With so much white noise as a daily intake into our minds, I needed a place to escape, somewhere quiet, tranquil, and serein. Somewhere where all you can hear is the chirping of birds, the leaves rustling through the surrounding trees, the frogs calling from the ponds. Somewhere where you can breathe in and exhale without a care in the world. No car horns, no hustle or bustle, no phone calls,… no service! Yes, it does exist and I found it.
Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Jarrod Woodgate, you may know him from Sophie Monks Season of The Bachelorette, he made it all the way to the last two and Sophie had to choose, will it be Jarrod or would she choose Stuart Laundry. Sophie chose Stuart and left Jarrod heart broken and devastated. Jarrod accepted my invitation to appear on an episode of The Wine O’clock Show, aptly so, as it happens, his family owns and operates a Vineyard called Toms Cap. It was one of the highest watched episodes and it was filmed on the Vineyard in the Gippslands in Melbourne. Since then, I have been back several times and call it my home away from home.
The moment you drive up the dirt round, surrounded by farmland and the Tarra Bulga National Park, you know that you have arrived in a special place. The family owned and operated vineyard has been here for 30 years, although it was never their intention to make it into a vineyard but more a family weekend escape. Set out across 100 acres, with 8 of those acres being vines, it’s the love and warmth the family offers and the natural surroundings of the estate that draws you in.
I come here to totally disconnect and being here actually makes you do so, as there is no mobile phone service. It is what I like to call a digital detox. No emails, no phone calls, no social media NOTHING! Could you go a whole weekend with a digital black out? I know I certainly could.
So what’s there to do? Besides the obvious and drinking Toms Caps award winning wines, there are plenty of things to do. Spread out along the top of the farm is four cottages. Depending on how you would like to spend you time out, you can either arrange for a great girls weekend away and stay in the Beaumont Lodge which is a four bedroom home situated on the crest of one of the hills on the vineyard and has the most spectacular views across the hills and dairy farms to the west and the Mullundung State Forrest to the east. It is hard to imagine a better place to experience the most fantastic sunrises and sunsets under the large traditional outback style verandahs. The Lodge has four bedrooms each with its own en-suite, king/queen size bed, television and entertainment system and air conditioning. The living area has not only a wood fire as well as air conditioning and is large enough for a small group of friends and intimate enough for a couple. The Lodge is complemented by secluded patios, verandahs and BBQ area.
If you are looking for something of a smaller scale then you can’t go past either The Chapel or Black Dog Cottages. These two cottages are two bedroom spa cottages, which are situated at the top of the vineyard, nestled in the vines and gardens with its own veranda and complete privacy. The distinctive style of this cottage typifies the rustic Gippsland of old and features absolute luxury. The cottages were locally designed to capture the tranquility of the bush and vineyard setting and will accommodate either one or two couples with each having their own luxury private facilities. The cottage has it's own fully equipped kitchen, or should you prefer, dine in our restaurant. The cottage, as well as having a traditional wood fire, is fully air-conditioned.
If you are just wanting a little “ME” time, why not nestle into the Nest, a purpose designed cottage for that romantic getaway situated on the northern hill on the property overlooking the rolling paddocks; vines and dams.
Escape and pamper yourself and your partner in the luxury of our newest cottage and leave the world behind for a day or two. Be bold and use the private heated outside spa adjoining the sun deck and sip some of our beautiful wines.
You can stay at Toms Cap any day of the week or weekend, the cottages, lodge and cabin are fully self-contained so bring your own food for either a BBQ, which each accommodation has or cook up a feast in the fully equipped kitchens. If you are staying over the weekend, Toms Cap has an amazing restaurant available for lunch with food and produce brought from local farmers and markets.
Just a short 15min down the road is the Tarra-Bulga National Park. Located in the Strzelecki Ranges, the park was created in 1904 and is one of the earliest reserves of cool temperate rainforest in the world and one of only four in Victoria. With its lush gullies, giant mountain ash trees and tree ferns why not pack a picnic and head off on a morning of exploring and then stop for lunch at the Tarra Bulga Picnic area, just off the Grand Ridge Road, or the Tarra Valley picnic area off Tarra Valley Road. Both spots are set amongst the giant mountain ash and shady fronds of tree ferns and offer tables, fireplaces, toilets and picnic shelters.
If walking through National Parks isn’t really up your alley, then why not walk the 100-acres at Toms Cap. Walk through the vines and take in the wonder of watching the Shiraz, Riesling and cab sav grow. Depending on the season, you can see the grapes in it’s infancy right through to picking stage. Visit the Alpaca’s, collect the eggs from the chooks, play with the goats or totally relex in your spa, drinking wine, overlooking the vineyard and surrounding farm lands.
Totally emerge and indulge in a little “switch off time” and enjoy the best that Toms Cap has to offer.