I'm a Victorian freelance writer & photographer living in the Macedon Ranges north of Melbourne.
Winemakers Dinner Cruise
I can't think of a more relaxing place to enjoy some great wine and fine food than cruising the mighty Murray River onboard a replica 19th Century Padddlesteamer; the air full of the unmistakeable smell of a wood-fired steam engine driving hot, oil-coated pistons, serenaded by the swish-swish-swishing of paddle wheels and the occasional shrill blast of the steam whistle echoing off the river banks.
The Paddlesteamer EMMYLOU will host the Brown Brothers Winemakers Dinner on the evening of Friday 1st December. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Murray River Paddlesteamers will stage the Brown Brothers Winemakers Dinner aboard the PS EMMYLOU on Friday 1st December, departing the historic Port of Echuca at 6.30 PM and returning about 3-hours later.
Guests will enjoy a fabulous 5-course set menu dinner complimented by an outstanding selection of Brown Brothers wines.
During the evening, Wine Educator Andrew Harris will talk about the history of Brown Brothers and the wines they've been producing in Victoria's King Valley since 1889. He'll also introduce the wines served during the dinner.
And there'll be opportunities throughout the evening to purchase selected Brown Brother's wines at some very special prices. Live entertainment will be provided by local singer Abbey Williams presenting a program of Jazz and Classic numbers.
Guests will depart the historic Port of Echuca for a cruise of about 3-hours duration, all the while enjoying a fine 5-Course dinner menu matched with some outstanding Brown Brothers wines. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Numbers for this event are strictly limited so you will need to get in quick to secure a place. Tickets cost $150 per person and are available on-ine at www.murrayriverpaddlesteamers.com.au
Brown Brothers have been handcrafting wines for almost 130 years and their famed Cellar Door at Milawa provides arguably the largest range of wines at any cellar door in Australia. But on this occasion, they bring the cellar door to you aboard EMMYLOU, matching a range of their product to the evening menu.
Brown Brothers have been hand crafting wines in Victoria almost as long as Paddlesteamers have plied the Murray River. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Guests will enjoy a first course of Smoke Salmon Blini with crème fraiche & caviar served with Pirie Tasmania Chardonnay Pinot Noir. A second course of Duck Rice Paper rolls spring onion & cucumber with hoi sin and matched with an Innocent Bystander Pinot Noir or Devils Corner Reisling. A third course of Victorian Eye Fillet grilled seasonal vegetables & herb crusted potato will be served with a Heathcote 10 Acres Shiraz. A fourth course Mango Parfait Creamy mango curd layered with fresh mango is matched with an Orange Muscat & Flora. The fifth and final course is an Australian Cheese & Fruit platter to share served with Orange Muscat & Patricia Cabernet Sauvignon.
It really is a wining & dining opportunity not to be missed and gives the term 'Waterfront Restaurant' a whole new perspective.
An icon of the Australian wine scene Brown Brothers started production in the King Valley in 1889 and their Milawa Cellar Door attracts thousands of visitors annually. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
Just for the record, PS EMMYLOU was built in Echuca in 1980-82, a true replica of a 19th century paddle steamer. Thirty metres long and 10 metres wide, EMMYLOU has a steel hull with wooden decking and superstructure. She is powered by a restored 1916 wood-fired steam engine. EMMYLOU was one of the stars of the 80's television series All The Rivers Run in which she was renamed the PS PRIVIDENCE.
The historic Port of Echuca is 225 Kilometers north of Melbourne, about a 2 hour 40 minute drive via the Calder Freeway/M79 and the Midland & Northern Highways.
VLine services operate from Melbourne Southern Cross to Echuca on the Bendigo line. About a 3 hour 30 minute trip.
As one of Victoria's most popular tourism precincts, Echuca has a huge variety of accommodation available at prices to suit all budgets.
Brown Brothers fine wines and the classic Paddlesteamer EMMYLOU are a combination not to be missed. Photo: Ian Gill / Footloose PhotoBank
The Emmylou is NOT a replica! The Paddlesteamer Emmylou was built in the 80's to replicate the accommodation trade of the River Boat era, this is true, but she is in no way a replica. She is an original design, and has an original steam engine and boiler, in fact it is the oldest combination of the two in the world.