Naturally, as soon as we got to Sale, Victoria, I had to Google what was the closest winery. The first result to pop up was Avon Ridge Vineyard which is about a 20-minute drive from Sale and about 50 minutes from Traralgon.
This was our first Gippsland winery visit and is number 16/600 Victoria cellar doors on my bucket list.
As we drove into the driveway at Avon Ridge we saw a for sale sign up. So it looks like it’ll be under new management sometime in the near future. I do have to admit that Mr Spittoon and I bought a lotto ticket later that day, just in case it was our destiny to be the new owners ;)
It’s very clear from when you first walk onto the property from the car park that it’s set up for weddings and events. It’s gorgeous! Every now and then when I visit a vineyard like this, I do wish Mr Spittoon and I could have another wedding. While our Vanuatu wedding was absolutely wonderful, I’d also love to have a winery one!
What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the quality of wine on offer. I’d had a handful of Gippsland wines prior to moving to the region, but I really wasn’t expecting this.
The cellar door
Avon Ridge is named after the Avon River which runs through the region.
One thing I would love to see at Avon Ridge is a bit more of a cellar door experience. The property is very much set up for events and for dining, however, they really should have a dedicated tasting area. The wines are worth it, trust me.
Currently, you can taste at the bar, which is also where the till is and is quite a busy area. Don’t get me wrong though, we had a brilliant tasting and experience, I am probably just a little bit greedy :)
The lovely lady who took us through our tasting was very informative and warm. As she took us from the top to the bottom of the list, I am pretty sure I said that I loved each and every wine. I was truly wowed by the quality of these Gippsland wines.
Avon Ridge has over 30-year-old vines on the property and specialises in cool-climate Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. I would happily enjoy a glass of any of their wines. However, this is the one we simply ‘had’ to take home with us:
Of course, it would be rude of us if we didn’t stay for lunch.
What really stood out to me about the menu was the Wine Guide. This is an absolutely brilliant idea! At the start of the menu, there is a legend, where every wine has a unique symbol associated with it. Throughout the menu, each dish is then carefully matched with one of the wines. I love this! it makes wine and food matching so easy, more restaurants definitely need to do this!
I also love how the food is very much about supporting local produce. Avon Ridge source their eggs from Maroubra grass-fed free range eggs, the bread is made in-house daily, all the cheese is from Gippsland and herbs and garnishes are grown in their own garden. I have to admit, I really love how Gippsland is very good at supporting local!
We ordered a range of small share plates:
- Hand cut Forsyth farm potatoes, fried and seasoned with rosemary salt, served with sour cream and sweet chilli – $12
- Crumbed red leister Maffra cheddar and sundried tomato arancini, purple potato aioli and capsicum coulie – $10
- Southern ridge sliders with crispy fried chicken pieces, sriracha, kewpie mayo and pickles served with farmers best chips – $18
- Spicy Thai fish cakes served with a chilli glaze and apple remoulade – $14
The dessert menu looked awesome, but unfortunately, we were way too full after the above. My pick and Mr Spittoon’s too was the sliders – they were so good!
I have also heard they do a great breakfast buffet on the weekends!
See you again Avon Ridge
I am looking forward to visiting again soon and I have no doubt Avon Ridge wine will be in my wine glass on a regular basis. For more information:
Address: 446 Maffra-Stratford Rd, Maffra VIC 3860
Phone: (03) 5141 1146