Shortest Lunch – Winery Profile – Whispering Hills – by Denise McCann
EARTH, VINE, WINE, HARMONY
A philosophy of Murray and Marie Lyons
Owners of Whispering Hills Vineyard
Located in Victoria’s picturesque countryside just an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, Whispering Hills is the ideal spot to spend a relaxing afternoon. Family owned and run, owners Murray & Marie Lyons are passionate about all things food and wine related.
Established in 1985, Whispering Hills is a beautiful 10 acre property nestled in a natural amphitheatre above the township of Seville in the Yarra Valley. There are 8.5 acres under vine planted with Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
Murray’s winemaking journey began in the Mornington Peninsula and Bendigo, where the famous Cambrian soil arguably produces some of the best Shirazes in Australia. As a result of this pedigree, Whispering Hills also produces a beautiful Shiraz with fruit sourced from Bendigo. Yields are tightly controlled to enhance quality and the wines are only released in small quantities.
The Cellar Door, a converted logging truck shed, is where you’ll be introduced to Murray and Marie’s brand of exceptional country hospitality. You can relax and take the time to chat and sample the wines all within metres of the vineyard. In winter, you can warm up by the open fire while enjoying Marie’s famous sourdough bread and pizzas produced in their unique 13 tonne wood-fired oven. Oh and did someone say cheese??!!
You will be transfixed by the passion Marie & Murray have about their vineyard and how they are dedicated to sustainable growth and cultivation and their desire for creating successful premium quality wines. And, if you arrive at the right time, you might be lucky enough to join Murray in a barrel tasting. It’s one of the coolest things to do!
Marie’s passion for wood-fired cooking is infectious. Growing up in a Ukrainian family, she learnt the art at a young age and it has brought her joy ever since. As a Masterchef contestant (from series 3), you can expect Marie to serve up rustic, authentic cooking that shows her excellent culinary skills. Her bread is well known to the locals and will often sell out before the lunch crowd arrives!
The brick oven was meticulously researched by Marie who consulted with well renowned artisan baker, Chad Robertson, who is co-owner of Tartine Bakery, an award-winning bakery in San Francisco. Remaining true to Whispering Hill’s sustainable way of life, cuttings pruned from the vines are used to fuel the enormous beast!
As a result the bread and pizzas Marie produces is almost as famous as Murray’s wines! (Makes for fabulous conversation too!) It is simply a MUST-DO experience.
We haven’t even told you about their two beautiful kids, Audrey and Darcy and of course Bailey, the family dog. A winery is not complete without a wine dog. On most winter days, Bailey can often be found lounging by the fireplace!!
Make a plan to pop in over the Shortest Lunch Festival weekend to try Murray’s award winning wines and Marie’s famous bread and pizzas.
Shortest Lunch Menu at Whispering Hills
In the wood-fired oven, using grapevine cuttings to burn a rich robust fire with an aroma that is perfect for red meat dishes, enjoy a hot smoked Hungarian meat ball dish served with butter egg noodles, dollop of sour cream, fresh herbs and crispy onion rings (GF option)
Eggplant wedges with house roasted garlic aioli (GF & V)
Chocolate Soufflé served with zesty lime ice cream (GF)
Righteous Coffee Roasters – Mr Sandman (blend)
Cellar Door: 7 days a week from 10am to 6pm
Wood-fired kitchen: lunch on both Saturday & Sunday between 12pm and 4pm outside the Shortest Lunch Festival Weekend
Saturday 18th & Sunday 19th June, 2016
10am – 5pm