Head just an hour or so out of Melbourne and into regional Victoria and indulge yourself at some of Seymour’s best wineries, cafes, and restaurants.
There’s no denying that Victoria’s Yarra Valley is a food and wine powerhouse. But it isn’t the only wine region in the state that’s dishing up seriously good drops and bites. Ever heard of Seymour? It’s a regional centre just over one hour’s drive from the heart of Melbourne, that’s bursting with world-class wineries and day-trip-worthy eateries, all without the massive crowds of the Yarra. Sounds inviting, right?
Next time you’re planning a wining and dining city escape, consider bundling yourself into the car (or tap on with your Myki and jump on the VLine) to Seymour and heading out to these cafes, restaurants, and wineries.
Wine By Sam
If you’ve ever ordered from Naked Wines, there’s every chance you’ve sipped on a bottle of Wine by Sam‘s wines.
Take a trip to their dye-works-factory-come-urban-cellar-door, and you won’t be sipping on those wines per se (they’re special runs for the wine subscription service only), but you will be guided through their impressive core range and some exclusive cellar door releases. From cabernet sauvignon to viognier to sparkling rose, from Seymour to the Strathbogies, there’s something for everyone in their deliciously extensive range.
The winery is headed up by its namesake – Sam Plunkett, formerly of Plunkett Wines, and arguably one of the region’s best winemakers – and his wife, Bronwyn. Touted a ‘working winery’ this is the place to come to see the ins and outs of the winemaking industry in Seymour. Guests to the venue are welcome to head out the back and have a look at the production process from the viewing area and, if you run into Sam or Bronwyn, you can request to be taken further afield for a closer look.
If you’d prefer to simply savour the end product, there’s plenty of space to pull up a chair at the cellar door and crack open a bottle of your favourite drop. Accompany your red, white, rose, or sparkling with some meatballs, arancini, flat breads, or a cheese board from the bar menu for that extra bit of palate pleasing.
Wine by Sam, 69 Anzac Ave, Seymour VIC 3660
The Winery Kitchen
Run by an Italian man (the chef), his brother (the property and vineyard owner), and his daughter (the maître d’), The Winery Kitchen is one of the most genuine and wholesome eateries in Seymour. Not only do the trio welcome you to their uniquely decagonal shaped restaurant with open arms and warm smiles, but they welcome you into their own family by sharing some of their favourite family recipes with you.
While Italian food isn’t always about pasta and pizza, the cuisine has become synonymous with the dishes, and so has The Winery Kitchen. Their woodfired oven pumps out some of the finest pizza in town, and the menu is heavy with delicious pasta options. Think handmade artichoke ravioli with lemon and capers, gnocchi with broccoli, gorgonzola, and cream, and chewy, bubbly-based ‘quattro stagioni’ pizza with ham, mushrooms, artichokes, and olives.
Despite the menu sounding like a gluten intolerant’s nightmare, most of the pizza, pasta, gnocchi, and even desserts, can be prepared gluten-free. It’s darn good too. Gluten-free pizza bases are notoriously hard to do well, but The Winery Kitchen have nailed the bubbly, gluten-free woodfired base. And, if you’re really looking to indulge, the gluten-free chocolate brownie is to die for.
The Winery Kitchen is just a five-minute drive from Seymour town centre on Emily Street. The property is also home to a vineyard that supplies the restaurant with wine, and an organic farm.
The Winery Kitchen, 1 Emily St, Seymour VIC 3660
If Wine by Sam is a ‘working’ winery, Mitchelton Wines is a ‘wow’ winery. Sitting on acreage that backs onto the picturesque Goulburn River in Nagambie, this charming estate is everything you would expect of a well-established name.
Mitchelton Wines is a 20-minute drive from Seymour town centre, but the locals still claim it as their own. Built in 1974, the winery is an integral part of the Victorian winemaking landscape both historically and visually.
Over the years, the estate’s iconic 55-meter lookout tower has become the face of Mitchelton Wines and serves as a visual marker for anyone making the car trip out there; and that road trip out there is well worth it. Of course, there are plenty of incredible wines to sip on at the winery’s large, finely tuned cellar door, but drinking wine isn’t the limit of the cultured activities you can do there.
Once you’ve sampled the range, sit down and enjoy the scenic surrounds (it’s a popular wedding destination for a reason) while nibbling on your haul from the on-site provedore, or hire one of the estate’s bikes and ride through the vines. One thing you can’t miss is a visit to the tower where a ‘choose your own adventure’ awaits. Hit ‘up’ in the elevator for a 55m high, unbroken view out over the river and estate; or hit ‘down’ to head to the basement gallery where some of Australia’s largest Aboriginal works are kept.
Mitchelton Winery, 470 Mitchellstown Rd, Nagambie VIC 3608
There’s a seemingly never-ending list of things to do at Mitchelton Winery. Sitting down to a meal at the estate’s restaurant, The Muse, should be considered a priority on that list.
Nestled between the Goulburn River, the Mitchelton Hotel, the estate’s provedore, and the promenade, The Muse is the physical and metaphorical centre of the winery. It’s open seven days a week from 8.00am until late, so it’s up to you whether you head in for breakfast pre-wine tasting or extend your wine-fuelled day with a signature Muse lunch or dinner.
There’s a Tuscan air to the restaurant with its brick floor, vine-covered pergola outside, and big glass windows, but the menu skews more towards ‘modern Australian’. With a heavy focus on fresh seafood, local meats, and estate-grown vegetables, The Muse well and truly deliver on their ethos of ‘local, seasonal, ethical’. Though the menu changes frequently, one thing that never changes is the finesse and quality of the dishes set down in front of you.
The Muse, 470 Mitchellstown Rd Nagambie, VIC 3608
The Brewer’s Table
If it were a member of a football team, The Brewer’s Table would be considered the most valuable player. Open seven days a week, this local cafe serves breakfast-goers, brunchers, lunchers, and the Friday and Saturday night crowd. There’s even a mini provedore section of the cafe showcasing and selling local wares. The Brewer’s Table has everything covered.
The locals love this place. It’s buzzing with people most of the day, coming in for catch-ups in the cosy, renovated shop front and the cafe’s hearty home-style meals. Head in before lunch for a giant mug of hot coffee and a slice of cake from the cabinet, or pop in for a post-noon chicken schnitzel or salad bowl (the grilled halloumi salad bowl with prosciutto is a winner), washed down with a cold glass of chardonnay from one of the local wineries.
The Brewer’s Table, 42 Station Street Seymour, Victoria 3660
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