For fine dining close to Torquay and the Great Ocean Road the top pick would be Pettavel Winery and Restaurant. Sitting high on the hill just out of Geelong, a few minutes along the road to Colac sits the imposing presence of Pettavel Winery and Restaurant. Wine is made here using technology with a mind for the environment. All used water from the winery is filtered through the olive grove thus creating another harvest of lovely olive oil.
Pettavel has a particular place in our family’s life because our daughter Nicole’s wedding was held here in the first year of operation while still under the oversight of George Biron of Sunnybrae fame.
Yesterday (25th September, 2008) I took my husband out for his birthday for a cellar door lunch on the first day of spring warmth with a brisk breeze blowing away winter clouds. Things have changed here since our last visit. The cellar door plate is no longer a range of small bites but a set of 3 items on a long plate accompanied by 3 selected Pettavel wines. You also have a choice of adding an entrée and a dessert if you want to make a meal of it. We can recommend the full lunch menu of 3 entrees, choice of main course and choice of dessert for when you are able to enjoy a whole afternoon of relaxing dining.
Our starter plate consisted of a raw fish and prawn combination with wasabi foam, belly pork with a light pickled salad and venison rillettes. He tasted the Riesling, the Chardonnay and the Cabernet Sauvignon Cabernet Franc options and I chose the Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot wine options. All were good. Our waiter quickly accommodated my dietary needs and altered the wine selection to our choice. We felt warmly welcomed and served well.
We did proceed beyond the tasting plate -him to the rabbit parcel with brussel sprouts entrée and myself to the chocolate marquise with orange and campari dessert; he to the Merlot Petit Verdot and me to the Late Harvest Riesling.
With our selection of wines and olive oil to take home we were very happy with our Pettavel experience.
It was a good day out.