HOT: Main Ridge Dairy, Main Ridge
Main Ridge Dairy is an artisan goats cheese factory and farm in Main Ridge, Mornington Peninsula.
Pretty goats greet you, symptoms both in sculptural and real form, as you take the steps down to the architect award-winning farm building. It houses the working processing facilities and cheesery, a small cafe and gift store.
The building’s floor to ceiling windows and outdoor deck face the sloping pastures and the farm dam and makes Main Ridge Dairy a picturesque spot for a cheese platter, cold drink and Red Hill Roast coffee.
As part of a Wine Compass bespoke food and wine tour I was invited to try their range of cheeses and there are three cheese plate options, ranging from $10 to $50. We were given the Nanny Plate which was more than adequate for two people.
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Main Ridge Dairy are the only commercial dairy operating in the Mornington Peninsula and there are basically no food miles in any of the cheese you try or buy. The herd of around 200 free ranging goats are milked twice a day and then the milk is handmade into cheese on site – so it’s a true paddock to plate experience.
Of all the cheeses I loved the halloumi and capriole, a white mould ripened ashed goats cheese. The beetroot relish was sweet and addictive too. But all the cheeses are award-winning so it’s really a matter of personal taste!
Main Ridge Dairy is also a great place to take children. There’s loads of room to run around and goats to pat through the fence. Indoors there’s a little children’s corner with a basket of toys, books and goat-themed colouring-in.
You can also cuddle a young kid if you join a dairy tour, which runs on certain Saturday afternoons. On the dairy tours visitors can visit the dairy to see the milking process and the meet the kids at the raising sheds. Bookings are essential.
For grown ups there are regular cheese making workshops where you get to make your own cheese, take a dairy tour and enjoy lunch during the workshop.
I loved the bucolic setting at Main Ridge Dairy and if you have kids the space and activities make it a winning formula for a relaxed outing.
Main Ridge Dairy is part of Wine Food Farmgate, a collection and trail of the best of Mornington Peninsula’s wineries, eateries and farmgate providores. For other child-friendly places on the Wine Food Farmgate trail try Green Olive at Red Hill, Johnny Ripe and Flinders Hotel.
- pram access;
- disabled toilet;
- standard menu suitable for children;
- toys, books, colouring pencils and paper;
- outdoor area;
- book ahead so you can visit the dairy and cuddle a kid!
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