Touring Victoria’s High Country – Day Four
CHILTERN / RUTHERGLEN / TAMINICK /Hub 62/Rutherglen Brewery/Ripe/Black Dog Brewery/Taminick Cellars/Tourism North East
After a beautiful night’s sleep and a big walk, we said our goodbyes to our old and new friends in Beechworth and made our way to explore the historic streetscapes of the gorgeous little town of Chiltern. We stopped in at Hub 62, which is a family run café that also supports local artists in its attached gallery space. They are very family and pet friendly as was evident by the comings and goings of parents and grandparents bringing their littlies in for some morning tea. They have a large area outside as well for the slightly bigger and more energetic littlies!
A short 45 minutes drive up the road and we arrived at the Rutherglen Brewery, chatting with Fi Myers about all things beer, brewing, chefing and running a restaurant… because she does all of this and more! The nano brewery feeds into their restaurant which has locals craving the handmade pizzas and pasta prepared by Fi and her partner Gavin Swalwell who is also running their latest restaurant/functions venue venture, Ripe, based at Bullers Winery just on the outskirsts of lovely Rutherglen. Exceptional food, wine and, of course, beer all under the one roof with the added bonus of a sensational vineyard view! We bid a sad goodbye to Fi and Gavin to head to our final stop on what can only be described as an incredible, eye-opening, enlightening and inspiring tour of the High Country.
Another quick 45 minutes and we find ourselves at yet another extraordinary (we are seriously running out of adjectives!) vineyard setting and this time we’re there to meet James Booth, owner and brewer at Black Dog Brewery which is based at his parent’s winery, Taminick Cellars. Did we mention James is also a winemaker and grew up on the winery? The brewery seamlessly fuses together a 4th generation winery with a 1st generation brewery, and James who puts to great use, his multi-level understanding of fermentation and balance of flavour to create a range of undeniably quaffable beers with styles that will satiate every and any palate. We can absolutely understand why James would never want to leave this environment that he has known all of his life. There is also a gorgeous cottage for rent on site as well if you decide you also decide you never want to leave!
Unfortunately though, it is time to head back to Melbourne which seems fitting that one of the most delightful sunsets we’ve seen lights the way on our journey home.
We cannot thank Tourism North East enough for this incredible experience and opportunity to visit this beautiful region of Victoria. It is not only the magical countryside but it’s the people who are pouring their heart and souls into creating some of the state’s most incredible food, drink and hospitality experiences that are the most memorable. Everywhere along the journey we felt as though we were catching up with old friends and it was very special to be able to hear the stories behind each of the businesses we visited in this very special pocket of Victoria.