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Shortest Lunch - Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries

Home > Melbourne > Day Trips | Escape the City | Family | Food and Wine | Wineries
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
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Experience some of the Yarra Valley's best kept secrets

Ward off the winter blues by sitting in front of an open fire with a belly full of delicious food and a matching glass of perfect wine when you attend the unique event known as The Shortest Lunch on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 of June.

With such a deluge of wineries in the Yarra Valley, it is easy for visitors to overlook some of the smaller more boutique options. In a bid not to be overshadowed, a group of smaller wineries banded together to create the Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries Association and then went on to organise this great yearly event.

It is held on the June weekend that is shortest when it comes to daylight hours, so it is a great way of encouraging us all over this winter hump.

The venues are not only small but mostly family run. All 14 have a boutique rather than a corporate feel and are as warm and friendly as their open fires.

You'll get to chat about all things wine as you mix with others and meet multi-generational winemakers. Or you can simply sit and stare at the flames as they illuminate your glass of red and relax.

As well as warding off the winter chills, this is a gastronomic adventure where you feast on curated entrιe-sized menus paired with perfect wines.

It is your chance to graze your way through the Yarra Valley's tucked away corners and become privy to the hidden gems.

This progressive dining experience includes dishes from New Orleans and the deep south, traditional Italian staples straight from Nonna's kitchen, sensational Spanish fare, fancy flatbreads, Asian and Mexican fusions, Middle Eastern morishness, curated cheeses, slow-cooked meats, contemporary Indian, and
diverse desserts including to die for apple pies.

On top of the food and wine, all venues offer live music and hot drinks such as barista made coffees.

There are over 80 wines on tastings, with some wineries offering exclusive new and vintage releases over this special weekend.

You can buy tickets Click here. Or read on to learn more about the wineries and food on offer.

This is what you have to look forward to:

Badger's Brook

Badgers Brooke Winery Yarra Valley
Source: Badger's Brook Facebook

Located on the Maroondah Hwy in the heart of the Yarra Valley, this family-owned vineyard specialises in chardonnay, pinot noir and Shiraz.

Whereas the Badgers Brook Wines are made for cellaring, their other label, Storm Ridge are for immediate consumption. So best of both worlds for those who love their wine.

Their food pairings on the day include:

• New Orleans buttermilk chicken burger, hot sauce, slaw and greens $16

• Spiced chickpea and cauliflower fritter, Iceberg, burnt honey and cumin yoghurt, brioche slider $16

• Yarra Valley berry compote, brandy snap taco $10

Badger's Brook, 874 Maroondah Hwy, Coldstream (03) 5962 4130 Website click here.

Billanook Estate

A small winery with seating for about 30 people. A favourite because of the stunning views and fantastic traditional Italian dishes.

As James Halliday notes: 'The D'Aloisio family has been involved in the agricultural heritage of the Yarra Valley since the late 1960s, and in '94 planted the first vines on their 36ha property. The vineyard is planted to Shiraz, sauvignon blanc, cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, merlot, nebbiolo, tempranillo, nebbiolo and barbera'.

Billanook Winery
Source Facebook Billanook Winery

You can enjoy:

• Osso Bucco - Slow cooked beef in a homemade tomato ragu served on parmesan polenta - $16

• Gnocchi - A recipe handed down from Nonna of soft homemade ricotta gnocchi pan seared and tossed with your choice of a traditional Napoli pomodoro sauce with fresh basil or a picante gorgonzola cream sauce - $14 (gfo)

• Zeppole - fried fluffy ricotta and lemon flavoured Italian doughnuts served with a honey lemon syrup -

Children's meals available.

Billanook Estate, 280 Edward Road, Chirnside Park 0422 280 975.
Website click here.

Boat O'Craigo

Boat O'Craigo is named after a tiny place in a Scottish valley where Margaret andGraham's ancestors lived. Together with their son and daughter, Travers & Courtenay, their labour of love has kept the wine flowing.

The floor to ceiling windows offer stunning views over the vineyards. Boat O'Craigo is famous for its antipasto platters, so great to see this included on the Shortest Lunch menu.

They have some excellent wines such as the Pinot Grigio that is perfect for those with allergies as they do not filter it through milk or eggs. Their menu also offers vegan options.

Boat O'Craigo
Source Facebook Boat O'Craigo

• Vegan Paella - A range of seasonal vegetables df gf - $16

• Traditional Paella - prawns, calamari, mussels, chicken, chorizo, roast capsicum, peas df gf - $16

• Dessert - churros with chocolate sauce - $10

• Antipasto boxes available

Boat O'Craigo
Boat O'Craigo

458 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville (03) 5962 6899. Website click here.

Brumfield Winery

Brumfield Winery
Source Brumfield Winery Facebook

Brumfield is a boutique winery in Seville, just off the Warburton Highway, and nestled in the eastern foothills of the Dandenong Ranges.

This winery produces a wide range of pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay and shiraz varieties and uses a small batch process for winemaking.

Their range includes Mount Evelyn Marsanne, which is rich and full of flavour, and cool-climate handcrafted reds all produced on the property.

