Shortest Lunch – A suggested itinerary – by Denise McCann
From the virtual wineries to the actual wineries!
It’s “Interesting Wednesday” just after a long weekend and I know you are all looking forward to next weekend’s Shortest Lunch!
Here’s a list of wineries to visit who are all located on or just off the beaten path around Yarra Glen, Coldstream, Dixons Creek and Healesville.
Billanook Estate is a gateway to the Yarra Valley commanding spectacular views. Kick the day off with their 2011 Vintage Sparkling! If you love bubbles, you’ll love this. And there’s a host of other wines to try.
The popular cooking school Al Dente Cooking will be providing boneless chicken thighs wrapped with prosciutto and sage, cooked with Billanook Estate Chardonnay in a butter and garlic sauce. There’s also Nonna’s recipe of soft homemade ricotta Gnocchi pan seared and tossed with your choice of two sauces. For those who love dessert try the limoncello infused tiramisu and their barista coffee is arguably the best in the Valley.
Steels Creek Estate is a hidden gem and is well known for its Colombard, which sells out every vintage. They also have a loyal following for barrel fermented Chardonnay, a velvety Shiraz and an elegant Cabernet Sauvignon.
There will be traditional beef and burgundy with baby onions, mushrooms, garlic mash and/or roasted vegetarian lasagne with truffled pecorino, rocket and almond salad as well as churros with cinnamon sugar and hot chocolate sauce.
Graeme Miller is a pioneer of the rebirth of the Yarra Valley as a wine region and you need to ask about the Petit Verdot and the Quatrain – two of my favourites.
Lunch will be Graeme’s own recipe of beef, black eye bean and vegetable soup with a vegetarian option of caramelised onion, goat’s cheese and almond ravioli. There’s also Chocolate Brownie with vanilla bean ice cream from the Yarra Valley Chocolaterie.
Take in the stunning views whilst experiencing their Viognier (a variety I love). They also grow Marsanne, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon and will be serving harissa spiced lamb shoulder and/or warm five-spice pumpkin and roast potato salad.
The Healesville Cellar Door and Kitchen has enormous floor to ceiling windows and an outside deck where you can savour The Black Spur range of whites and the Kangaroo Ground reds all named with a Scottish bent.
Yarra Valley Pasta will be featured as a pop-up at Boat O’Craigo’s Cellar Door. Enjoy either ravioli filled with roasted sweet potato, chestnut and kale or free-range egg tagliatelle with slow cooked lamb and rosemary ragu.
Try a “Pruner’s Platter” or home-made apple pie by the fire or out on the large verandah and a Farmyard series wine: Run Rabbit Run Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, Duck Down Under Pinot Noir and The Foxtrot Cabernet and Shiraz.