The Tahbilk wetlands are a must for those who love the outdoors. Four kilometres of walking trails allow visitors to have a wonderful nature experience (open 10-4:30 weekends, gold coin donation). There is also a 45 minute eco-cruise, currently leaving at 1pm and 2:30pm on the 1st and 3rd weekends of the month. Adults pay $5, while accompanying people under 18 are free (a true family bargain). I have enjoyed walks at the wetlands but I am yet to do the cruise- definitely on the list for next time. Very important: snakes like the wetland just as much as us, so stick to the path – and remember your water bottles and sunscreen.
The Tahbilk café looks out over the wetlands and is the perfect spot for a slow weekend lunch. Expect seasonal dishes using local produce. Gluten-free (GF) diners will be excited to hear the café chefs avoid flour in many of their dishes. Instead of labeling food GF, dishes are labeled Not GF. Of course, there are selected matching wines from the Tahbilk and Dalfarras labels for each of the dishes. For an indication of the current menu, click here.
The Tahbilk buildings date back to 1860, so anyone with a love for history, architecture and old machinery will enjoy a walk around the grounds. The buildings will be instantly recognisable for anyone who is familiar with Chateau Tahbilk wine labels.
So there you have it: 3 solid reasons to visit a winery that will appeal to drinkers and non-drinkers alike. Happily, the wine range at Tahbilk is –in my mind at least- worth the drive alone. Wine tasting is an enjoyable experience with knowledgeable and friendly staff. For example, having decided on purchases, I was given a sparkling wine to try – "while I get your wines packed up." The sparkling was a winner and turned out to be the one we chose for our wedding celebrations. Bargain hunters will enjoy the quality cleanskins, while those looking for "something special" may well find it here. The wine club is also worth joining – you'll receive free delivery in Victoria for wines bought by the dozen and good wine deals.
Two last suggestions: if you can make it mid-week, you will enjoy a more leisurely experience. The winery is open everyday, the café opens Monday, Thursday and Friday. The winery is having a warehouse sale on September 1st and 2nd- the perfect chance to stock up. Note that Sunday September 2nd is Father's Day and the café is hosting a special 4 course suckling pig lunch (a la carte menu unavailable this day, usual kids menu available).