85 McAdams Lane, Bellarine
Winery, Restaurant, Cafe & Cellar Door
85 McAdams Lane has always had a special place in the hearts of David and Lyndsay Sharp. Home to Kilgour Estate for 17 years, they recognised the potential of the winery and restaurant and declared that if it ever came on the market, its purchase would be a dream come true.
In 2010, their dream became a reality and Jack Rabbit was born. The property is now home to a winery, restaurant, cafe and cellar door, resulting in a sprawling estate that welcomes thousands of locals and visitors through its doors every month.
David and Lyndsay are no strangers to the hospitality game. They took a leap of faith on their first vineyard, Leura Park Estate, in 2007, and added another notch to their belt with Jack Rabbit three years later. They’ve since expanded the empire even further, creating Flying Brick Cider Co. at the end of 2014. The dynamic duo makes the perfect team – Lyndsay is responsible for everything front-of-house, including sales, marketing and the venues, while David tends to the vineyard, winery and finances.
Also referred to as the ‘darling of the Bellarine’, Jack Rabbit features stunning panoramic views across the vineyards and bay to Melbourne, the You Yangs, Geelong and beyond. The experience is completed with approachable and contemporary seasonal menus across two venues and some of the best wines in the region, making for one memorable culinary experience.
The property is split into two areas: Jack Rabbit Vineyard Restaurant, and its relaxed little brother, the House of Jack Rabbit. The Vineyard Restaurant is a sophisticated and stylish sensory experience, with a French Provincial ambience. It was specifically designed to encourage long and lavish afternoons, with a spacious deck overlooking spectacular sunsets and a fireplace for the colder months.
David Warmisham is the Executive Chef. His life-long affair with food started 22 years ago, as an apprentice at Sails Beach Cafe Restaurant in Noosa. He then moved south, joining The Beach House in Geelong, where he was quickly promoted to Head Chef. He joined the Leura Estate/Jack Rabbit team in 2008, becoming the creative force behind the seasonal menu and developing relationships with local producers to ensure only the freshest ingredients are used.
Seafood comes from around the bay, with everything from Portarlington mussels to local snapper. Pork comes courtesy of Western Plains, eggs from Kossies free-range eggs and Hopkins River supplies the beef. David’s kitchen team even sources wild herbs and flowers from a farmer down the road.
This dedication to fresh produce results in flavours and textures that shine on the plate. As the menu is seasonal, dishes are always changing, but the same sophistication and finesse apply.
Considering the restaurant is located within the vineyard, it would be a missed opportunity not to try a drop or two. The two hectares of vines are equally planted with pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon, so why not try the 2011 Jack Rabbit Heritage Reserve Sparkling Cabernet Sauvignon with your fare? There’s also a riesling, chardonnay, rosé, shiraz and merlot on offer, meaning there’s a pairing for every dish.
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