Even in the Yarra Valley, where every bend in the road reveals a striking new vista, Oakridge Wines has it made. Its north-facing dining room and outdoor deck look onto 10 undulating hectares planted with pinot noir, shiraz, cabernet sauvignon, chardonnay, semillon and merlot. Beyond, thickly forested hills run to the horizon, completing the calming panorama. You’ll feel your pulse slowing before you’ve had your first sip of wine.
The tasting room and cellar door is open daily, but we’d suggest timing your visit to coincide with the restaurant’s opening hours. Co-head chefs Jo Barrett and Matt Stone have been cooking here since 2015. To say they’ve found their groove would be an understatement. In addition to establishing a kitchen garden, the chefs have forged close relationships with local farmers and growers, the benefits of which are clearly discernible on the plate.
A dish of smoked trout, cultured cream, local caviar and a caraway croissant is a menu mainstay and excellent example. Another is the kitchen’s own brie, made with milk from a one-man, 12-cow operation down the road. And how about the parfait flavoured with spent oranges from local distiller Four Pillars and topped with finger lime? The tasting menu offers all this and more, or you can order a la carte.
The vineyard has been here since 1998, and for 20 years prior it was located in Seville. Husband and wife Tony D’Aloisio (a former Asic chairman) and Ilana Atlas (who’s held board positions at Coca-Cola, ANZ and others) took over in 2007 and they’ve been slowly expanding the business since. Two additional vineyards, in Gladysdale and Woori Yallock, now provide Oakridge with pinot gris, pinot noir and chardonnay.
The Oakridge cellar door is open seven days a week.