T’Gallant – Mushrooms In May Food + Wine Extravaganza

T'Gallant is the sailor's abbreviation for topgallant, the top sail of square-rigger sailing ships. It connotes the peak, the best, the epitome. T'Gallant's winemaking philosophy is the same.

T'Gallant's Cellar Door, tasting and educational area is sited in the original apple cool store.  It is a rustic, ambient area for visitors to enjoy. 

T'Gallant's diverse range of premium wines and imaginative packaging to match is showcased on their wall of wine. Visitors can taste Australia's benchmark Pinot Grigio + Pinot Gris.  Pinot Grigio is the Italian name for the French variety Pinot Gris.  The Italian tendency to pick the grapes earlier produces a racy, savoury style while the French typically wait for riper flavours to develop, leading to a fuller, richer palate.

Thus, T’Gallant has become Australia’s leader in this cool climate grape variety.  The move was considered bold at the time, nonetheless today Pinot Gris/Grigio is one of Australia’s most popular varietals.  T’Gallant has continued a tradition of producing innovative and food-friendly Australian wines with lively personalities ever since. 

T’Gallant will continue to deliver.  Their annual events are not to be missed, some refreshingly new, or others tried and true.  Mushrooms In May Tour is a must.  Narrated by guest chefs.  Be enlightened on the mysteries and mystique of the fungi kingdom, whilst swirling a glass or two with their savvy cellar door crew. 

A: 1385 Mornington Flinders Rd, Main Ridge
W: www.tgallant.com.au
T: 5931 1300

Are you eating Peninsula-grown apples?

“Why wouldn’t you be involved in an organisation that promotes Mornington Peninsula produce?”

Seven Oaks Farmhouse Cider image.jpeg

Lisa Cresswell, from Seven Oaks Farmhouse Cider in Merricks North, sums up why she has signed her family-run orchard up to Mornington Peninsula Produce (MPP) and, in doing so, her farm fresh apples and apple cider are now backed by MPP’s ‘Peninsula To Plate’ guarantee.

The MPP brand was launched last year and it’s changing the way we identify locally grown food. Basically, if it’s grown, bred or raised entirely on the Peninsula, you can instantly identify it via the MPP Certified Trade Mark.

It’s for those of us who want to know about the origin of our food - where it’s grown, who grows it, when it’s in season, how far it has travelled and more. In turn, the trade mark is strengthening the Mornington Peninsula’s identity as a quality, fresh and innovative food economy.

Seven Oaks Farmhouse Cider is one of a growing number of Mornington Peninsula orchards already, or soon to be, bearing the MPP Certified Trade Mark. The list so far includes Kelowna Orchard in Tuerong; Mock Orchards in Red Hill; Seven Oaks Farmhouse Cider; Edwards & Sons in Red Hill; and Harts Farm Shoreham.

The Mornington Peninsula has long been a premier apple growing region (and apples are in season right now), with our rich soil supporting generational farms and established orchards. A new wave of cider is a success story for these farms and it’s changing business models.

Seven Oaks Farmhouse Cider grows 49 varietals of apples on its 140-acre orchard. The fourth generation family owned business has also been producing apple cider for the last 10 years. Find out more about all our MPP Certified local producers at mpproduce.com.au and enjoy the confidence of knowing where your food actually comes from.

Health blast from the past

For the past 12 years, Andre Kogut has been producing one of the nation’s best fermented foods at Blue Bay Cheese in Mornington.

Kefir is an amazing source of probiotics, and while it is only in the past few years that the world has caught up with the benefits of this fermented milk, Andre has been aware of its health-giving properties for years.  His grandmother taught him how to make it in the Ukrainian countryside he grew up in; she drank it every day and lived to 89.  “She was a fit woman right until the very end,” he said.

It is white like milk but thick like a soup. It has the pleasant scent of fresh yoghurt and a clean tangy taste, and it doesn’t sit heavily in the stomach like milk.

Andrea has adapted the traditional manufacturing techniques for modern equipment and standards.  He begins with organic milk, slowly heating it to 65C to kill potential pathogens while retaining the fat structure and enzymes.  He then adds a mix of 12 strains of beneficial live cultures that consume the lactose in the milk and turn it into lactic acid, which gives the kefir its clean taste.

