Blink and you’ll miss it. On the scenic Western Highway heading towards Halls Gap, Grampians Estate isn’t towering like many other modern wineries. In fact, it’s tiny compared to those in the area. But the smaller scale is part of the estate’s charm, and it allows owners Sarah and Tom Guthrie to pay closer attention to their small-batch winemaking – and to The 1878 Room & Deck, their new cellar door and cafe.
Through the dining room’s large windows, look out onto a vineyard that’s home to shiraz vines first planted in 1878 (hence the name). The airy, natural-light-filled space – with white walls, timber furnishings and a cathedral ceiling – was designed by Fitzroy-based Therefore Studio, which is also behind Vacation, Marquis of Lorne and Mile End Bagels.
Out on the deck there are sun-drenched tables perfect for a casual afternoon tasting, especially in the summertime. You can sample the boutique winery’s shiraz, pinot, riesling or chardonnay, though the staff will likely encourage you to try the bestseller: a multi-award-winning sparkling shiraz.
The food menu is short, but reads like a roll call of top producers from around Victoria. Grazing platters are designed to be shared, such as the Dairy Paddock Platter with Warrnambool heritage cheddar, Meredith goat’s cheese, Milawa blue and brie, Five Ducks jam and muscatel grapes. There’s also a family-sized grazing platter with terrines and smoked ham from Salt Kitchen in Ballarat, three kinds of cheese, dips, jams and olives.
Local sourdough bakery Great Western Granary also makes a bespoke meat pie for the cafe, filled with lamb (marinated in Grampians Estate shiraz) from the Guthries’ farm. That same shiraz is also swirled through The Tipsy, a vanilla-bean-based ice-cream by Timboon Fine Ice Cream.
The 1878 Room & Deck
1477 Western Highway, Great Western