Category Archives: Winery Restaurants

Mar 03 2011

Moorilla Estate & MONA: An Extraordinary Marriage of Art and Wine

Posted on March 03, 2011 | By merrill@cellarit.com

Last year I attended an exhibition at the TarraWarra Museum of Art in the Yarra Valley, where I was awestruck by Marc and Eva Beson’s magnificent gallery that sits like an earth sculpture in a gorgeous vineyard setting and houses a wonderful collection of 20th century Australian art.

But even this remarkable experience didn’t quite prepare me for MONA – David Walsh’s extraordinary Museum of Old and New Art, which is part of the Moorilla Estate on the Berriedale peninsula about 20 minutes by car or ferry from the centre of Hobart. As Huon Hooke remarked, “As someone who’s as attached to art as I am to wine, I find it hard to express what a monumental achievement Mona is. Imagine if John-Paul Getty had decided to erect the Getty Museum in Hobart instead of a hilltop in Los Angeles. It’s that scale of significance.” (Estate’s Art and Soul by Huon Hooke, Sydney Morning Herald, 1 February 2011).

Designed by the Melbourne architectural firm Fender Kasalidis, the building is carved into the sandstone hillside and has a very subterranean feel. We descended a spiral staircase three flights down to begin our tour with curator Mark Fraser at the welcome bar, which serves Moorilla wines, Moo Brew and excellent coffee. The next few hours were spent exploring the art, which ranged from Sidney Nolan’s Snake, an epic 45-metre-long piece with 1,620 different segments, to Julius Popp’s Bit.fall, a waterfall that cascades down the cliff-like sandstone walls spelling out a baffling array of words.

Lunch was at the newly opened winery, where we enjoyed an excellent antipasto and sampled some very good Moorilla Wines. A favourite was the Moorilla Estate Muse Pinot Noir 2008. It had a delicious savoury and tart fruit palate complemented by a vibrant acidity … Read the rest

Sep 09 2010

Why Great Wine Promotes Healthy and Good Food!

Posted on September 09, 2010 | By merrill@cellarit.com

If you follow food trends, you would have noticed the explosion of interest in sourcing food locally. This phenomena has been sparked not only by a desire to reduce ‘food’ miles – ie. the distance food has to travel to reach our tables. More importantly, buying local is about promoting sustainability, self-reliance, seasonal and indigenous produce, and supporting family-owned farms that are growing food of very high quality.

Not surprisingly, premier Australian winery restaurants have been at the forefront in promoting regional cuisine and sourcing locally grown produce. And because they expect their suppliers to apply the same exacting standards as they do, the ‘partnership’ is achieving some great results!

Like many wineries in the Margaret River, Voyager Estate has its own highly regarded restaurant. Dedicated to showcasing the best regional fare, Voyager is committed to sourcing producers who share their passion and integrity.

Head Chef Blair Allen treasures the nine year relationship Voyager has built with the small family-owned and run Margaret River Venison Farm, “When the order is placed we know we are speaking to people who know and love their product.” Similarly, Paul Smith, the owner of Station Road Green Grocer, which supplies the Voyager restaurant with all its fresh fruit and vegetables, is “very passionate about great quality produce”.

The Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove Restaurant on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria serves food inspired by regional France, but the fresh seasonal produce is sourced from the estate and surrounding Mornington Peninsula farms. Montalto has its own expansive herb and vegetable garden, fruit and nut orchard and berry garden to which chefs make daily visits, harvesting the best of the garden for use in the restaurant. The vineyard also sells its own olive oil.

Cullen Wine’s vineyard in the Margaret River is certified “A” Grade … Read the rest