Andre says his Blue Bay Kefir improves cholesterol metabolism, promotes a healthier immune system and helps manage gastroenteritis. It has also been associated with improvements in people suffering from diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and autoimmune disorders.  It’s a perfect replacement for cultured buttermilk in recipes; it’s wonderful in smoothies, makes superb salad dressings and is delicious poured over barbecued lamb. 

“It’s the healthiest way of having dairy in your diet for all the nutrients, almost zero lactose plus the probiotics that will keep your gut healthy,” Andre says. “It has been keeping my family healthy and happy for scores of generations, and now we’re continuing the tradition in Australia.”

A: 6 Latham St, Mornington
T: 5976 4999
W: bluebaycheese.com.au

Steelscape - Art in Steel

Meet Joe Taranto -  Artist

Growing up on the Mornington Peninsula, Joe first developed his love for steel whilst tinkering in the family steel fabrication business from the early age of 12.

Joe’s passion for steel has grown over the years and developed into the beautiful work he creates today. He has spent thousands of hours learning his craft and perfecting it to a fine art. Everything he does is unique and created with love and dedication.

Joe is passionate about using only 100% Australian made Corten Steel, unlike the cheaper product from China. Corten Steel is made of a combination of steel, nickel and copper and is perfect for sculpture and metal art as it doesn’t corrode like mild steel normally would. The end result displays a gorgeous rust patina that is unique to each piece.

Joe’s ever evolving artwork also uses other materials such as perspex, stainless steel, wood and even custom blown glass. Some of his work includes property and decorative signage, letterboxes, 3D letters and numbers, gates and fence panels, firepits, industrial furniture, decorative planter pots and all kinds of metal art. The beautiful artwork is designed to last the test of time and every piece is only limited by your imagination.

Steelscape is proud to be exhibiting at the Melbourne International Flower and Garden Show from March 29 to April 2. Come along and meet Joe and see for yourself some of the wonderful pieces of art he makes.

Labour Day Long Weekend = Strawberry Fun!

Get your strawberry picking fingers into gear this Labour Day long weekend because Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm in Main Ridge is open all weekend, including the March 13 Labour Day public holiday.

This is an affordable day out for the whole family and it’s outdoors! Get in while you still can for fabulous ‘U-Pick’ fun (The U-Pick Season runs from November-April) then head to the Dessert Café for strawberry temptations featuring fresh Sunny Ridge strawberries, farm-made strawberry ice cream and sorbet, whipped cream and strawberry syrup.

The cafe and retail are open daily, November – April, 9-5pm (U-Pick closes at 4.30pm).

A: 244 Shands Rd, Main Ridge
T: 5989 4500
W: sunnyridge.com.au

Made with love by Liz Rogers

Domenica Carbone began making dolls’ clothes out the back of her parents’ fruit shop when she was just five years old. Her mum was a dressmaker, and the young ‘fashion designer’ would piece together fabrics and stitch them up on an old Singer machine to create outfits while her parents were working.

Fast forward to today and Domenica is still sewing and designing. Her online children’s clothing label Pure Love Designs offers unique, high-end kids apparel that is 100% Australian made from only the best quality fabrics.

Pure Love Designs stocks upmarket children’s casual clothing ranging from size 2 to 16. Log on to www.purelovedesigns.com.au to find divine limited edition dresses crafted in 100% cotton, suede stretch, satin and more, plus smart shirts and perfectly cut pants that look great while being completely wearable and kid friendly. Colour, texture and style are what set this label apart from other children’s wear lines. Domenica also makes sure all seasons are continually covered so you can find something suitable for summer even though it’s winter or vice versa.

Check out the Pure Love Designs FB page to view the full range and to jot down Domenica’s market dates so you can get along to see them in the flesh. She’s a regular at the Mornington Race Course (March 12) and Red Hill markets. This fresh, classic and funky children’s label will have your kids looking and feeling great while giving them the freedom to express their individuality.

With love.

M: 0401 449 016
FB: @purelovedesigns

Time for a fresh start

Apart from making New Year’s resolutions, what traditions do you observe at the end of one year and the beginning of another?

Andrea Leitao, from Sublime Wellbeing, says although many customs appear superstitious in nature, for centuries cultures around the world have performed rituals along a common theme – the new year is a time of rebirth.  

“The lead-up is for setting things straight, wiping the slate clean and acknowledging the year that has been,” Andrea said. 

