Meandering around the countryside one weekend, we decided to go for lunch at All Saints Estate. On arrival at the front gate on a very warm day, we were immediately enchanted by the avenue of elm trees that provided a shady entry to the estate.
And as if the driveway wasn't grand enough, the winery had its own castle! Perfectly groomed hedges and manicured lawns adorned the front garden, with outdoor seating to allow you to sit back and admire the setting, or stop and smell the roses in the glorious sunshine.
The Terrace restaurant looked very tempting, but at $85 per head and with 2 kids in tow, we opted for the more casual eatery next door, Indigo Food Co. Tasty toasted focaccias and a chilled glass of wine made for the perfect lunch by the duck pond. Dragonflies buzzed around the water's edge, ducks lazed in the sun and a group of beautiful blue Superb Fairy Wrens hopped about our table, looking for stray crumbs to feast on.
We ambled around the grounds on a self-guided tour, starting with the historic Chinese Dormitory.
The building was erected over 100 years ago, to house Chinese workers who came to the vineyards when the goldrush was over. The group of men slept in bunks and cooked on a huge old iron stove.
Other historic buildings on the property include the cool store, original stables and homestead, all built in the late 1800's.
Some of the vines date back to 1920, like the Old Muscat. Other varietals include 1982 Riesling, 1955 Cabernet Sauvignon and 1994 Shiraz. Each row of vines is planted with a rose bush, apparently the early sentinel for diseases that affect vines.
The estate holds weddings, functions, concerts and tours, but is equally good for a spontaneous lunch stop and a stroll around the place.