It was an exciting week at the winery! Thursday saw the beginning of the 2018 harvest, or ‘vintage’ for Scotchmans Hill. The first of the grapes were picked for sparkling and it will be a busy few weeks from here on in to get the grapes off the vines at the optimum time. Generally the first grapes that are harvested are Chardonnay or Pinot Noir grapes used for making sparkling wine.
It is crucial to pick the grapes at the right time, deciding when the perfect timing is, is based on several variables; the most important process to test if the grapes are ready is measuring the level of sugar in the juice.
Our winemaker, Robin has so much experience he can do this just by tasting the grapes, but to make absolutely sure the timing is right, we use a device called a refractometer to find out the sugar levels.
All of the grapes on our vines are so close to being ready! Generally red wine grapes are harvested after the whites but we now have to closely monitor the weather as hot days, humidity and rain all play a part in influencing when the grapes will be picked. Here’s hoping the weather stays dry for perfect harvesting conditions.
We had a wonderful day out serving our Swan Bay and Scotchmans Hill wines at the annual Apollo Bay Seafood Festival. Held over 3 days, from Friday the 16th of February to Sunday the 18th of February 2018, this year the festival was based in a new location, at the Apollo Bay harbour on the Great Ocean Road.
We participated on the Saturday which was 'Harbour Day, ' where patrons could meet the local fishermen and taste seafood straight from the source. The event boasted a vibrant program of entertainment and fun including family-firendly food vendors, demonstrations, displays, hands-on workshops and casting competitions.
We enjoyed seafood Paella from La Bimba filled with Portarlington mussels, calamari, pipis and chorizo. We also indulged in lobster rolls from the 'fish & chip' stall. They were to die for!
There were live bands and the weather was spectacular - a perfect day out on the Great Ocean Road.
The 2018 Apollo Bay Seafood Festival coincided with the 80th anniversary of the Apollo Bay Fisherman's Co-Op. It remains one of only three remaining operational fishing co-operatives in Victoria!
Can't wait to do it all again next year!
Resident musician Alex, will be playing a modern, mainstream acoustic set on the grass at the new Scotchmans Hill Cellar Door. Bring your friends & family to the winery for the afternoon Saturday the 20th January or for Australia Day on the 26th; and take in the spectacular views over the vines to the Melbourne skyline whilst you sip on wine, enjoy a Little Creatures Pale Ale, a platter and maybe even have a dance...
Alex will be playing tracks such as:
• Lose my Mind - Dean Lewis
• Dancing on my Own - Calum Scott
• How to Save a Life - The Fray
• Waves - Dean Lewis
Saturday the 20th of January from 3.00pm – 6.00pm
(Cellar Door is open from 10.30am – 4.30pm - extended trading hours for this date only.)
Australia Day – Friday the 26th of January from 1.00pm - 4.00pm
(Cellar Door open from 10.30am - 4.30pm)
190 Scotchmans Road, Drysdale, VIC, 3222
Bookings for this event are recommended to avoid missing out on a table on the day. To secure your place, phone us on 03 5251 3176 or email email@example.com
You can also pre-order a platter or two for your group. Our “Aussie” cheese and antipasto platters start at just $20.
To view the menu, head to: http://www.scotchmans.com.au/Cellar-Door/Menu
How to Get There/Travel arrangements:
For those of you who live in Geelong and would like to leave the car at home, Port Phillip Ferries are running services to Portarlington on Saturday the 20th of January. The ferry will leave Geelong at 3.15pm and arrive in Portarlington at 4pm.
We have a free bus that can take you to our Cellar Door from the end of the pier.
Bookings are essential. Phone us on 5251 3176 to arrange.
For more details about the ferry from Geelong to Portarlington, head to:
or to book your trip with Port Phillip Ferries, click here.
We are also the wine partner for the upcoming Apollo Bay Seafood Festival!
Come and visit us on Saturday the 17th of February for a glass of Scotchmans Hill or Swan Bay wine from 10am until late.
The festival runs from the 16th to the 18th of February 2018 and has a great range of things to do, including an oyster & champagne bar, live music, local seafood, craft beer, hands-on workshops & good times.
Tickets & info at apollobayseafoodfestival.com
For more information, head to their Facebook page.
Lastly, we are attending the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival City Cellar @ River Graze event.
See the banks of the Yarra River transformed into a food and wine lover’s playground with a series of culinary activations stretching the Southbank Promenade over the opening weekend of the Festival.
Friday 16th March: 4pm – 9pm
Saturday 17th March: 12pm – 9pm
Sunday 18th March 12pm - 8pm
More information to come!
Portarlington Wine Tours have a free courtesy bus available on weekends to take you to the best Bellarine Wineries. Pick up and drop off is in Portarlington and the bus can take you to Scotchmans Hill, Bennetts on Bellarine, Terindah Estate & Bellarine Estate Winery.
Be sure to book, as the service is very popular, by phoning: 0490 074 494.
Perfect if you are heading across Port Phillip Bay from Docklands, Melbourne with Port Phillip Ferries. Wander off the Portarlington pier and on to the your bus for a day out on the Bellarine - it will even take you back to the ferry for your return trip home.
Enjoy a wine tasting, sit back and relax on the terrace with a glass of wine and a cheese or antipasto platter and soak in the beautiful surroundings. The new Scotchmans Hill Cellar Door sits high on top of Mount Bellarine and overlooks the vineyards to Port Phillip Bay and the Melbourne skyline. A truly beautiful location to spend an afternoon.
Scotchmans Hill Cellar Door is open 7 days from 10.30am - 4.30pm.
For more information about Portarlington Wine Tours, head to: https://www.facebook.com/portarlingtonwinetour/
Timetables for the bus corresponding with the ferry are listed below:
We had an absolute ball at the Portarlington Mussel Festival this year.
We were serving our Scotchmans Hill and Swan Bay wines.
Here are a few snapshots from the event.
For information on next years festival, click here.
Since its inception in 2007, the Portarlington Mussel Festival has grown year on year and now attracts around 30,000 people. Initially established to promote the Portarlington Mussel Industry, the festival now boasts a full day of activities including:
Art & Photo exhibitions
Classic car displays
Food & Wine producers
Products to try and buy!
Plus plenty of mussels!!!!
Hope to see you next year!