“The new year offers a fresh start.  By ending the old year with respect and beginning the new one with purpose, we establish our intentions for the year ahead.”  

Need help with your resolutions?  Visit the Wellbeing Markets for a Happy New Year in 2017.


T: 0409 428 294
FB: www.facebook.com/wellbeingmarkets/

Summer strawberry picking!

Grab the children, ditch the screens and head outdoors to one of the Mornington Peninsula’s most popular family destinations this summer - Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm.

It’s school holidays and it’s berry season, so what better way to spend a day than picking your own strawberries and enjoying farm-made ice-cream and sorbet at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm’s Dessert Café?

It’s affordable, outdoors and you can also buy raspberries, blueberries and blackberries at the farm gate. The U-Pick Season runs until April. After you’ve filled your punnets, head to the Dessert Café for strawberry temptations featuring fresh Sunny Ridge strawberries. The cafe and retail are open 9-5pm.


A: 244 Shands Rd, Main Ridge

T: 5989 4500

W: sunnyridge.com.au

FB /sunnyridgestrawberryfar


This summer, the beautiful Emu Plains Reserve in Balnarring will once again be transformed into an open air cinema unlike anything seen on the Mornington Peninsula before.

An event the whole family will adore!  Come early to experience some amazing live, local entertainment,  mouth watering food and a bar stocked with Peninsula favorites featuring Quealy Wines and Red Hill Brewery beers.

Showing six movies over three weeks, the giant eight meter screen illuminated against the picturesque backdrops will feature all time family favorites like The Goonies & Ghostbusters (just to name a few!) while also showing the new release Star Wars and recently released family smash hit Hunt For The Wilderpeople. 

The season will run from 4th January until 20th January. Gates open at 6:30pm for some fantastic family entertainment with the movies starting at sundown. Tickets start from $10 (children under 5 free!) For all the details please log onto www.stringybarkcinema.com.au.

Let’s go nuts over strawberries!

November is here and that means it’s strawberry season.

This is the time of year when Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm in Main Ridge springs to life and their fabulous ‘U-Pick’ Season returns. Gather the children and head to the farm for an affordable day out full of outdoor fun and sweet treats!

The U-Pick Season runs from November-April, daily (closed Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Good Friday). After you’ve filled your punnets, head to the Dessert Café for strawberry temptations featuring fresh Sunny Ridge strawberries, farm-made strawberry ice cream and sorbet, whipped cream and strawberry syrup. The cafe and retail are open 9-5pm. It’s easy to see why this farm draws crowds from Melbourne and further afield.

A: 244 Shands Rd, Main Ridge
T: 5989 4500
W: sunnyridge.com.au
FB /sunnyridgestrawberryfarm

Christmas Fare at Woolumbi Farm by Liz Rogers

Woolumbi Farm Produce Store in Tyabb stocks only the best quality produce. Most foodstuffs have been bred and made on the farm and you can’t get more delectable or healthy than that.

Woolumbi Farm was founded on ethical food principles. That means you’ll find rare breeds of free range animals and chickens you won’t necessarily find anywhere else. All animals are butchered on site at this boutique farm to create the most delicious range of gourmet small goods on the Peninsula (owner and butcher Sonya Neff loves learning everything about the animal and treats them with respect and care). There’s also a fabulous smoke house where speciality hotdogs, cabana, and German continental sausages are created.

Christmas preparations are in full swing at Woolumbi Farm now. Sonya is taking orders for her wonderful melt-in-the-mouth ham, on or off the bone, bacon and porchetta. You can head in store to choose your cut and size or order online at woolumbifarm.com, but make sure you do it by the end of November when orders close.  Sonya and her husband Kenneth also have a wide range of Christmas condiments and speciality foods such as mustards, brandy sauce and Christmas puddings on offer - and if Sonya can find a few “Christmas elves to help” her, there’ll be brandy ice-cream as well. All gifts, including Christmas hampers, are wrapped in cellophane or black and white so you know you’ll be able to find something that not only tastes amazing but looks magnificent too.

“Woolumbi Farm is totally transparent to our customers,” says Sonya. “It’s important to know where your food comes from and how it has been grown or raised. We don’t use any pesticides and abide by the principles of environmental sustainability and all our ingredients are 100 per cent natural.”

