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Heathcote in Autumn – Food, Wine and Craft Beer

Words by Anthea Riskas
Images supplied

The Heathcote region is most well-known for its Shiraz – and rightly so – with the perfect growing conditions for this grape variety thanks to the red, rocky soils of the surrounding mountains. But! There is so much more to explore, enjoy and discover when it comes to eating and drinking in the area.

Whether you’re wanting to fine dine, winery hop or hole up for a casual afternoon in a beer barn, you’ll be absolutely spoiled for choice and will probably need more than just a day trip to pack in all the experiences available.

Start in town and meander along High Street or head for the hills and plan out a driving itinerary. Whatever you decide, make sure you tick off at least a few of our following favourites from your “must visit” list.


Heathcote RestaurantThis fine-dining gem is attracting a huge amount of foodie attention – and earning hats – with the couple at the helm having some big hospitality names on their collective CV.

Parisian-born chef Louis has worked in Michelin-starred restaurants and partner Tess is a sommelier who counts McConnell and Grossi as former employers. This combined experience has led to an elegant, intimate restaurant, housed in a sandstone building, that’s steeped in local history.

Expect a traditional, French, set lunch menu – with a sprinkling of Italian influences – that showcases local produce, surprising and delightful wines and superb service that challenges regional stereotypes.

Open Friday-Monday for lunch and it’s essential to book, or it’ll be c’est la vie.

Take a look here.

Palling Bros Brewery

Heathcote BreweryAt the opposite end of the dining spectrum and a couple of doors up from Chauncy, is the working brewery and beer hall of Palling Bros.

Craft beer enthusiasts will find a pleasing array of offerings for their tasting paddles and everyone else will be catered for with softies, wine and spirits also available.

On Wednesday and Thursday, food is courtesy of Derek and his Tonka truck, serving up toasties from midday-3pm and Friday through to Sunday, the full kitchen menu is available, with burgers, tacos, smoked meats and the usual pub pleasers.

Kid and dog friendly, and with live music on weekends, this is an easy and excellent choice.

More here.

Heathcote Wine Hub

Heathcote Wine HubIf you’re not keen on driving around to sample as many local drops as possible, this wine store and provedore is just a stroll down High Street.

Housed in a charming old wooden church, it is deceptively casual because inside you’ll find over 200 Heathcote wines, an ever-changing tasting menu and some of the most knowledgeable service that extends to the beers, ciders and gins that are also stocked here.

Make a booking and make sure you allot a good few hours of your weekend here because once you get chatting, tasting will turn into snacking, which will turn into a long, lazy lunch and then suddenly you’ve had the best day!

Find out more here.

Shiraz Republic & Cornella Brewery

Heathcote WineryWithin the famous Shiraz wine territory, sits Mt Camel, a micro-zone of growing. And the jewel that sits in its crown, is this destination operation that houses a winery, a brewery, self-contained accommodation and immersive experiences.

Visit the cellar door to sample a tasting flight, try one of 20 beers on tap and kick back and enjoy the view and the tunes over a pizza.

For the full viticulture package, book a cabin, rent a row of vines and get your hands and feet dirty stomping grapes and making your own wine!

Get all the info here.

Silver Spoon Estate

Heathcote WineryIf eco-tourism is your specialist subject, a visit to this off-grid vineyard on Mt Camel is a must.

The entire winery is powered by 64 solar panels and large water tanks, and the grapevines are non-irrigated, meaning only natural rainfall is relied upon to provide hardy, intense flavours.

Creepy crawlies great and small, are allowed to live in harmony and keep pests and disease at bay, with a minimum of chemicals needed to keep crops healthy and in Springtime sheep are grazed to keep the weeds in check.

This enviro ethos brings you vegan-friendly wines, gluten-free and vegetarian bistro options and a sense of relaxed fun when your choices are drops with names like “Monster Shiraz” and “Fandango”.

Details here.

Vinea Marson

Winery HeathcoteMario Marson has brought generations’ worth of growing knowledge and his Italian heritage to this slice of Mt Camel.

Imported grape varietals love the soil here and Vinea Marson has been producing Sangiovese and Nebbiolo with them since 2000. Add to that Rosé, Viognier and classic Prosecco and this becomes the winery to visit with a carload full of different tastes.

The cellar door is steeped in awards and you can gather around the table to enjoy antipasto and foodie collaborations with notables like That’s Amore Cheese, as well as events that pair the vino with fine menu offerings from kitchens such as Ladro.

Get all the details here.


Where: Heathcote in Autumn
What: Food, Wine & Craft Beer
More Info: Explore Heathcote

We wish to acknowledge the Wadawurrung people as traditional owners of this land and to pay our respects to their Elders, past and present.
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