Brought to you by The Beverage Food Group
Crowds have long been drawn to this winery-slash-restaurant, in part to try chef Matt Stone’s special version of farm-to-plate meals. The menu, available in two or three courses, features ingredients sourced from the Oakridge kitchen garden, as well as foraged from the surrounding bush by Stone (current garnishes include lemon thyme and onion weed). You won’t have to convince your three-year-old to try the (delicious) dry-aged duck, though – there’s a separate menu for the kids. Once lunch is done, head to the cellar door to sample David Bicknell’s wines while the kids play with the giant chessboard, Jenga or bocce sets.
864 Maroondah Highway, Coldstream; (03) 9738 9900
The Craft & Co Farm
Stretched across 40 verdant acres, The Craft & Co Farm is more than just a vineyard – it’s a kitchen garden, café, winery, cellar door, live-music venue and source of all the fresh goodies served at its sister site, The Craft & Co, in Collingwood. Situated in Bangholme, in the Greater Dandenong region, less than an hour from Melbourne’s CBD, making it an easy afternoon trip for little ones (no rounds of “Are we there yet?” required). As you kick back under the bright-red umbrellas, tearing into a steak sandwich and enjoying a glass of The Craft & Co cabernet or a cold Bangholme Bitter, the kids can cuddle the ex-battery-farm hens or take the bright bocce balls for a roll on the dedicated pitch.
The Craft & Co Farm, 170 Riverend Road, Bangholme; (03) 9773 4880
Green Olive at Red Hill
Scoot down to the Mornington Peninsula and spend an afternoon sipping wines from this cool-climate vineyard and grazing on tapas sprinkled with freshly picked herbs. Green Olive does a wine-tasting paddle any time of day, featuring four wines and, fittingly, a serve of olives. Kids will get a kick out of exploring the expansive veggie patch and spotting the resident animals, including a Shetland pony, chooks, sheep and a scattering of ducks. But who are we kidding? What they’ll really want to do is bounce on the in-ground, Olympic-sized trampoline.
1180 Mornington-Flinders Road, Main Ridge; (03) 5989 2992
It’s a family affair at Pfeiffer Wines, both for you and for the owners – Chris Pfieffer, his wife, Robyn, and daughter, Jenny, are the brains behind the vineyard’s award-winning Rieslings. Closer to Albury than Melbourne, it’s worth the weekend trip to pick up a Pfeiffer picnic hamper and venture into the expansive grounds for an easy lunch. Hampers for two include a bottle of wine, smoked trout mousse, a baguette and chicken terrine, while the kids’ version includes a crowd-pleasing ham, cheese, tomato and lettuce sandwich, fruit and dessert. Rumour has it kids might even get the chance to sprinkle breadcrumbs to the resident turtles from the bridge over Sunday Creek.
167 Distillery Road, Wahgunyah; (02) 6033 2805
Top image: The Craft & Co