Seville Estate is in the upper Yarra Valley, just over an hour’s drive from Melbourne. It’s been making wine for more than four decades. And it’s at the epicenter of Victorian food. The red soil of the area means citrus, wildflowers and berries thrive, and chooks, pigs and eggs are all farmed nearby.
The kitchen garden has a hothouse for germination, a greenhouse for seedlings and five large beds for veggies.
The menu uses obvious flavour combinations, but there’s an enormous sensitivity to each ingredient. Dinner begins with an immediate nod to the garden. Handmade sourdough and escabeche comes with a pretty plate of pickled heirloom vegetables – thin segments of uneven sized squash; mandolined radishes; pale yellow beans; and long, thin carrots lightly charred over wood. It’s a sweet and acidic intro to Seville’s unshowy and rustic ethos.
Next, molten gnocchi with Parmigiano Reggiano, cauliflower and smoked almonds. And tender Eildon trout served next to its skin, which is deep-fried and presented as a cracker. A blob of black garlic lends herbal sweetness. There’s a pepper-beef rib, which puts chilli on centre stage, a play of fire and fragrance.
Seville’s whalebone-shaped dining room, where picture windows look out onto a paddock, is an exquisite place to spend time. There are ficus and rubber plants in winemaking vats, and scoop-backed bentwood chairs for post-gorge slouching in a room that’s spacious but still intimate. Next door, a four-bedroom homestead has been restored to highlight its mid-century architecture and views out over the hills.