Last week my colleagues and I escaped the city for a long leisurely lunch at Plunkett Fowles Winery on the Hume Freeway just north of Seymour. We started with some of their Stone Dwellers Sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir and platters from the antipasti and charcuterie menu out in the sunny courtyard, then moved inside for the rest of the meal.
Bubbles (above) and charcuterie (below) featuring chorizo, sausage, pork and pistachio terrine, ham, beetroot pickle and amazing sweet pickled cherry tomatoes. The antipasti (no photo) included wine braised mushrooms, roasted tomatoes with goats curd and arancini with garlic aioli.
The main dishes on the menu are impressive. My lamb cutlets (below) with zucchini, mint, broad beans and Persian fetta was sensational.
Swordfish with white bean puree, olives and confit tomatoes (below).
Seared eye fillet on roasted kipfler potatoes (below).
Cured Salmon on potato pancakes with horseradish cream (below).
Pan fried chicken breast with waldorf salad (below).
We also loved the desserts, including the vanilla pannacotta with frizzante soaked strawberries (below).
Apple strudel (below).
My chocolate fudge pudding was incredibly rich (below) and satisfying.
Plunkett Fowles recently won the 2010 Great Australian Shiraz Challenge Trophy with its 2008 ‘Ladies who Shoot their Lunch’ Shiraz, and is a Victorian winery worth paying attention to. They have a welcoming cellar door and a good restaurant that is about 90 minutes from Melbourne.
If you’ve done the Yarra Valley or Mornington Peninsula and want to try somewhere different, I’d suggest trying the Strathbogie Ranges area and Plunkett Fowles. Disclosure: this meal was paid for by my employer.