You can cosy up on the sofas around the fire or check out their Artspace that features work from local artists.

Brumfield Winery
Best seat in the house for the shortest day of the year - Source Facebook Brumfield Winery

• Swanky flatbreads - GF / vegan available $16. Choose from the list below:

• Margherita (basil, mozzarella, confit garlic)

• Chorizo (beautiful chorizo, tomato, roasted red capsicum, olives, chilli flakes)

• Truffle & Cauliflower (roasted cauliflower, caramelised onion, rosemary, white truffle oil)

• Artisan cheeses with accompaniments $18

Cnr Queens and Beenak Rds (539 Queens Rd), Seville (03) 5961 9081 or 0417 522 035. Website click here.

Elmswood Estate

Elmswood Estate
Source Elmswood Estate

Elmswood Estate produces a range of lovely, handcrafted wines from the renowned Seville sub-region in the Yarra Valley.

Celebrated by Australian wine critic James Halliday as a 5-star winery and one of the region's "Dark Horses", Elmswood Estate is well regarded as a boutique wine producer and also has stunning views. You will be able to enjoy:

• Prawn pan-fried dumpling with mild chilli soya sauce (6pcs) $16

• Vegetarian quesadilla with salsa $16

• New York style cheesecake with homemade berry coulis $10

75 Monbulk-Seville Rd, Seville, (03) 5964 3015 Website click here.

Kellybrook Winery

This winery/cidery has a long history dating back to 1935.

Set amongst the lush vineyard and beautiful gardens, the venue offers an authentic Yarra Valley tasting and working farm experience.

Kellybrook produces a range of premium quality wines, Kellybrothers ciders and Riders Brew Co. beers. They have a provedore and stock delicious local produce including cheeses, charcuterie, relishes and snacks. The meals for this event are:

• 14 hour beef brisket with smokey tomato chimichurri $16

• Felafel, tahini, pickles, dukkah $16 (v)

Both served in a bowl with big couscous and spinach salad. Also available as burgers.

• Crunchy thick cut chips, lime mayo $6

• Cheese or charcuterie board $16 GF available

Kellybrook Winery
Source Facebook Kellybrook Winery

Fulford Road, Wonga Park, (03) 9722 1304. Website click here.

Payne's Rise

Payne's Rise Winery
Source Payne's Rise Winery Facebook

Payne's Rise is the realisation of Tim and Narelle Cullen's many years of hard work, dedication and passion They specialise in small batch wines produced from carefully selected fruit from their Seville vineyard.

The inviting cellar door is incorporated into the 1860′s homestead and property of Seville's first settler, Thomas Payne.

You can enjoy:

•Chorizo & tiger prawns slow braised in Spanish paprika-spiked Romesco sauce, crispy potato, torn parsley, mizuna & grilled capsicum. (gf) $16

• Pumpkin & sage ravioli; charred capsicum, spicy pumpkin Yarra Valley Persian fetta & herb salad (v)$15

• Cheese boxes – a selection of 3 Gippsland cheeses, Fig & Walnut Rolada & crackers $15 (gfo)

• Kids mini cheeseburger $7

As well as live music, there are lawn games and cosy indoor & outdoor fires.

10 Paynes Rd, Seville, (03) 5964 2504,
Website click here.

Seville Estate

Seville Estate was awarded 'Winery of the Year' at the 2019 Halliday Wine Companion Awards. When Dr Peter McMahon planted the first vines at Seville Estate in 1972, it marked the rebirth of the Yarra Valley as an important wine region. Today his grandson Dylan McMahon is now the winemaker and general manager, following the passion ignited generations before. Wine in some families in the Yarra Valley seems to flow in their veins.

Ten wines were rated 95 points and above by James Halliday including Seville Estate's signature shiraz, pinot noir and chardonnay.

The original homestead is on site (and available as accommodation) as well as a vegetable garden helping to supplement the sustainable ingredients used in the kitchen. The gardens have recently been re-landscaped to provide a tranquil space and highlight the great views.

You can enjoy:

• Escabeche of seasonal, organic vegetables 14

• Local lamb ribs with sticky jus 16

• Cheese plates

65 Linwood Road, Seville, (03) 5964 2622, Website click here.

Seville Hill

Seville Hill is a picturesque hilltop vineyard with outstanding views out over the ranges and has many beautiful elm trees. John and Josie D'Aloisio's involvement in the agricultural industry began over 30 years ago culminating with the establishment of Seville Hill Vineyard and Winery in 1991. The winery is known for producing cool-climate wines from fruit grown in rich red volcanic soils of Seville and the Yarra Valley.

