I'll begin this listing with perhaps one the most popular vineyard restaurants in Victoria - De Bortoli Winery and Restaurant. Located in Yarra Valley, there really is a lot to discover at this restaurant, which also houses a delightful cheese shop. Some of the stand out options on the a la carte menu include a free range duck breast and confit leg, served with braised farro and white onion purée and the veal 'costoletta' served with sautéed cavolo nero and marjoram salmoriglio. Sweets and desserts to accompany the wine tastings include a simple dish of local strawberries, raspberry sorbet and mascarpone cheese, as well as a classic tiramisu and hazelnut and expresso canoli. There is also a special set menu available on Sundays. Expect to pay around $30 for a main meal here, which is the average price at vineyard restaurant in Victoria.
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Our second pick is the Innocent Bystander/Giant Steps Winery, which was previously reviewed by our resident cafe specialist Chris Karageorge. Located in Healesville, the menu here is namely a celebration of wood oven pizza and fine wine, but there are many other dishes to choose from. For example there is the house speciality Yarra Valley pasta (spinach and ricotta canelloni), roast lamb rump served with vegetable ratatouille, red curry of rockling, corn and fried eggplant and a char grilled rib eye steak served with mustard, peperonata, lemon and jus.
The pizza menu is a delight; choose from the simple rosemary, roasted garlic and buffalo mozzarella option or opt for the hearty spicy pork sausage, buffalo mozzarella, tomato and chilli option. There's also a range of home made sweets and desserts available, including a goat's curd cheese cake, berry trifle with housemade French pastry and sheep's yoghurt with ice cream. Plus there's a small breakfast menu, featuring all the expected classics, as well as a kids menu and various cheese platters to choose from. The price is again around the $30 mark, which is the average price for this type of vineyard restaurant.
Our third pick is the TarraWarra Estate wine bar and restaurant in Tarrawarra. The fusion menu includes Turkish spiced duck breast with farro, watercress, pear and sherry dressing and eggplant in chickpea batter with cardamom honey, quinoa-cauliflower salad and almond skordalia. The sweets and dessert menu is equally an international affair; baked goat curd an spiced raisin cheesecake and dark chocolate and salted caramel petit pot with crostoli are just two of the delights to be found on the eclectic menu. Once again, the average price for a main is around the $30 mark.
Vineyard restaurants are a fantastic way to experience local produce, fine wines and enjoy the wider Victorian landscape. We have only named just a few of Victoria's most celebrated vineyard restaurants, so if you have a recommendation, please share it with us by leaving a comment.