A guest blog post by Chantelle, Mrs. Underatreehouse
On a crisp cold winter’s morning in June, we were off on a little getaway adventure in Country Victoria. I had planned to surprise Chris for his 40th birthday, with what I thought would be the ultimate honeymoon getaway!
Driving to our accommodation on the outskirts of Rutherglen, our destination came into sight. To my delight, its main surprise remained hidden by trees as we approached. Nearing the long driveway our excitement starts to build as we see the grand old Estate that lies beyond.
The Mt Ophir Tower
As we near the main buildings we are greeted by a caretaker who is tending to the Winemakers Cottage, a tiny home sat upon a little hill, with a cane swing hanging from a gorgeous old maple tree outside. At this point, she gestures in the direction of a glorious French Provincial Tower that calls the Mount Ophir Estate home, fully renovated to its former glory with added touches of luxury.
Sat on the corner of the main winery building, this impressive addition dominates the view and we can’t help but be in awe. We park up beside the door and as Chris looks down at the old iron door key in his hand, full of history and character, I know that I have made the impression I wanted!
Entering through the large wooden doors, we are greeted with a discreet little period kitchen and a beautiful chandelier hanging above the centrepiece marble table. There are freshly cut olive tree branches on the table and jazz music is emanating from upstairs. As we climb the old spiral staircase, we emerge into the main living room, which forms the middle floor of the tower, and find a vintage typewriter with a welcome note from our hosts, a lovely little touch!
The tower is made up of three floors, with the uppermost floor reserved for the bedroom. Since the space on each level is limited, the floorplan has been carefully considered and the owners have done a great job of cleverly maximising each level. Being at the top of the tower means that as you wake, you are greeted with the best views of the Estate from the comfort of your luxurious queen bed.
The Mount Ophir Estate oozes romance. Built between 1891 and 1903 for the Burgoyne family with French Provincial influences, it is now heritage listed and offers a small number of private accommodation options. The unique buildings include the original Homestead and Gatekeepers Cottage, which sleep up to 10 people, through to the small and intimate Winemakers Cottage and Tower.
Surrounded by picturesque views, farmland, and vineyards, with plenty of historic places to explore, Mt Ophir is the perfect place to escape for a honeymoon or romantic getaway.
A Wine Tour by Bike
I really wanted to make the most of being away from the hustle and bustle and out in the country air, so I had booked a wine tasting tour by Pedal Bike with Rutherglen Radler. We picked up our e-bikes from Caffeine Machine, a cafe dedicated to vintage motorbikes that also hires out battery-powered pedal bikes, so you can cruise around in comfort. You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time as you cycle through the vineyards and olive groves.
Our first stop was Jones Winery, where we sat at the timber bar in front of the fireplace. Who doesn’t love sitting up at a good old-fashioned bar, where you can talk at eye-level to your host? Here we were treated to 2 courses of canapés which are designed to match their wines by their passionate chef.
After that, we rode on to De Bortoli, where we were greeted by a selection of cheeses and wine to select from the tasting menu. Given that we’re not big drinkers and we were moving around on bikes we took it pretty easy on the alcohol but just having the opportunity to sample the nuances in each vineyard’s products was a fascinating experience.
From here we rode about 30 minutes out of town to the Pfeiffer Estate. This family-run vineyard is famous for long lunches on the creek bridge, where we enjoyed a beautiful grazing platter picnic lunch. The creek is also known to be home to some platypus families if you’re lucky to spot them in their natural habitat. With the birds chirping and the sun beaming down it made for a glorious winter’s day.
After lunch, we were booked in for a Muscat-making class. Sitting amongst the wine barrels, we exchanged stories and learned about the history and intricacies of the drink Rutherglen is famous for. We even got to take our own handmade muscat home, which I have thoroughly enjoyed may I add!
Weddings in Rutherglen
When it comes to getting married in Rutherglen you are really spoilt for choice. The little town is packed full of history, beautiful vineyards, and backdrops that are to die for! With some of the region’s top chefs using locally grown produce and pairing them perfectly with their own wines you really can’t go wrong.
During our stay at the Mount Ophir Estate, we took a wander through the old winemaking facilities. When it was completed in 1903, Mt Ophir was a state-of-the-art winery. More than 100 years on, it has become a building that is full of texture and character. For Chris, it is a Photographer’s dream location, as we wandered around we could envisage the room filled with long beautifully styled tables, full of laughter and good food, with interesting backdrops for romantic images to be made.
We stayed at Mount Ophir for two nights and it was such a breathtaking experience, one I will never forget. If you are visiting the area, considering getting married in Rutherglen, or want the perfect couples’ getaway, I highly recommend visiting Mount Ophir Estate, you will not be disappointed!
Have a question about where we have been?