They also offer CHARCUTERIE courses so you can learn how to create your own small goods. Now that’s a Christmas gift idea in itself!

A: 233 Coolart Rd, Tyabb
M: 0417 523 173
W: woolumbi.com

It’s a family affair at Somerville Egg Farm by Liz Rogers

Somerville Egg Farm is a family owned and operated farm providing the best free range, barn laid and cage eggs to local community members and beyond.

Luigi and Maria Napolitano have been supplying farm fresh eggs on the Peninsula since 1978. Their son Anthony and daughters Linda and Anita share the running of the farm, while grandchildren Angus, William, Ruby, Stella and Harry help look after the free range hens, maremma dogs, alpacas and goats.

All customers are welcome to come and see the chickens at this family friendly farm and buy truly farm-fresh eggs with luscious golden yolks. Pick up some chicken manure by the bag while you’re there!

A: 220 Eramosa Rd West Moorooduc – Corner Eramosa Rd West and Binnak Way
T: 5977 5405

Eggcellent chooks at Somerville

If you love fresh eggs, then Somerville Egg Farm is the place to be. This family owned and operated farm produces the best free-range, barn-laid and cage eggs in a family friendly location.

Luigi and Maria Napolitano have been supplying farm fresh eggs on the peninsula since 1978. Son Anthony and daughters Linda and Anita share the running of their farm, while grandchildren Angus, William, Ruby, Stella and Harry help look after the free-range hens, maremma dogs, alpacas and goats. Everyone is welcome to go and see the chickens and buy truly farm-fresh eggs with luscious golden yolks.  Chicken manure by the bag is also available.

A: 220 Eramosa Rd West – Corner Eramosa Rd West and Binnak Way
T: 5977 5405
E: adm[email protected]

Authentic Mexican street food is coming to Mornington.

Mi Mexiko opens on Main Street in August and this modern, licensed restaurant is all about fresh food, shared plates, creative drinks and loads of fun! – just the way they do it in North America.

Owners Jill and Campbell Henderson and Josh Watt – the team behind the successful Winey Cow café and Thanks Albert Burger Company in Main Street – are opening the doors on a funky culinary destination.

Expect a traditional Mexican menu loaded with light and fresh tostaditas, tacos, elotes, platos compartidos and much more.

You will also find a full bar serving cocktails, more than 15 different tequilas, wine, spirits and beer on tap!

Mi Mexiko is located opposite the Thanks Albert Burger company. It has a cool vibe with creative décor by a professional graffiti artist specialising in Mexican art.

The owners have even been to Mexico for inspiration. “Mi Mexiko will be really modern and fresh, it will be street-food style,” the Hendersons explain.

Gather your family and friends for an evening lingering over the good things in life.

Mi Mexiko at 25 Main Street Mornington – opening this August.

The rise of the vegan diet – à la peninsula

‘If we could live happy, healthy lives without harming others, why wouldn’t we?’ – Edgar’s Mission.

Celebrities are doing it. Athletes are thriving on it. Switched on restaurateurs and café owners are catering for it. Chances are someone you know is into it. It’s the vegan diet and judging by the number of restaurants and cafes on the Mornington Peninsula now offering vegan options and menus, this plant-based diet is growing in popularity here. There’s a ‘Mornington Peninsula Vegans’ Facebook group (more than 540 members) and word is a full vegan café and store is opening soon in Dromana. Mornington Peninsula Magazine spoke with three inspiring peninsula locals and a vineyard about all things vegan.

 Shani Vetter and Christian Marc

Shani Vetter and Christian Marc

Shani Vetter and Christian Marc

Shani is a personal trainer, a plant-built fitness competitor and owner of Smiling Assassin Fitness in Mornington. Her husband is well-known wedding and portrait photographer Christian Marc, of Christian Marc Photography. The Dromana couple became vegan three and a half years ago. They transitioned together and now share their knowledge and experience to help others transition and learn about sustainability, agriculture and nutrition (Shani even has an Instagram account dedicated to it - @veganfitnessassassin).

Shani was already a pescatorian (seafood but no other animal flesh) for health reasons, but after stumbling on a book about animal cruelty in the meat and dairy industry the pair went vegan and haven’t looked back. “We found the affirmation that we needed that other people were living this way and thriving,” Shani explains.

