Review: Bellarine Peninsula food and wine tour showcases the region’s top tastes
While the Bellarine Peninsula may be less well known as a Victorian gourmet destination than the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula, it is no less amazing. Take the road less travelled on this fabulous food and wine tour of the region. Review: Louise Reynolds
Bellarine Peninsula food and wine tour with Andy's Trails
Immerse yourself in the stunning beauty of the Bellarine Peninsula and taste-test the region’s best craft beer, wine, cider and local produce during this superb day out. The tour includes pick-up at Geelong hotels and visits to five amazing food and beverage providores at a relaxed pace. Enjoy tastings at each venue, along with a grazing platter-style lunch of cured meats, cheeses, breads and seafood. This day tour is the deliciously definitive way to experience the tastes of the Bellarine – and the best part is – someone else does the driving! Duration: 6 hours (approx.)
Best price guarantee: If you find this tour elsewhere at a cheaper price, we will beat it by 10%. Some conditions apply. There are no booking or credit card fees when you book this tour with The Big Bus tour and travel guide.
The Bellarine Peninsula east of Geelong is rapidly emerging as a top Victorian destination for lovers of fine food, wine, craft beer and cider.
There’s plenty on offer from the peninsula’s 50-odd wineries, breweries and providores, but with all that magnificent choice comes the heavy responsibility of choosing where to go, not to mention who will do the driving. It’s a far better idea to let someone else do both. Andy’s Trails to the rescue!
After years working in the local hospitality industry managing pubs, owner and operator Andrew Tynan decided to share his passion for the region’s food and beverage scene with visitors. He established Andy’s Trails in 2017 with a selection of craft beer tours, before branching out into gourmet taste trails. Melbourne craft beer walks have recently been added to the list of itineraries.
Today I’m joining Andy’s small-group Bellarine Peninsula food and wine tour. The tour visits five wineries and providores that showcase the best tastes the region has to offer, and on this occasion we’re heading for Basils Farm, Oakdene, Flying Brick Cider House with Yes Said the Seal wines, and Jack Rabbit.
Basils Farm is famous for its artisanal chardonnay, pinot noir, shiraz, rosé and prosecco. The winery also produced its first sauvignon blanc in 2016. Try the young-vine pinot noir. It’s produced from a vine that was transplanted from Marysville following the devastating bushfires of 2009.
While I would normally like to explore a vineyard like this from top to bottom, I’m reminded by the signs around the property that snakes may also be out exploring. So, I restrict my wandering to the organic kitchen garden that supplies the winery’s café.
Oakdene vineyard is the next stop on our itinerary, and here I’m assured that the whimsical wine tasting room really is in the form of an upside down house (and not because I’m already tipsy after just one tasting, which is just as well, because there’s lots more to come!). The 2018 Halliday Wine Companion gave Oakdene’s sauvignon blanc a top ranking. For me, the William Shiraz is the pick of the bunch.
Before we depart for the Flying Brick Cider Company, Andy quietly gives me the heads up that we’re about to face a double header under one roof. He’s not wrong! The Flying Brick’s tasting room is also home to the fabulously-named Yes said the Seal wines. Where do we begin!
Yes said the Seal’s range of limited edition maritime climate wines includes an award-winning pinot noir. A bottle of the top notch rosé is coming home with me.
The included tasting paddle of Flying Brick ciders is very generous. Given the number of wines I’ve already tasted today, I’m not super sorry that I don’t like beer or cider – but I’m assured by my fellow tour participants that each one is extremely good.
Flying Brick is also our lunch stop. Delicious shared tasting plates brim with local produce. There are breads, olive oils, meats and cheeses, and some seriously yummy salt and pepper calamari. It’s more than enough to fill us up (and hopefully soak up some of the alcohol that just keeps coming).
Jack Rabbit is the most picturesque of our stops, and offers fabulous views towards the You Yangs under a dramatic sky. This acclaimed winery produces the full gamut of wine styles, including sparklings, both sweet and dry whites, rosés, shiraz and merlots. There’s something to suit every taste here.
All up today, I’ve tasted around 20 high quality wines and sampled plenty of amazing produce. This Bellarine Peninsula food and wine tour has achieved its goal of showcasing a bit of everything the region has to offer.
One of the best things about this experience is that it’s not just a hop-on-hop-off tour of cellar doors. There’s plenty of time at each venue to explore, take your time with the tastings and soak up the ambience and atmosphere. That’s exactly what I want from a food and wine tour.
Louise Reynolds made up her mind at the age of about four that she would one day travel the world – and has so far visited around 30 countries across five continents and the Pacific. A hopeless Francophile, Louise has a particular love for France, its language and pretty much all things French. Her favourite way to explore the world is on foot and her boots have taken her walking on famous trails in Europe, South America and New Zealand. Louise also has a passion for her home state and loves exploring regional Victoria. While travelling she’s usually found with a pile of books and at least one teddy bear in tow. She also practices the little-known sport of extreme knitting in far off places.