The definitive guide to Australian Wines
Publish Date: 09 Feb 2018
Authored by: Halliday Wine Companion
Beyond the photogenic cellar doors and major wine events – including the Winter Shiraz Weekend (July) and Toast to the Coast (November) – the Geelong wine region has plenty to offer the roadtripper. It is a gateway to one of the world's greatest coastal drives after all. Here we pick five places to consider factoring into your next trip to Victoria's mecca for cool maritime-climate wines.
The family-friendly village vibe at Little Creatures Brewery, with its kitsch laneway-set beer garden (complete with sandpits) and pop-up events (including a summer cinema series), makes it an essential stop on any Geelong itinerary – for frothy fanatics and beer beginners alike. Make sure you try one of the limited-release ales on offer, such as the Fire Falcon Hoppy Red, and sample the pulled pork sliders. Guided tours for up to 15 people run twice daily, and rest assured that the drinks list includes some local wines such as Austins & Co riesling.
This degustation-only restaurant is one of many reasons why Geelong is becoming known as Victoria's gastronomic capital. After releasing his Igni cookbook in late 2017, award-winning chef Aaron Turner continues to set foodie circles chattering with a creative menu that changes day to day, table to table, depending on which ingredients are most delicious and readily available that morning. if you opt for drink pairings with your eight courses, expect a diverse selection of international wines and other alcoholic beverages. Consider booking a few weeks in advance for the Friday or Saturday evening sittings.
With not one but two award-winning, 18-hole courses to choose from, this Bellarine Peninsula club figures top of many Australian golfers' lists. The perfectly maintained greens of the Beach Course offer spectacular ocean views and plenty of challenges, and if you have a shocker of a round you can always book in for a lesson with one of the club professionals or console yourself with a glass of top-rated wine from a nearby cellar door such as Oakdene.
If your fashions and interiors preferences tilt towards the vintage or retro, you cannot afford to miss The Amazing Mill Markets. A wander through the warehouse stuffed to the brim with vinyl records, antique jewellery, collectable books, vintage furniture, fine china and Australian film props is bound to result in some unique souvenirs making their way into your home. The onsite café makes this a sensible first stop in a Geelong itinerary.
First-time visitors to the Surf Coast should make a point of visiting the beach made world-famous by the 1991 movie Point Break and venue for the annual Rip Curl Pro surfing championship in early April. Watch the local talent try the tame the waves early morning before continuing along the Great Ocean Road or heading to one of the cellar doors nearby, such as Bellbrae Estate.
Next article: 3 must-visit cellar doors in the Geelong region
Images © Little Creatures, Igni, 13th Beach Golf Links, The Amazing Mill Markets and Visit Victoria
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