Cannibal Creek Winery
The Cannibal Creek vineyard was pure dairy country when Patrick and Kirsten Hardiker took over in the late 1980s. By 1997, they’d decided wine was the way to go, and the pair planted nine acres of vines by hand – four of chardonnay, five of pinot noir – before adding another three acres of sauvignon blanc, merlot and cabernet sauvignon the following year.
The self-taught vignerons loosely employ biodynamic viticulture practices in the field; and their winemaking style is light in touch and experiments with using wild yeasts and malolactic fermentation. After harvest, the grapes are handpicked and each wine is hand-plunged (i.e. disturbed, to prevent the skins forming a cap) three times a day, before being left to develop in oak barrels.
Taste your way through the cellar door offerings, before choosing a glass (or a bottle) to enjoy over a leisurely lunch.
The winery shed its rustic image in 2016, when a new restaurant was built. The menu draws inspiration from French chef Philippe Desrettes’ native country, yet is driven by local produce, sourced from the on-site market garden and farmers in the region.
Dishes are designed to share, with small plates such as house-cured salmon with radish, wasabi and orange vinaigrette and prosciutto-wrapped figs and feta baked with lime and date chutney. Larger plates can also act as a main, such as tender lamb shoulder (it’s served with a spoon) with cauliflower puree, radicchio, baby carrots and turnip jus.
Explore Gippsland further using our detailed Out of Town to West Gippsland guide.