Victoria is renowned for its wide variety of agricultural regions. From all the vineyards across the Yarra Valley to the hodgepodge of country bakeries and organic cafes, there are a myriad of locally-made, artisanal delights to sample across the state. But when it comes to enjoying an eclectic array of artisanal products, truly nothing beats the offerings of our very own Gippsland region.
With verdant farmlands and wine country bordering on Victoria’s southeastern coastline, Gippsland locals have the unique opportunity to work across agricultural and aquacultural markets. This makes Gippsland one of the best places to find not only dairy products but even seafood.
What else can you expect to stumble upon when exploring the Gippsland region? We’ve answered just this question today by outlining the region’s top artisanal products below.
Have you ever bought a bottle of Pinot Noir wine grown in Victoria? What about a bottle of Chardonnay that was grown just one field over? Then chances are it came right from the heart of the Latrobe Valley in Gippsland. The valley’s cooler climate boasts rich soils, nourished by nutrients and minerals carried over by the region’s signature ocean breezes. This allows Gippsland winemakers to produce a wide variety of different wine products.
And speaking of ocean breezes, the valley’s proximity to the sea combined with its hilly country, has naturally created microclimates, which has in turn allowed for even more variety from Gippsland wine country. In fact, Gippsland may be the only wine country in Victoria that’s capable of producing so many different varietals with this level of success. If you want to experience the sheer diversity of Gippsland winemakers, then be sure to visit the Latrobe Valley during your stay in the region.
Breads and pastries
Artisanal bakeries can be found in many of the towns and regional city centres that call Gippsland home. Bakers use locally milled flours to produce artisanal sourdough loaves, as well as sweeter treats like spiced fruit pastries (again, made with locally grown and harvested fruits).
For those who love to enjoy a passionately prepared loaf of artisanal sourdough bread, you can’t visit Gippsland without sampling some of the loaves on offer by The Bearded Baker of Inverloch. This local micro-bakery prepares a range of different sourdough loaves on a regular basis, including their popular olive and thyme loaves as well as spiced fruit sourdoughs – an artisanal take on raisin bread.
You can also find loaves by the Bearded Baker at local markets across Gippsland, so be sure to keep an eye out for their striking navy logo wherever you go exploring.
Yoghurts and cultured butter
What will you spread on your sourdough bread? Well, if you’re in the mood for some dairy to accompany the tartness of your toast, then you’ll find plenty to love in Gippsland. After all, Gippsland Dairy is a household name across Australia, not just Victoria.
And the company behind it all (Gippsland Jersey), provide exceptional, locally-produced cream, yoghurts, cheeses, and cultured butter to local cafes and eateries all across the Gippsland region. So if you are offered some cultured butter to pair with your artisanal sourdough loaves, say a hearty yes!
Fruit jams, juices, and vinegars
Alongside butters and other dairy products, Gippsland’s farm country also includes a vast array of orchards, berry farms, and other fruit plantations. From the apple orchards of Picnic Point Farm right here in Bairnsdale to the vibrant bushes of The Berry Dairy, any Gippsland tourists who are looking to enjoy a sleepy Sunday morning of fruit-picking will find themselves spoiled for choice.
If you do decide to visit any of the region’s local fruit farms, then you should also put some time aside to explore their unique wares. Fruit farmers across Gippsland are renowned for their rich fruit jams, sparkling and still fruit juices, and even their unique vinegars. You can find apple cider and raspberry vinegar at Picnic Point Farm, as well as saltier balsamic vinegars from the Gippsland Salt Company.
Meat and seafood cuts
With Gippsland’s wide community of farmers, you better believe that the region is also renowned for its exceptional cuts of grass-fed beef, and other animal products. Gippsland livestock get to munch on the most luscious grass in Victoria, so it goes without saying that you can enjoy decadent cuts of meat from any local butcher’s across the region.
The mecca of meats in Gippsland has to be Chapmans Free Range Butchery in Inverloch. This family-owned butchery stocks a wide range of locally sourced cuts of beef, lamb, pork, and chicken. They also stock ready-made meal packs, as well as condiments, spices, stocks, and other artisanal kitchen products.
And for seafood lovers, you’ll also be able to find plenty of coastal restaurants and eateries across the Bass Coast that showcase locally caught bream, bass, whiting, carp, and other freshwater and saltwater fish.
And there you have it – the top artisanal products that you can expect to find when exploring the Gippsland region. But keep in mind that this is by no means an exhaustive list. Alongside the products mentioned in this list, Gippsland tourists can also expect to find truffles and truffle products, hand-churned ice creams (made with locally sourced fruits and cream), and even local arts, crafts, and textiles products.
So go forth and see what you can find for yourself. Chances are you’ll be filling your bags with dozens of decadent treats to either bring back home for your friends or simply to enjoy all on your own.