Austeja and Andy looked like they'd stepped out from the pages of GQ Magazine when I picked them up from their B&B hideaway in leafy Blairgowrie. On a Lou Reed inspired perfect day, this supremely stylish couple were up for visits to vineyards, wineries and a long, lazy lunch in a cosy cellar door. (Photos courtesy of Andy Roberts)
Andy, a celebrated photographer has a painter’s eye for light and detail. He was in a lather about the autumnal colours, soft light and evocative glow throughout the region.
After visiting Cape Schanck, we ventured around western Port to Balnarring for a relaxing picnic on “Sunsets”, a private beach-side location with lovely coastal views. Here we discovered possibly the region’s best food-and-wine match: A ripe Main Ridge Dairy rolled ash Capriole chèvre paired with a 2012 Willow Creek Vineyard Sparkling.
On the Flinders Pier, Harry the Mussel Man offers the perfect taste of the region’s ocean bounty. Harry believes his mussels are at their plumpest and primo best at this time of year. After buying a kilo and feasting at Barn & Co. we say the old sea dog knows his stuff!
Plunge specialises in beyond the cellar door experiences and no other tour in Australia can provide the intimacy and excitement of tasting freshly made wines with winemaker, Geraldine McFaul in the privacy of her Willow Creek barrel room.
Austeja, a Director of Operations at a Neurosurgery in Sydney, found inspiration in tasting the selection of fine cool-climate Chardonnay and Pinot Noir with Geraldine. A highlight was a spitting competition in which Austeja was no match for the seasoned winemaker pro who could hit a spitoon from three metres.
Ocean Eight is noted for its cool, racy chardonnay. As the afternoon sun cast shadows over the hills of Main Ridge, Andy photographed Austeja among the golden, sun-dappled vines in the Ocean Eight vineyard where nature and scenery go from beautiful to sublime.