Just 20 minutes from Geelong lies a boutique winery so picturesque that if it competed in a beauty pageant, it would be wearing the winner’s sash.
Terindah Estate is a multi-dimensional food and wine experience, featuring a vineyard, cellar door and highly lauded restaurant, topped off with panoramic views over Corio Bay and the You Yangs, that span to Melbourne’s city skyline.
It’s the ‘baby’ of Peter and Cate Slattery, who purchased the property in 2000, establishing a vision to create the Bellarine’s most beautiful food and wine destination. Most would consider their idea fulfilled: a converted hayshed houses the restaurant, with its floor-to-ceiling glass walls giving way to spectacular views of Terindah’s surroundings, including its impressive vineyard.
This vineyard is responsible for Terindah Estate’s collection of award-winning wines. The low rainfall and cool winds from across the bay ensure cool-climate wines with great strength and depth of colour, bouquet and maritime flavours that define the Bellarine.
Tim Byrne manages the vineyard, ensuring high grape quality and capturing the unique characteristics of each vintage and variety. Under his watch, ripe fruit from single vineyards are hand-harvested and crafted to produce pinot gris, chardonnay, pinot noir, zinfandel and shiraz wines. Terindah has won a number of awards, garnering a five-star rating from James Halliday, as well as Dark Horse of the Year for 2016.
Stop by the impressive property to see what all the fuss is about. Start with the Methode Traditionelle, made up of 60% pinot noir, and 40% chardonnay. The pale sparkling has a light, delicate bead with hints of citrus and brioche on the nose. It’s well balanced and boasts a lingering, creamy vanilla finish.
Move onto the silver-medal-winning Pinot Gris, which features a pale straw hue and a nose with aromatic hints of lemon, grapefruit and nectarine. Red drinkers must leave room for the Shiraz – just one sip will reveal an expressive bouquet of black fruits with hints of tobacco, following onto a plush palate with balanced flavours of white pepper and ripe tannins.
When you’re done trying the wine, move to The Shed for a meal that will more than match the quality of the drops on offer. Ukranian-born Executive Chef Ivan Roianov leads the experienced kitchen team, building on skills picked up at some of Europe’s most prestigious restaurants to turn out dishes celebrating the abundance of seafood and seasonal produce available on the peninsula, including ingredients grown in Terindah’s backyard. Open with the Portarlington scallop carpaccio to taste the wealth of produce on offer on the Bellarine, or the grilled kangaroo salad with sun-dried tomatoes and orange. Don’t forget to ask the staff for a wine pairing – it is, after all, a winery.
Move on to savour both the views and the mains, which celebrate the exquisite flavours on offer in the area. Try the seared swordfish with fresh herb velouté on the sun-drenched lawn, or the seafood blanquette with black mussels, clams, white fish and prawns.
Everyone knows that wine and cheese is a match made in culinary heaven, so order the cheese selection to finish – the selection of local and imported cheeses will cap off the experience perfectly. Or opt for the basil panna cotta with salted caramel and tomato marmalade, which beautifully tempers savoury with sweet. Still hungry? The creamy vanilla-ginger crème brulee features local berries and fragrant mint.
On your way out, don’t forget to pick up some bottles for the home cellar – after such a memorable experience, you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t.