The menu across the Moorabool Valley is rich with reds: Here is our guide to the best hospitality spots in the region

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The menu across the Moorabool Valley is rich with reds: Here is our guide to the best hospitality spots in the region

Moorabool Valley
Photo: One Hour Out
words by staff writer

The Geelong region boasts award-winning wine country bookending the town’s centre. Across the Bellarine Peninsula lives a corridor of vineyards including Jack Rabbit, Oakdene Estate, and Terindah Estate, and tucked into the north of Geelong sits even more acclaimed vineyards.

The sweeping Moorabool Valley is the bridge between Victoria’s largest regional towns Geelong and Ballarat, the setting of spectacular sunsets and rolling greens. Lending itself into these picturesque scenes lies a labyrinth of eating establishments.

Here are some of the best hospitality hosts in the Moorabool Valley to enjoy a sip of wine and a slice of mouth-watering menus, all whilst soaking in the surroundings.

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Clyde Park Vineyard

Starting with one of the most picturesque landscapes the region has to offer, Clyde Park Vineyard is perched atop of the valley with outdoor dining overlooking the rows of vines.

With an artisanal culinary experience focused on sustainable, locally sourced and proudly home-grown produce including woodfire pizza. Boasting more than 20 wines in their range, their enomatic tasting system offers guests the opportunity to enjoy vertical tastings of their single-block wines.

The cool-climate James Halliday 5-star-rated vineyard was established in 1979 with a small planting of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, growing to include Shiraz, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Gris. Their cellar door and barrel room are wedding location favourites and they offer special events across the year with Mother’s Day celebrations incoming across Friday 10 – Sunday 12 May including a high tea three-course luncheon held in the Vue Marquee on the cards and a French affair dining experience in the barrel room.

Bookings are required for the event.


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Lethbridge Wines

Just a mosey down Ballarat Road from Clyde Park is the quaint Lethbridge Wines. PhD research scientists turned wine wizards, Maree Collis and Ray Nadeson are the duo behind this boutique vineyard. With the ethos that “winemaking is not really that different to science, both are creative and both involve 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration”, the duo have engineered award-winning viticulture entries.

Offering a selection of their house brand along with other regional selections including Between 5 Bells, Il Modo and Nadeson Collins, the winery has a sweet cellar door where you can grow your knowledge of wines. Partner that with a locally sourced platter and you are in for an afternoon of indulging. Whilst the Lethbridge location is the mothership, they also have a second location on the Bellarine Peninsula at Hat Rock Vineyard.

Austin’s Wines

The Austins have harnessed their skills to build a brand and lifestyle for their winery. You have more than likely seen their flagship Austin’s brand on the shelves of alcohol suppliers nationally, along with their 6ft6 selection.

The team produces award-winning wines across the board, particularly with their palette-pleaser Pinot Noir. On site, their cellar door is currently partnering with kitchen kings, Nama to offer an ever-changing Asian-fusion omakase menu of unique tacos and snacks in a pop-up capacity. Made with fresh ingredients, these treats pair impeccably with a fresh drop as you overlook the golden vineyard valley.

Provenance Wines

Tucked into the Queens Park serpentine in Fyanfords sits Provenance Wines. The cellar door is located in a stunning heritage bluestone papermill on the Barwon River, Provenance is a multiple award-winning five-star rated winery of spectacular proportions. The provenance of Provenance is a decade-long tale for owner and winemaker duo Scott Ireland and Sam Vogel who hunted high and low for the perfect cold climate patch.

Their pursuit led them to several plots in regional Victoria where they found the perfect blend for their Pinot Gris, Riesling, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Shiraz and Nebbiolo. Elevating their in-house experience with their chef’s selection offering or six-course dining options, the team at Provenance Wines have crafted a gastronomic journey.

Returning this winter are their Friday and Saturday night dining sessions. Running from 19 April to 27 July, you can choose between six and eight courses of tantalising tasters.


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Barrabool Maze Estate & Cafe

Adventure physically and adventure of the taste buds, Barrabool Maze Estate and Café is a playful part of the Moorabool Valley. Whilst not a winery estate, the grounds of Barrabool Maze Estate and Café are well worth a drop in. Get lost in their hedge maze, explore the surrounding gardens and get a nibble at Duck Duck Goose Cafe.

With delectable cakes, glazing platters and lunch options, Duck Duck Goose Café is a great spot to sizzle by the woodfire or under the oak tree in the alfresco dining area with a wine or coffee after venturing into the garden labyrinth. The relaxed country-style cafe is a perfect day trip for the family, or you can stay on-site with their accommodation options.

The Moorabool Valley has so many places to get lost whilst enjoying the best in local cuisine.

Head to the Tourism Geelong & The Bellarine website for more ideas on what to see and do in the Moorabool Valley.

This article was made in partnership with Tourism Greater Geelong & The Bellarine.