Tummies rumbling and more than ready to stretch our legs after the long drive, Camilla and I made the turn into All Saints Estate and found ourselves driving down the most impressive, 300m long driveway lined with old elm trees to – wait for it – a turreted, brick castle!

 

Squealing a little bit with delight, we hurriedly parked the car and made a beeline for the hatted Terrace Restaurant. Having carved a reputation as being one of northeastern Victoria’s premier culinary experiences, it couldn’t have set a better tone for the start of our gourmet getaway. We took a seat by the open window overlooking the vines and duck pond and enjoyed honestly the most delicious meal I’ve ever had at a winery. The staff were warm, professional, incredibly knowledgeable and delighted in telling us about the remarkable 150-year history of the property, and the rich winemaking and culinary traditions. Opting for the two course lunch with matched wines, we were wowed by head chef Simon Arkless’ inventive cuisine. There’s a strong focus on local and seasonal ingredients – as much of the produce as possible is sourced from the property itself including the citrus, quince, lamb, pork and eggs, found only metres from the kitchen. Everything else is provided by local suppliers.

 

So what did we eat? I hope you’ve eaten because this rundown will make you stomach growl! We started with freshly baked, warm bread served with cold-smoked applewood chip butter (a revelation I tell you!) before diving into our mains. I went for the All Saints Estate lamb with baby artichokes, pea pureé, asparagus, broad beans and kipfler potatoes matched with a glass of the 2015 Sangiovese Cabernet. Full marks for presentation and taste; every mouthful was slowly savoured and plates scraped clean.

 

For dessert, I had the chocolate cremoso tart with poached pear, coffee crumbs and crème fraiche ice cream, paired with a glass of the Rutherglen Muscat. My oh my, what a meal. I would have been quite happy to roll over and go straight to sleep afterwards, so we opted for a wander around the beautiful grounds to bring ourselves back to earth.

 

I’d already heard about some of All Saints Estate’s long history over lunch, but it was only when strolling the grounds afterwards that it truly sunk in. After the gold rush ended, Chinese workers were employed to work the vineyards and were housed in huts on the property. One of the dormitories still remains, built over 100 years ago and is the last remaining example of its type in Australia.

 

Of course we couldn’t leave without popping into the gourmet providore on site, Indigo Food Co. for a little browse. That just wouldn’t be right now would it?

 

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