This idyllic spot on the edge of Swan Bay is a biodynamic vineyard, permaculture garden, cellar door and cafe all in one.
Basils Farm produces wines under two labels – the titular Basils Farm and Kiltynane Estate. The latter started life in 1997, in the Yarra Valley. Founder Kate Kirkhope was originally a biodynamic consultant at Basils Farm, but moved her entire operation to the site after the 2009 bushfires.
The grapes continue to be grown using biodynamic principles. They’re pressed in small batches using wild fermentation, some whole bunching and minimal handling, to produce a selection of aromatic whites and reds.
The cellar door and cafe are set in an old cottage, which is kept toasty in winter thanks to a fireplace. You can also take your lunch out on the sunny lawn, or relax around the outdoor fire pit.
Ben Shaw runs the permaculture garden on site, growing produce to supply the kitchen. The orchard is lush with figs, quinces, plums, grapefruit, olives and lemons. Vegetables are picked, preserved and plated up with Ravens Creek pasture-raised cured meats, Bellarine Manzanillo olives and Drysdale cheeses on the antipasto platters.
Meals such as braised pork belly with potato rosti, bacon and cabbage are packed with flavour thanks to the straight-from-the-garden practices. Organic coffee is sourced from Ocean Grind in Torquay and paired with Schulz organic milk from Timboon.
Basils Farm also leases the adjoining acreage, which the team is regenerating by planting indigenous trees to help restore the soil and preserve the wetlands system. It’s a great place for a post-lunch wander.
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