As ‘the King’ once sang: “we’re caught in a trap” only this one is a mousetrap. Located at the end of a pretty garden path, we’ve been lured into Schulz Organic Farms’ wittily named cheese tastery ‘the Mousetrap’ as part of our meander along the 12 Apostles Food Trail and are finding it difficult to extricate ourselves. We’ve given their Brie and Buetten, a handmade German-style cheese made from organic milk, and little pots of yoghurt a good workout and are now waiting for afternoon tea with scones with jam and cream to be served in their flower-bower country garden. On a balmy spring day, it’s the kind of place that’s difficult to tear yourself away from but there’s plenty more to discover in these here parts.
Hitting the Gourmet Trail
Thanks to popular TV cooking shows and an explosion in acquiring cookbooks (even if it’s just to look at the fab photos), our fascination with all things gastronomic has grown over the past decade and following gourmet food trails has become a top tourism draw card. While the Great Ocean Road’s major attraction is the 12 Apostles, the growth in cheese production, wine cultivation, boutique beer brewing and even whiskey distilling in nearby Timboon are giving visitors plenty of food for thought. On the 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail, these mainly family-run enterprises include Apostle Whey cheese where they’ve been working the farm for 30 years milking 250 glossy cows to help produce their 12 cheese varieties.
A wooden fishing boat marooned on a hill welcomes us to our peaceful villa for the night. Just one of three designed with couple-dom Nirvana in mind, a warm firelight glow bathes the stylishly furnished, monochromatic decor where a single silver sequinned cushion adds a glittering punctuation mark to a pristine white bed. I’ve been in jungles noisier than here, the serenity is palpable!
“Let me know if you’d like our ‘Taste of Heytesbury hamper’ on arrival. The local Apostle Whey cheese is perfect with our bottle of Newton’s Ridge wine,” says our host at Anchors Port Campbell. We’d pulled up outside Apostle Whey’s cream cheese-coloured tasting shed earlier that day and after snacking on a soft, washed rind Brie and a range of Havarti from plain and salt washed to speckled with cracked pepper and naturally smoked with bark and gum leaves, we know what she means.
Heard it on the Grapevine
Set within curvaceous countryside, the tasting shed at Newton’s Ridge Winery is filled with salvaged farmhouse collectibles. Sitting among oak barrels, you can sample handcrafted wines cultivated with care in a family-owned, 6-acre vineyard that includes an estate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Pinot Grigio, all grown in a cool maritime climate with an excellent limestone clay terroir.
Luxuriating with wine and cheese in front of the fire at Anchors Port Campbell, the trap is set and we’re happily ensnared for the night…….
Tags: 12 Apostles, 12 Apostles Gourmet Trail, Anchors Port Campbell, Apostle Whey cheeses, Great Ocean Road, Great Ocean Road Brewhouse, Newton's Ridge Winery, Port Campbell, Timboon Whiskey Distillery, Victorian Food Trails, Visit Victoria, www.2onthewing.com, www.anchorsportcampbell.com.au, www.apostlewheycheese.com.au, www.newtonsridgeestate.com.au, www.schulzorganicfarms.com.au, www.timboondistillery.com.au