Just when you think you've got Mildura sorted and have done everything on the 'must-do' checklist, McDougall's proves you wrong yet again. Being one of the rural town's best kept secrets even many of the locals are unaware of the boutique winery's existence. Tucked away a comfortable 10 minutes drive from the township's centre in amongst the rolling vineyards, this winery can be easily missed if you don't pay attention.
The unpretentious establishment is casual with an open porch and vine covered courtyard that you can sit sit in enjoying the afternoon sun. Mc Dougall's is simply about 3 things; good wine, decadent wood fired pizzas and of course music.
After a lazy morning one Sunday, some peeps and I turned up ready for some good lunch and were pleasantly greeted with a warm positive atmosphere filled with laughter and jovial live music. That weekend we had the pleasure of the company of Lily and the Drum, a band from Adelaide. Soon the wine was flowing, the sun was beating down and we were whisked away to a place where everything stressful was momentarily forgotten.
The menu here is simple but is all about good quality ingredients. For starters, there's the dip platter which comes with 3 types of dip (roasted capsicum, eggplant and hommus) and an assortment of crackers, salty toasted Turkish bread and parmesan sticks all lovely crispy to dunk into the generous amounts of creamy dip. Then there's the antipasto platter which is equally as generous; both in variety and quantity. Theres's pate, marinated vegetables, cheeses, olives and prosciutto; a perfect palate pleaser.
Of course, a visit to McDougall's is not a proper one without sampling one of their signature thin and crispy woodfired pizzas. I opted for the McDougall's Special (approx $17) which had all the goodies in its ammunition; prawns, corn, bocconocini on a tomato base; how could you go wrong!? Other simpler options include the roasted pumpkin, Hawaiian and Margarita, which were all perfectly balanced flavour-wise.
The winery is also a great place or private functions and occasionally hosts special events such as 'Blues Day'. If you are after a relaxing lunch on a lazy weekend afternoon in the tranquil surrounds of Mildura's vineyards, then McDougall's is a fail-proof choice. You will be guaranteed a fun afternoon of sun, wine, music and good company.