Follow the food!
Follow the food!
Why not follow the food trail on the Bellarine Peninsula this weekend!
As any foodie will tell you, the Bellarine Peninsula boasts some serious food cred – the climate is great for winemaking, fertile soils yield lots of produce, and the waters of Swan Bay and Bass Strait are an abundant source of seafood.
All up, that’s led to a profusion of farmgate producers, provedores, unique wineries, beer and cider brewers, and award-winning cafes and restaurants. So why not take a tour of the Bellarine Peninsula this weekend of it and map your own itinerary on an epicurean adventure.
Here are our top picks to make the task a little easier.
Farm-gates and Provedores.
The Bellarine’s farm-gates and provedores are the perfect places to stock up on picnic and pantry goods. So, hit the road and enjoy some of the peninsula’s finest produce including everything from fresh seafood to farm-fresh vegetables and succulent seasonal berries.
Buy the region's famous mussels and oysters fresh from Portarlington’s Advance Mussel Supply and White Fisheries in Drysdale, and hot-smoked salmon at artisan smokehouse, The Bellarine Smoked Fish Co. Try goat’s cheeses at Drysdale Cheeses, pick your own berries at Drysdale’s Tuckerberry Hill Berry Farm or get fresh salad goods to go at Lonsdale Tomato Farm or The Farmer's Harvest. And make sure to add some olives to your basket from Lighthouse and Manzanillo.
Restaurants and Cafes.
If you’d prefer to leave the foraging and preparation to the experts, you can still sample the best of the region's produce at its many restaurants and cafes.
Tuck into dishes inspired by local produce in part-provedore, part-cafe favourites like Wildings Pantry Essentials in St Leonards, Queenscliff’s Saltbush Fine Foods and Annie's Provedore and Produce Store in Barwon Heads, which offer everything from tasty and nutritious breakfast bowl, pre-prepared meals and homemade pies to fresh salads and sandwiches. Or, for a special occasion, indulge in some degustation dining on board the Q Train along the historic Bellarine Railway.
A visit to gourmet goods purveyor Piknik at Swan Bay will challenge your roadhouse diner preconceptions, while a stop at Queenscliff’s award-winning Rolling Pin Pies & Cakes is the place for moreish pastries!
Or, for something a little bit different, head to Basil’s Farm at Swan Bay. Between the cellar door, the cafe, orchard, organic market gardens, sun-drenched lawns and fine views over Swan Bay – to mention a bevy of friendly farm animals, it’s a captivating place to spend an afternoon.
The Bellarine is home to some of Victoria’s best wineries. It’s a relatively young district (particularly when compared to places like the Barossa and Hunter), but that hasn’t stopped the plaudits rolling in, and the region is now synonymous with the meticulous production of cool climate wines. Boutique wineries and family-run vineyards along the trail consistently deliver exceptional wine varieties, offering a tipple for every palate including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Zinfandel, Gewürztraminer, Shiraz, Viognier, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon.
One of Bellarine Peninsula’s best-known wineries, a trip to Jack Rabbit Vineyard also boasts panoramic views of the You Yangs and Port Phillip Bay, plus a fantastic onsite restaurant, winery and cellar door, offering the ultimate vineyard experience. Or enjoy a glass or two and tuck into lunch at award-winning winery restaurants like Scotchman’s Hill, Leura Park Estate, McGlashans Estate or Oakdene with its upside-down cellar door. Pinot fans should make a beeline for Yes Said the Seal (located at the Flying Brick Cider House) to sample the 'best Pinot in Australia'. For other great local wines, pull in at Terindah Estate and Bennett's on Bellarine or stop at the Barwon Heads Winestore and Noble Rot Wine Bar, Point Lonsdale. Smaller establishments like Curlewis’ Baie Wines and Barrgowan are also worth a visit, but you do need to book in advance.
Breweries and Distilleries.
Cider, beer or whisky anyone? Flying Brick Cider House serves up the Bellarine’s own naturally crafted cider using traditional methods made from 100% fresh fruit, free from added sugars, colours or concentrates. Queenscliff Brewhouse is a craft beer haven offering over 400 craft beers on tap. Plus it also boasts a whisky bar, regional tasting room, bistro and cellar door. One of the newest kids on the block, The Whiskery is the home of Bellarine Distillery and their own Teddy and the Fox Gin.