No, Panton Hill.
We absolutely love this little hidden gem, about 25-minutes away from Greensborough, called The Panton Hill Winery. Full credit owing to my in-laws who first sought out the winery after having a bottle of their chardonnay at the Panton Hill Hotel. If it weren’t for them, I dare say we’d still be ignorant of this amazing place.
|Panton Hill Winery|
At the end of a long winding road (and nearly at the end of your patience, because you’re sure it must be here any moment now!) you pass through large chunky gates. Is this it? It must be, there’s a sign that says “Wine Tasting Today.” Pedal down, the car makes its way up the hill.
Then, perched atop the vineyard, sits little Tuscany. Or, at least what I think a few buildings in Tuscany may look like because…well, I’ve never been. But just for the sake of my story, let’s pretend I know what I’m referring to, okay? Okay.
|Wine Tasting Today!|
The buildings look like they’ve been there for ages, but we’re told they’re not all that old. Especially built for the winery, the gracious hosts Teunis and Dorothy happily explain the great lengths they went through to create a little haven in Panton Hill.
|The Lovely Fireplace|
After you admire the exterior of the buildings, you can’t help but gasp “Ahhhhh” when you step inside the main tasting hall. An over-sized fireplace blazes and cracks at the far end. Large medieval-like tables and chandeliers fill the cavernous space, and then tucked away underneath the stairs & landing are wine bottles as far as the eye can see.
A tasting was quickly entered into (mind you, it was just 12-noon so we had to get busy, only 5 hours ’til they shut!), starting off with a Chardonnay, then to Merlot, then Shiraz, Pinot Noir…and, and, and – I honestly can’t remember them all! Then onto a handful of liqueurs – one of a rare Chardonnay type that smelt & tasted beautifully of honey…although Dorothy says no honey was used during the entire process. I’ll have to be honest, we can’t fully remember everything we tasted because – like un-skilled tasters – we swallowed.
|Where good times happen|
But thankfully, Dorothy was a brilliant educator throughout the tasting, giving us hints & tips for each wine (and informing me of the best wines to have with tofu – Shiraz, I think she said). She wasn’t pushy and she knew what she was on about.
Afterwards, we took a bottle of Chardonnay ($25) and Shiraz ($25) to our table next to the fire and slowly sipped on our drinks as other patrons drizzled through the doors.
We’ve had the pizzas here before, so we had to order again! Each one’s like a “personal” sized pizza, so if you’re hungry – order a few! We started off with the Antipasto Platter ($15) – full of cheeses, olives and meats. Then we ordered pizzas ($12 each): Fresh Tomato & Basil Pesto, Four Cheese (brilliant!!), Classic Salami, Tomato, Olive & Cheese, and Potato, Fresh Rosemary, Garlic & Cheese (also amazing!).
I regret to inform you though…through the level of wine consumed, I neglected to photograph any of the food items. Every photo that’s on this blog post happened pre-major consumption. I’m sorry I failed you, I will do better next time, I promise!
If you live in or around Greensborough, Yarrambat, Doreen, Mernda, Hurstbridge….this is nearly a local for you and I highly suggest you go. Everyone else – make the trip, they’re worth it.
Their food is great and well priced – and so are their wines. Teunis and Dorothy are fantastic hosts, and their adorable new pup Josie is well behaved (but will win with a stare-down if you have food, so just look away and keep eating! ha!)
Cheers – see you there!