Into the Country Tours & Rosemont House; a Winning Combination to Discover West Gippsland….
Recently, I was lucky enough to enjoy a wine tour with Sharon from Into the Country Tours. What a fabulous day it was! If you are looking for something just a little bit different to do when coming to Noojee….. join one of Sharon’s wine tours from Into the Country Tours. They depart from Warragul or Drouin – I’ll drop you & pick you up too.
These are fabulously good fun. You visit off the beaten track, boutique (so not many know about them!) wineries & breweries located in West Gippsland, and there is a special 60’s diner that is not open to the public that is a real treat!
On the day I went, I joined a group of parents who all had a six year old, one couple with 2! – they had formed a friendship as a mothers group and they were the most welcoming and inclusive group I could have wished to be a part of for the day.
We all met in the carpark at Warragul train station at 10.30am (Sharon will also pick up from Drouin) – this is the carpark where the busses park (over the bridge) just to be clear as there are several car parks at the Warragul station!
Swampfox Winery Estate
We headed off at 11am with our first stop at Swampfox Winery Estate which is located just out of Drouin (15min drive) near Catani. It was an absolute delight to visit this boutique winery. The winemaker Bob & his wife Shirley (who have very Australian sounding names but are Italian through & through!) were very warm and personable and they made our visit to their gorgeous little winery feel like a big warm hug! At Swampfox, they have an array of cool climate wines of both white & red – but beware Bob really likes people to enjoy his wine & can be liberal with his tastings! Swampfox Winery Estate is only open on Sundays.
Howler Brewing Company
After Swampfox it was time to head to Howler Brewing Company in Lang Lang. This business is located in an old bank building & while the outside of the property is very unassuming the inside is a clever mixture of 70’s laminex tables, fabulous artwork (the creature on the wall as you walk in is amazing and is a depiction of a swamp animal located in the area) and great beer, cider & food. This place is VERY popular so don’t make the mistake of turning up without a booking because you will be disappointed. They are open Thursday to Sunday.
Gippsland Wine Company Cellar Door
We were on the road again after The Howler Brewing Company towards Gippsland Wine Company Cellar Door. This is a fabulous place to spend some time on the way to or from Noojee. Located near the village of Loch it is certainly a little gem of a winery. You will find your hosts Mark & Jane very personable & brimming with knowledge about wine (although nowhere near pretentious, Mark owns up to drinking wine from Aldi!). Cooked food is not on offer BUT they have a fabulous array of local produce that you can pick & choose from to create your very own picnic to enjoy while sipping on their wine or beer. The location is magic – you don’t sit looking over vines but nearly right in the vineyard amongst the vines, it is truly unique. They are open Friday, Saturday & Sunday.
A Very Special Garden & Diner in Drouin
We were off again after the Gippsland Wine Company Cellar Door back to Drouin (this is where people tend to nod off after consuming great food & wine!) where Sharon springs an amazing surprise on the group – a very special garden & 1960’s inspired Diner. This is the ONLY way to see this space; it is not open to the public. We spend some time wandering & enjoying the very well organised, inspiring garden like no other I have ever seen. It was time for afternoon tea in the Diner. This is an absolute feast for your eyes with every nook & cranny filled with memorabilia. Lorraine & John are the hosts here and they really love what they do!
While this is what we did on the day I did the tour, there is usually a stop at Baw Baw Cellar Door in Warragul (which is also a fabulous cellar door located down the same driveway as Hoggets Kitchen). Kim is the host at Baw Baw Cellar Door and make sure to ask her about her champagne opening skills with a very large knife!
So if you want a great day out by yourself or with a group then Into the Country Tours could be just what you need. Oh and there is more than just wine tours on offer!