Due to an overwelmingly positive response of these tours to date, 2017 dates have now been released!
In partnership with The Schaller Studio, Art Series Hotel, Mason’s international chef Sonia Anthony will invite people to join her on an extraordinary excursion to some of the most outstanding food producers in Central Victoria, as she collects produce for that evening’s meal. (The region has one of the highest concentrations of boutique food and wine producers in Australia).
The journey will include a stop at the local community farmers market where many of the top producers gather and then a round trip to local farms such as McIvor Farm Foods in Tooborac (where the Hagan’s rear their pigs ‘beyond free range’ on a farm that has been in the family for generations). http://www.mcivorfarmfoods.com.au/
Seasonal produce is picked up which may include home grown pears, apples and local vegetables.
Next is a stop at one of Heathcote’s renowned cellar doors to sample the region’s finest wines, meeting and speaking directly with the winemakers. That evening guests can enjoy the fruits of the booty at Sonia’s own home. One of the four represented Heathcote winemakers will join the crew and give expert tips and information on the wines chosen to enjoy with dinner. They're also happy to talk about their journey and experiences. Fridge bags will be provided for you to purchase your own goods along the way.
The tour includes one night's accommodation at Schaller Studio, Art Series Hotel in Bendigo.
How the day unfolds:
9.30am – 10.45am
The Bendigo Community Farmers Market, Bendigo
Allow Sonia to introduce you to Central Victoria’s local champions – the producers – and enjoy tastings and tips on the wide variety of seasonal produce available. Complimentary fridge bags will be provided – a taste of Sue’s triple brie and you’ll be craving to take a wheel or two home! http://www.bcfm.org.au/
11.00 – 11.50am B & B Basil, Bendigo
A quick stop in to meet George Bobin, owner of B & B Basil (Victoria’s largest micro green grower) with a tour of the farm whilst Sonia collects some herbs for the evening’s dinner. http://bandbbasil.com.au/
12.30 noon – 2.45pm McIvor Farm Foods, Tooborac
A comfortable 40 minute drive through Axedale and Heathcote will bring you to McIvor Farm Foods where you’ll meet Farmer of the Year, Belinda Hagan, who will take you on a tour of the farm, followed by a light lunch in their farm gate shop. Hear all about their farming philosophy and discover why their pork, and other goodies they grow, tastes so good. Pork is available to purchase from the shop, and depending on the season, purchase plump, juicy strawberries or crunchy home grown pears. http://www.mcivorfarmfoods.com.au/
3.25pm –4.30pm Heathcote Wine Tasting
Meet the winemaker & discover why Heathcote has become one of Australia’s premium wine regions. Unearth the flavours and tastes of Heathcote’s world class smaller, independent labels. Wines will be available for purchase.
Alison Phillips/Simon Osicka – Bull Lane, Paul Osicka Wines http://www.theaustralian.com.au/life/food-wine/wine/paul-osicka-wines-a-family-affair/news-story/de5f5fd9df799929ef3bfc4df3630aca
Emily McNally – Lo Stesso, Occam’s Razor, Jasper Hill http://thebeast.com.au/food/young-guns-wine-part-3/#
Adam Foster – Syrahmi, Foster e Rocco http://syrahmi.com.au/adam-foster/
Liam Anderson – Wild Duck Creek Estate http://www.wildduckcreekestate.com.au/
4.30pm – 6.45pm Return to Schaller Studio, Arts Series Hotel
Time for a rest, unique Schaller activity or a slow bike ride around Lake Weeroona to work up an appetite for dinner. http://www.artserieshotels.com.au/schaller/
7.30pm – 9.30pm Home of Sonia Anthony, Bendigo
An extension of Masons of Bendigo’s hospitality. Masons was Awarded One Chef Hat, The Age Good Food Guide 2016 and Number 1 for Bendigo on Trip Advisor three years running.
Allow Sonia to welcome you into her home for a truly Bendigo food and wine experience. One of the four Heathcote winemakers will be joining us with expert tips and knowledge on the wines chosen, matched to the food Sonia will be preparing. Hear the local stories, ask the questions and immerse yourself in a unique seasonally produced feast.
McIvor Farm Foods Berkshire pork belly skewers will feature on the dinner table. This dish has been a favourite on the Mason's menu. Accompaniments change with the seasons so currently we'll enjoy them with pickled plum, macadamia, coconut caramel, lime
Other dishes include:
(may change according to seasonal availability)
Black Mission Figs, Holy Goat fromage frais, pomegranate, toasted quinoa
McIvor Farm pork and prawn salad, peanuts, banana blossom, noodles, nuoc cham, lime
Warialda beef carpaccio, black pepper, golden beets, smoked aioli, potato chips, fried onion
Spit roasted Camboar goat shoulder, smoked hommus, freekha tabbouleh, wild figs, tzatziki
Baked eggplant, babaganoush, pinenuts, currants, spiced yoghurt
Pan fried ricotta gnocchi, whipped cheddar, salted zucchini, young leek, smoked tomato vinaigrette
Tomato and B&B Basil herb salad
The ending will always be sweet as we enjoy Mason's signature Dessert Tasting Plate to finish
WHEN: Saturday 11th March 2017 (bookings now closed)
Saturday 13th May 2017
Saturday 8th July 2017
Saturday 9th September 2017
Saturday 11th November 2017
COST: $325 per person