A new restaurant at a Rutherglen winery is becoming a popular lunch-time destination, with plans to also offer a farm-gate experience.
Ripe at Buller Wines is run by Gavin Swalwell and Fiona Myers – the team behind the successful Taste@Rutherglen and Rutherglen Brewery.
The owners believe visitors to the cellar door are keen to immerse themselves in other experiences.
“Having the Taste restaurant in town, we know that people are generally looking for a destination for lunch,” Gavin said.
“Their main focus is to do the wineries and lunch is more of an informal experience, so our price point is quite moderate, we’re informal but still decant wines, still have linen, home baked bread and all those things.
“We try not to be intimidating, and offer a unique experience of being able to have the kids run around and kick a footy on the grounds out the front, while sitting in here and enjoying a nice meal.”
The owners are also keen to develop a farm gate.
“It’s still early days, but we have almost a football oval size market garden outside – rows of about 25 -30 metres long that’s going to support both Ripe and our other restaurant in town, plus provide a farm gate experience for guests.
“The idea is our gardener will have picked the fresh vegies in season to sell to visitors, and down the track we might have a petting zoo for kids.”
Although the restaurant has only been open for a few months, it’s clear that Ripe has struck a chord with visitors.
“It’s crazy, we haven’t got any signs out yet and we’re often booked out on Sundays,” Gavin said.
“I thought I’d hide in the vines for a while and they wouldn’t find me, but they have.”
For more information visit their website: http://www.bullerwines.com.au/Food/Ripe-at-Buller-Wines or visit their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/RipeRestaurant/