Making the most of Toast to the Coast!
by Sheryl Allen
Now in its sixteenth year, Toast to the Toast is like your cool, living-life-to-the-full aunt who visits once a year to whisk you away for a day or two of fun and celebration. You spend months anticipating her arrival, wondering what she’s got in store for you this time … and she never, ever disappoints.
Toast to the Coast is one of the regional calendar’s most eagerly anticipated fixtures and it’s almost here! Time to clear your diary, book your tickets and sort out how you can make the most of this fabulous two-day event.
You’ll want to gather your squad, organise transport and scope out your go-to winery venues. You don’t want to miss an opportunity because there’s simply no better view of the unique Geelong wine region than through the lens of a Toast to the Coast tasting glass!
This year, seventeen venues across the Bellarine, Moorabool Valley and Surf Coast will be swinging open their cellar doors and serving up tastings of award-winning wines, gourmet goodness and entertainment. It’s all happening 4th and 5th November – you can opt for the Saturday, the Sunday, or both days.
How will you shape your Toast to the Coast experience? You have a myriad of choices. Will you settle in for a lazy arvo at favourite venue, split your time between two or three, or go all out to hit up every venue across the two days?
Try these for starters.
At Clyde Park Bannockburn, take a vinerow stroll with viticulturist Like Polson, get among giant games (for biggies and littlies) or browse artisan produce at Clyde Park Market. Of course, there’ll be wines a plenty on the pour and even the soul-stirring sounds of a lone Scottish piper filling the valley.
At Saint Regis, Waurn Ponds, the wine dinners are superb (and will sell-out) and there’s a special Toast to the Coast lunch menu that spans snacking, feasting and sweet treating. Ogle artists in resident crafting their Lino Cuts project and sample the flagship vino: estate-grown Shiraz.
Leura Park will be a hotspot with a full stable of multi award winning wines on tasting, including those of three guest wineries from the Bellarine (Finesse Wines, Jack Rabbit Vineyard, Yes Said the Seal). And Flying Brick Cider will be there plus a rocking cover band and delectable edibles, including complimentary hot + cold bevies for designated drivers.
Speaking of designated drivers: do you have your transport sorted? Relax – no one has to drive (not even your cool aunt). So, why not grab a shuttle bus pass, leave the car at home and climb aboard at the Geelong Railway Station without a care in the world? There are buses very 30-minutes shuttling along four loops– Bellarine North, Bellarine South, Moorabool Valley and Surf Coast.
Coming from Melbourne way? Catch a VLine train at Southern Cross Station direct to Geelong station and the shuttle bus stop. Or ferry-cruise down the bay for fabulous views. Port Phillip Ferries will run 11am services both days from Docklands to Portarlington (where shuttle buses also await you). The kicker? Baie Wines will be on board the ferry, with amazing wines on pour so you can begin your Toast to the Coast experience as you journey.
Or, for an unforgettable day, book yourself a driver and some fancy wheels through Mustang & Co.Imagine cruising from winery to winery in a 1966 Mustang Convertible, with an optional gourmet picnic lunch to savour en route.
Be warned! Toast to the Coast has a legion of loyal fans and a reputation for selling out just as you’re about to snavel your tickets.