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Food, Travel, Things To Do

Balgownie Estate Shines in Yarra Valley


Balgownie Estate is a magnificent property deep in the Yarra Valley with multiple attractions of day spa facilities, great accomodation and alluring Rae's Restaurant with killer views. The World Loves Melbourne was invited along to imbibe the food and wine at Balgownie Estate. Check out our Best Yarra Valley Wineries.


Rae's Restaurant is perched on a hill with sprawling lawns and vieyards to be seen from the large windows. The menu here features approachable cuisine from chef Graham Taute, and excellent wine from Balgownie's various regional vineyards.


Balgownie 2012 Shiraz was a compelling drop, perfect with our meal.


This is food for the casual visitor and many of the wineries cater for broad appeal. What is the point if bus loads arrive and punters can't find anything recognisable on a menu? I understand what they are trying to do here. It's about honest food using fresh ingredients, served in a stunning location, with brilliant service.

Much of the produce is sourced locally (this is a fabulous region for produce), and Rae's has it's own veggie patch. throughout our meal Deb was extremely attentive and engaging, adding to the whole experience. Kudos also that there's a kids menu (not that our kids used it).

Slow cooked pork belly and slaw was a winner, with slow cooking meaning the pork is soft on top and tender throughout. This was a decent portion for an entree.


The Salmon tasting plate was also a triumph, with smoke salmon and salmon fillet. The presentation was also first class.


After eating pork belly for entree, I loaded up with the signature Porterhouse steak, cokked perfectly as medium rare. There's a sense of theatre as the steak comes alone on the large plate then the waiter pours the jus over the top.

Sides are served seperately including hand cut fries and crispy beans.


We also enjoyed the Wagyu Burger, a popular choice.


White Rabbit Beer Battered Fish of the Day was tasty Rockling, excellent with the salad and hand cut fries. Rockling was tender and the celeriac roumelade was zesty. The hand cut fries here are chunky and not overly greasy.


It didn't take long to feel relaxed, gazing out of the windows to this view...


This picture was taken before the punters descended - the place became full by about 1pm on a Saturday. 


Balgownie Estate is well worth a visit - only an hour out of Melbourne. From my experience punters want to know where to go for a Yarra Valley meal - here is an excellent option.


Rae's served us some of the desserts usually reserved for dinner such as sticky date pudding, semifreddo, panna cotta and delcious ice cream.


Down the bottom of the hill we found a few fake kangaroos, bringing some humour to the experience. I noticed several parties posing for photos with these kangaroos.


We were glad to visit on a perfect day with rolling clouds and great visibility.


Balgownie Estate is a rewarding destination, including the cellar door where we purchased some of their fine product.

We are already looking forward to returning here, including to the day spa. Highly recommended.