“When we closed the door to these animal products another opened to other products that we wouldn’t have considered before. Our mindset of our plate changed too. It was no longer about meat and sides, our plates became beautiful with colour.”

Shani has competed, with success, as a vegan in three different natural bodybuilding bikini competitions over the past few years - two in Australia with the International Natural Bodybuilding Association and one in Texas at the Naturally Fit Games where she placed second.  “I was competing alongside a team of 30-40plus vegan athletes all there to show how we thrived on a plant-based diet,” she said.

Christian transitioned to a full vegan diet after years of what he describes as being a “conscious meat eater”. “No-one wants to see animals suffer, but when you think you need to eat these things to be happy and healthy, you put it out of your mind. That’s where I was at,” he explains. He meticulously researched the vegan diet and the couple have now connected with many vegans across Melbourne. Both have found plenty of cafes and restaurants on the peninsula offering vegan options. Christian uses the Edgars Mission quote (at the top of this piece) to explain why he connects with vegan principles and recommends ‘101 Reasons to Go Vegan’ on YouTube. For vegan friendly dining they recommend Store Fifteen, The Winey Cow and Thanks Albert Burger Company (chickpea burger) in Mornington; Merchant & Maker in McCrae and Dee’s Kitchen in Dromana, among many.

 Yasmin Reldachs

Yasmin Reldachs

Yasmin Reldeahcs

Yasmin grew up on a commercial beef farm and has come full circle from watching cattle being trucked off to the abattoir as a child to running a shelter for ex-farm animals in Moorooduc as an adult. The 31-year-old follows a vegan diet but may deviate from it in the interest of waste minimisation and sustainability.

“Growing up for me was being outdoors and spending time with all sorts of animals on a commercial beef cattle farm. I’m so grateful for this upbringing as it helped teach me the importance of respecting life,” she says. Good food, for Yasmin, means organic, cruelty free and local. “That way everyone is nourished and supported, including the planet, the farmers and the animals…To be kind to others and the environment is to be kind to ourselves.”

Yasmin has worked with the RSPCA and with countless volunteer groups. She fully funds the rehabilitation of local wildlife and domesticated animals who are injured, orphaned or abandoned. She is also completing a law degree with the aim of being able to help animals and the environment in a greater capacity. Hers is a conscious awareness of food, where it comes from and what is involved in producing it – she is not exclusively vegan or freegan. 

“I just try and do the best I can to make more responsible decisions in my daily life and plan to do a lot more in future. To me this means reducing consumption and suffering. To make use of resources that are already available and would otherwise be rendered waste.”

Port Phillip Estate

 A vegan dish at Port Phillip Estate

A vegan dish at Port Phillip Estate

This peninsula venue has just been named in The Age Good Food Guide’s ‘Top 10 Melbourne vegan fine dining menus 2016’. It’s a coup for Port Phillip Estate and an indication that this part of the world really is taking the vegan customer seriously. The Good Food Guide describes Port Phillip Estate as an architectural landmark on the Mornington Peninsula that “also puts out the welcome mat to vegans” (aka semolina-dusted soybean fillets with tomato-stuffed zucchini flowers and tapenade). Port Phillip Estate is in rather good company on this list, alongside Australia's most esteemed restaurant Attica. Head Chef Stuart Deller explains: "We take all our customers seriously. Therefore, we place the same amount of importance in sourcing and preparing fruit, vegetables, grains and nuts as we do with animal and seafood products. This allows the kitchen to offer a range of dishes to customers with dietary requirements and preferences." 

(All images except Port Phillip Estate: Christian Marc Photography)




In the box by Liz Rogers

Jodie Richardson loves supporting local business. She also loves showcasing the Bellarine and Mornington Peninsula’s unique produce and art.

Launched in June, The Bay Box is an online subscription box where you can access great Port Phillip Bay produce ranging from raspberry coulis to tea light holders, Red Hill Muesli and Mt Eliza seed or jewellery and jam. The Bay Box also puts you in touch with local artists and links business with business across the bay while representing the regions and their eclectic group of innovative natives.

Just email [email protected] to organise your monthly subscription and begin experiencing what the Port Philip Bay communities have to offer.

Boxes start at $24.95 per month plus postage. What will you find inside?

W: www.thebaybox.com.au
FB: The Bay Box
Twitter: @thebayboxau