Victoria's Best

It’s been wonderful to see some of my neighbours receiving praise over recent weeks from the food and travel writers at The Age.


Last week, well-known Victorian chef, Richard Cornish, wrote an article for The Good Food Guide in which he named the hams produced by The Meat Room in Kilmore East and McIvor Farms Food in Tooborac as two of the best free-range Victorian hams for 2020.

If you've visited The Osteria or attended one of our annual Spring Lunches at the vineyard, you would have tried a selection of delicious cured meats from The Meat Room and our succulent roast porchetta made from McIvor Farm Foods pork.

As many of you may already know, The Meat Room make small-batch, Italian style salami from delicious free-range pork sourced from locally-grown pigs. Owner, James Mele, is passionate about his craft and also runs hands-on workshops on how to make salami and sausages at home. He comes from a long line of Italian meat-smiths, but wasn't a butcher by trade when he decided to follow the family tradition a decade ago.

Similarly, Jason and Belinda Hagen returned to their family farm around the same time to turn McIvor Farm Foods into a thriving grazing property for pigs and cattle. The couple now produce delicious and tender free-range pork from Berkshire pigs and have a reputation for producing pork with leaner fat content, crispier skins and delicious, tender flesh.

Do yourself and your taste buds a favour and place an order with one or both of these wonderful local producers for a luscious free-range Christmas ham.

The Meat Room
26 O'Gradys Road, Kilmore East, VIC
+61 419 850 731

McIvor Farm Foods
2820 Lancefield-Tooborac Road, Tooborac, VIC
+61 428 414 547


Imagine my delight to see Blue Tongue Berries named as one of Victoria's best weekend getaways by the travel writers at The Age.

The twenty-acre, off-the-grid organic blueberry farm, cafe and eco-lodge owned and run by my lovely neighbours, Cynthia Lim and Nick Bray is just a short drive from the vineyard.

Here's what The Age Traveller had to say:

The eco-stay on this eight-hectare blueberry farm just outside of Seymour has an enviable hilltop position, with breathtaking views of the Tallarook Ranges and Goulburn Valley. It's around one hour's drive along the Hume Highway from Melbourne.

Off the grid for 20 years, Blue Tongue Berries produces its own power and water, and its accommodation is constructed from straw bales and requires no heating or airconditioning. It's split across two buildings: the Hacienda, with a couple of stylish en suite rooms; and the Casita, the original farmhouse, which offers more room for families or larger groups.

Like a little piece of Byron without the BS, Blue Tongue is a cosy retreat in which to relax and a great base for exploring the hidden gem that is Seymour. Owners Nick Bray and Cynthia Lim are happy to share their extensive knowledge of the area to deepen your explorations. Catch up with them over a blueberry pancake breakfast at their bright Cantina cafe. Some evenings, both the Cantina and the Hacienda's Great Hall attract locals for intimate live music performances and special events.

Blue Tongue Berries
445 Northwood Road, Seymour, VIC
+61 438 320 049

Cynthia Lim and Nick Bray from Blue Tongue Berries