Yarra Valley Gateway Estate A Gem of the Yarra Valley
Yarra Valley Gateway Estate is a compelling visit for anyone travelling to the Yarra Valley, with high quality local produce available, Estate grown produce, Estate Wine, Grass Fed Aged Beef, an impressive cafe and tasting area, and pick your own strawberries.
When you walk inside from the car park you are surprised at the sheer size of Gateway Estate, a 44.5ha farm and retail facility. Through the window of the smart looking cafe you can see a massive hydroponic greenhouse. The first thing many visitors do is to check out the huge Estate grown operation. Gateway Estate is a foodie haven and part of the Yarra Valley Regional Food Group!
Walk in to a world of fresh produce, deli items and gourmet foods at every turn. If you want to sample the best of the Yarra Valley you can visit Yarra Valley Gateway Estate and grab a selection.
Brett Spurling from Yarra Valley Gateway Estate gave us a tour of the vast property. Strawberries (around 8,000 plants) are grown all year round hydroponically in an environment created to be as natural as possible. Integrated Pest Management systems are used and a zero waste loop irrigation system is in place. Visitors are able to pick their own strawberries all year round at Gateway Estate; fun for all! There's no entry fee to enter the Greenhouse like some farms - only pay for what you pick.
Brett Spurling also showed us the large planting of capsicums, with a crop of 100 tonnes from around 13,000 capsicum plants. These capsicums are naturally grown (on a string to the ceiling) and are picked at full colour. Drippers for watering and hydroponics are in place. Brett claims they can grow 15-20 times more indoor in these conditions than outdoor. It only takes markedly less water to grow produce hydroponically than in the field. The emphasis is on keeping the natural environment as much as possible. Recycling is important with nothing going to landfill (e.g cocopeat is recycled).
Basil plants are popular (turn out 800 pots a week) and are sold to a range of outlets. The insecticide practice is also cutting edge and they hate the use of insecticides. Rather they release good bugs to get rid of the bad bugs.
Yarra Valley Gateway Estate also has its own cattle (around 50) and sells top grade free range grass fed Angas beef in their retail section (including dry aged), as well as to other outlets. We enjoyed the Gateway scotch fillet at the Lovacore Cooking School later in the day.
Yarra Valley Gateway Estate has a large range of produce and the best of local producers in its retail section. Brett says this area has evolved with locals and others bringing them recommended foods and asking if they can stock certain foods.
We sat down in the cafe and enjoyed some choice Egg and bacon rolls and coffee.
Yarra Valley Gateway Estate also makes amazing sausage rolls, which came fresh from the oven during our visit. World Loves Melbourne was impressed with the local produce featured on the Gateway cafe menu.
Chutney tasting with a wide range of chutneys available (great with the sausage rolls).
Jam donuts anyone?
Yarra Valley Gateway Estate is a superb place to visit, including an education in best hydroponic practices.
Social Media: Instagram: @yarra_valley