For some reason, naming a winery after your pet is totally socially acceptable. Or it is according to Geelong winery, Saint Regis, which joined the ranks of winemakers celebrating their furry friends.
The vineyard, restaurant and wine bar brings together a fantastic view, delicious food and of course, out-of-this-world wine for an experience like no other.
Saint Regis Winery has been operating since 2001 when Peter Nicol produced the first Saint Regis Shiraz from grapes he planted in 1997. Since then, the winery has gone from strength to strength with Peter’s son, Jack, and partner Katherine Anderson, taking over the winery and launching a food and wine bar in March 2015.
The winery remains a family business, with Peter remaining as the Head Winemaker. He has extensive experience in the world of agriculture and wine, which began during his time as groundskeeper at Scotchman’s Hill. Working alongside the grapes here, Peter developed an interest in winemaking, eventually deciding to plant his own shiraz vines and learning how to produce wine from scratch.
As one of the closest wineries to Geelong, this three-acre vineyard produces three varieties of wine – shiraz, pinot noir and chardonnay. The largely north- facing property is set on rich red brown soil over limestone and the grape plantation is positioned using a vertical shoot trellis system to allow maximum sun exposure, and ensure the grapes are ripened to perfection. By mid to late March, the grapes are harvested and the winemaking process begins.
Saint Regis’ wines are available for purchase at the Cellar Door on-site or can be enjoyed in the food and wine bar. This additional offering has changed the way the venue works; it is no longer just a vineyard and cellar door, but a destination where customers can come to share a meal and enjoy beautiful bottles, while overlooking the rolling hills.
The light menu has been created by Head Chef, Katherine Turner, and focuses on using fresh and seasonal produce, meaning it changes every couple of months. Customers can enjoy options like ratatouille with herb and cheese scones, rainbow trout with pilaf and sumac yoghurt; and lamb and green olive bread.
As for the drinks, the wine list includes all three of Saint Regis’ wines, as well as other local wines, which complete the offerings nicely. The star drop is the Saint Regis Shiraz, which features black cherry and spice flavours with a fine tannin structure and a deep burgundy colour. Enjoy the shiraz in the colder months in front of the fire with Katherine’s mushroom ragout or slow-cooked beef cheeks. Saint Regis also features a range of beer, cider, coffee, Love Tea, mineral waters and organic juices.
While it is still a small operation compared to other vineyards in the area, the food and wine bar at Saint Regis has put the winery on the map. Now a stopping place for both travellers and locals Saint Regis allows customers to unwind in a relaxing setting while sharing a meal with friends.
Where: 35 Waurn Ponds Dr, Waurn Ponds
When: Thur -Sat 11am–5pm; Sun 11am–4pm
Photographed by Bianca White
Content courtesy of Smudge Publishing
You can read all about these fantastic venues and much more in Smudge Publishing’s Flavours of Victoria, out now. Available from smudgeeats.com.au, the featured venues and all good bookshops.