Whilst enjoying spectacular views and soothing music you can enjoy lunch of:

• Slow roasted free-range pork belly, potato mash, caramelized apple and roasted fennel, Nebbiolo jus (gf) $16

• Homemade potato gnocchi, exotic mushrooms, roasted chestnuts, caramelised butter, Reggiano Parmigiano (v) $16

• Seville Hill No.8 Shiraz poached pear, spiced mascarpone, buttery puff $12

• Kids jaffle and drink $10

8 Paynes Road, Seville, (03) 5964 3284,
Website click here.

Six Acres Wines

Six Acres is a vineyard and winery run by the Zuccaro family. The vineyard was planted in 1999. Located in Silvan they only use organic sprays, promote natural grasses in an uncultivated permanent sward, and are developing a composting and mulching program to maximize the health of their soils.

The small size of the property means that the whole family is involved in the winemaking process. Great music on the day as members of the family are musically inclined and Nepalese themed food.

• Momos - (Nepalese Dumplings) Chicken or vegan option $16

• Chicken rotti $16

• Sweet Momos $10

20 Ferndale Road, Silvan, 0408991741,
Website click here.

Steels Gate Wines

Surrounded by national parks and views in every direction. Steels Gate wines are handcrafted with grapes from two single vineyards in the Yarra Valley. That means the vines are cared for by hand and the grapes carefully hand-picked at the perfect harvest time.

Like the wine, the food is handcrafted in the onsite kitchen. Where possible, the herbs and vegetables are fresh from their garden.

A relaxing vibe, large verandah and local artwork on display and a pantry full of local products available for sample and purchase.

• Kerala coconut chicken curry with rice $16.00

• Paneer cashew vegetable curry with rice(v) $16.00

• Chocolate marquise $15.00

1974 Melba Highway, Dixons Creek, 03 59652155,
Website click here.

Tokar Estate

When Leon and Rita Tokar purchased the property of Tokar Estate in June 1995, the land was covered in thistles, tussock grass and snakes. Now come and see what they have created with this Mediterranean inspired building They were producing premium fruit by 1998.

Majestic sweeping views of the Yarra Valleys vineyards, mountain ranges, stunning skylines. Seasonal menu, European hospitality and impressive desserts

• Brioche bun, egg, smoked bacon, gruyere $16

• Mini Wagyu steak, quail egg, shoestring fries $16

• Mushroom truffle ragu, gnocchi, reggiano $16

• White chocolate, lime mousse, pistachio $10

• Kid's meals available

6 Maddens Lane, Coldstream 5964 9585,
Website click here.

Whispering Hills Vineyard

Enjoy delicious food such as wood-fired bread cooked in a unique 13-tonne wood-fired oven. Fresh local produce with produce from their garden or from nearby fields. Winemaker Murray Lyons will help you through your tasting. The offerings sound amazing:

• Roasted garlic and parsnip soup with lemon butter & sage, served with our wood-fired sourdough bread $10 (Veg & GF)

• Classic slow cooked Italian lamb shoulder ragu with gnocchetti and rosemary pangrattato $16

• Chocolate self-saucing pudding with double cream $10

580 Warburton Highway, Seville, (03) 5964 2822,
Website click here.

Yering Farm Wines

Apple pie

Be greeted by the ducks noisily splashing in the dam or rabbits scurrying for their burrows as you head to the rustic tasting room in a resurrected hay shed. It is a place to feel at ease.

The wines have a personality as do the quirky wine labels in the range, including Run Rabbit Run Chardonnay, Duck Down Under Pinot and The Foxtrot Cabernet.

As fifth generation orchardists, the experience will not be complete without trying the Farmyard Apple Syder (cider).

Yerring Farm began as an orchard so the family signature dish is the homemade apple pie. And you're in luck because its on the menu.

• Homemade hot apple pies, made just like Nanny used to make with crisp granny smith apples from the family orchard, served with fresh cream, fresh fruit and strawberry coulis $15

• Pruner's Platter- 3 cheeses, sopressa salami, mixed olives, quince paste, pickled onions and baby cucumbers, served with fresh fruit and crackers $15

• Poppy coffee van serving Barista Coffee, Tea & milkshakes

19-21 St. Huberts Rd, Yering, (03) 9739 0461
Website click here.

What you need to know about tickets for The Shortest Lunch

Dining packages start from just $42 and include entry, a souvenir tasting glass, one meal ticket and two glasses of wine.

An early-bird special is available for a limited time only and for just $60 includes entry, a souvenir tasting glass, one meal ticket, a glass of wine and a $30 bottle of wine. Click here for tickets.

For a map and more information on the wineries, click here.

Epicurean Wine Tours have packages available for those who do not wish to drive. Pick up in the City and at Ringwood Station. For further information click here. Vinechaser is also offering an all-day tour. Click here.

The net proceeds of the Shortest Lunch entry fee go to local community groups. Since 2009 they have raised $75,000 shared amongst local CFA brigades and the SES.
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*Nadine Cresswell-Myatt was invited as a guest
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Why? Experience some of the Yarra Valley's smaller wineries
When: Saturday 22nd June, 2019: 10am till 5pm, Sunday 23rd June, 2019: 10am till 5pm
Where: Yarra Valley
Cost: Entry is $15 per person - Entry ticket includes a souvenir tasting glass which allows access to all participating wineries for both days.Tickets and special packages will be available online or you can purchase your entry at your first participating
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