The Bellarine is such an easy place to get around and visiting quality wineries is a breeze. As someone that has spent most of my life in Geelong and 25 years in the wine industry, it has to be said that the Bellarine Peninsula has an incredible wine experience to offer.
On this tour, we had eight people, and all of them had varied wine experience. One thing that they all had in common was a love for fun, wine and good times. The day started out as a 10:30 am a departure from Leopold, and we made our way to Oakdene Estate. This is such a neat winery to visit; there is plenty of homemade art scattered around all made by Liz, the owner – she certainly has a quirky appeal with what she creates. It has a warming and inviting appeal, and if you decide to have lunch here, you will be treated to some delicious tasting food – on this day we ended up somewhere else
Oakdene Estate has 25 acres under vine, to tiers of wine; a blue label and white label and depending on supply they also have a signature offering. With some 13 wines, available for tasting this certainly gets the mood moving along in the right direction. Our next winery was Banks Road. Like many wineries throughout the Bellarine, many of them are family owned, and more importantly, family operated. You get to deal with the people that are making the wine and selling the wine here at Banks Road. Their passion and values are revealed, and the experience is compelling.
With plenty of wines on offer at Banks Road (approx 11) and they also have other brands available for purchase. Boasting that their signature wines are Chardonnay and Pinot Noir it is easy to see why when you taste these wines. The winery door is small and cosy, and for our party size of eight people, we make sure that we let them know we are planning a visit.
After a couple of wineries with that many wines to taste the next call to order was to find a place for lunch. There are so many places to grab a bite to eat throughout the Bellarine, but while on a winery tour why not have lunch at a winery? Most of them take pride in the local produce that the source and again it ties in with delivering a food and wine experience for you.
Leura Park was the destination for lunch, and this place always delivers on the experience. The food is mouth-watering and good value. The seasonal and soul warming menu on those cold days make Leura Park a great place for a feed. The wines speak for themselves. Several of their wines have received excellent third party reviews from the professional wine critics. It would be remiss not mention that you should try the Sparkling wine selection and the Shiraz if you decide to drop in here for the day.