Local and loving it
Beaches, restaurants, rainforests, a stunning climate (most of the time) and the chance to see wildlife up close are probably some of the first things that come to mind when you think of Port Macquarie. Did you know this beautiful city is also as little as 10 minutes’ drive from some award-winning wineries? Apart from the obvious relaxation and social benefits we get from a responsible glass of wine or two, it’s very important (hehe) to note that doctors and researchers have now given us pretty explicit permission to indulge! Some of the health benefits* of drinking red wine include;
- Rich in antioxidants – these reduce the risk of certain diseases like cancer and heart disease!
- Lowers bad cholesterol – keep those arteries clean and clear!
- Keeps heart healthy.
- Regulates blood sugar.
- Reduces the risk of cancer. The grape skins in red wine contain a polyphenol, or plant-based compound, called resveratrol, which has been shown in laboratory studies to act as an antioxidant that can fight cancer.
- Helps treat common cold. This works in a similar way to green tea, those antioxidants again – wine is a little more fun though!
- Keeps memory sharp. Red wine contains resveratrol, which delivers a battering ram of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Keeps you slim. Um hello!! That magical resveratrol also helps to break down fat into the type that is easier to work off.
- Reduces the risk of depression – the magical resveratrol again! Studies have shown anti-stress effects by blocking the expression of an enzyme related to the control of stress.
- Has positive effects on the digestive system – A study by a team of scientists from King’s College London has found that red wine drinkers had a greater diversity of bacteria in their digestive tracts, which is a marker of gastrointestinal health!
Double check, though
Excessive drinking of alcohol can have a number of negative effects on the body, which include liver cirrhosis, weight gain etc, so take all of these benefits with a grain of salt, and do your own research, of course! However, that doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in drinking your favorite red wine (or white!) once in a while. In light of ‘Drink Wine Day’ last week, we thought it was more than fitting to highlight a few of the fantastic wineries in our local area, and give you a guide when planning your next day out amongst the grapes!
Bago Maze and Winery
Bago Winery and Vineyards is positioned in a picturesque valley, with trees, countryside and acres of vines surrounding it. It’s only a short drive off the pacific highway, and approximately 30 minutes from Port Macquarie CBD. It sits high on a hill, giving it magnificent views, and an ideal spot to sit, relax and take a breath. Enjoy a wine tasting and then relax with a glass of wine, coffee or indulge in a cheese or meat platter offering local produce from around the region. Bago is known for its spectacular maze, made from beautifully maintained lilly pilly hedges. It’s one of the worlds largest hedge mazes with over 2000m of pathways, making it the perfect place for the entire family to explore.
Cassegrain is conveniently located off the pacific highway, just 15 minutes from the centre of Port Macquarie. Its set among beautiful gardens, and had water views with a large dam on site – you’ll forget very quickly how close you are to the traffic! Cassegrain Winery offers a cellar door service, wine tours, restaurant, picnics, functions and weddings, and horse riding – there really isn’t much more you could ask for. The Cassegrain family began winemaking in France in 1643 – and planted their first vineyard in Port Macquarie in 1980. 5 years later, Cassegrain Wines opened, growing in success over the past 3 decades to what it is today.
The Little Fish Café, Port Macquarie Restaurant & Vineyard, is a special and secluded spot that overlooks the lush vineyards of the Innes Lake Estates. It has plenty of outdoor seating under the jacaranda trees, such a magical spot to sit and while away the day! Head Chef Steve brings his passion for cooking all the way from his family’s vineyard & restaurant in France to beautiful Port Macquarie – making Little Fish a must visit if you consider yourself a foodie. The menu changes with the seasons, and they have an excellent range of local wines on offer. It’s all served on the verandah or in the gardens overlooking the vineyard – perfection!
Douglas Vale Historic Homestead & Vineyard
Douglas Vale Historic Homestead & Vineyard is the only volunteer run property of its kind in Australia. In 1995 a Conservation Group was formed to ‘rescue’ the homestead and vineyard from vandalism and disrepair. The homestead is classified by the National Trust of Australia. It is also included in the Port Macquarie/Hastings Council list of Heritage sites. The site offers self-guided tours of the Museum & Grounds as well as Wine Tastings & Cheese Platters. It’s a fascinating change to a traditional winery, inviting us to know more about our beautiful town’s history. It’s surprisingly located right in the middle of town and is more than accessible for families or groups.
Long Point Vineyard & Art Gallery
About a 20-minute drive down the coast from Port Macquarie is the perfectly charming Lake Cathie – home to Long Point Vineyard & Art Gallery. A wonderful take on the traditional vineyard, Long Point offers wine tasting, local art and delicious products from the Hastings region. They even have a very refreshing alcoholic ginger beer! Wander the grounds and view the spectacular outdoor artworks sourced from Bondi’s “Sculptures by the Sea”. The beautiful deck is the perfect spot to sit and enjoy a bottle of wine and cheese platter. The art gallery is not to be missed and is a fantastic addition to this wonderful day out!
Are you are looking for a family day out, or a relaxing break with a friend or two? These wineries are all perfect for creating wonderful memories and moments to last a lifetime. And if you’d prefer to just catch a quick second to yourself and attempt to reap some of the health benefits* we mentioned earlier – you can always stop by Jimmy’s Bar and Lounge. Our wine list has something for everyone.
*We are not doctors and recommend consulting your GP for specific health advice.
Please drink responsibly.