal conditions and the age of the vines all affect the final product.
Located about 250 kilometres from Melbourne along the Great Ocean Road, amid green dairy country and overlooking the Southern Ocean, Warrnambool is another town offering gourmet delights. Tickle your tastebuds at the town’s renowned Piccolo Restaurant and experience a true Warrnambool dining experience. Or, for a one-stop shop for local produce, international cheeses, and a treat to take home with you, Darriwill Farm Warrnambool is a boutique store offering custom-made hampers, delightful gourmet foodstuffs and wines, and boasts a café for those needing to refuel on their tour of the region.
Warrnambool is also home to Warrnambool Cheese and Butter Factory, which has been producing high-quality dairy products for more than 125 years. Cheese World is the cellar door of the factory, and offers tastings of award-winning cheeses, such as its Warrnambool Heritage Cheddar, Mill Lel and Coon varieties. Best of all, admission and tastings are free!