Join Julie as she shares over 20 years of experience, in-depth knowledge and passion for gardening, permaculture, composting and organic farming.
The workshop will kick off with a cuppa and house-made snack whilst you learn a little bit about how, and why, this amazing garden started. You’ll learn about how Julie identifies and benefits from the property’s different aspects and microclimates to get the highest yields for our chefs, the importance of soil, and how our waste goes full circle to produce rich, organic compost which is then spread over our growing areas to enrich our soils.
We will visit our vast and individual growing areas across our 80-acre property, so comfortable shoes and a sense of adventure are a must.
9.00 am Every good morning starts with a hot cup of tea and a house-made snack.
9.30 am Tour of the many areas of the Montalto gardens and orchards whilst Julie explains what we grow, when and where, pests and diseases, and how she treats these problems using organic principles, the importance of growing heirloom seeds and companion planting. Listen as she explains how we compost our waste through several onsite processes, creating a truly closed-loop system. Meet our many animals that all have a job to do on our estate as Julie explains the importance of integrating these animals into her farming practices and the roles that they all play.
12.45 pm Arrive at our exclusive Chef’s Table in The Restaurant - with the view of the vines to one side, the open kitchen (where your lunch is being prepared) to the other - and enjoy a shared lunch featuring the very best of our estate-grown produce. This also includes a tasting of 2 Chardonnays and 2 Pinot Noirs from our Estate and Single Vineyard ranges.
Our Head Chef Diana Desensi and Julie will both join you for an intimate lunch where you are free to chat with them about the workshop, gardens and menus.
2.30 pm Official proceedings conclude, however you are welcome to stay and enjoy the afternoon wandering through the Sculpture Trail or simply take your time over a few extra wines (charged on consumption). Feel free to pop into The Cellar Door to taste or purchase any of our wines, or explore our newly launched Montalto Pantry Collection made from estate-grown produce.
To get you started at home, you’ll also receive 2 packets of carefully selected and organically grown heirloom seeds - personally saved by Julie Bennett and Wendy Mitchell.
Cost: $195 all-inclusive. Places are strictly limited. Bookings essential.
About our Kitchen Gardens
The productive gardens now total over 3 acres in dedicated areas which are dotted across our 80-acre property. Each area boasts a unique aspect, micro-climate and soil profile. There’s our beautiful (but still productive) Piazza gardens - known fondly as ‘Wendy’s Garden’, our hugely productive market garden (which does the majority of heavy lifting in terms of supplying our 3 kitchens), and there’s an expansive netted area protecting our vast berry patch, and at times, as many as 45 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, as well as an acre of netted fruit trees under which our happy hens call home.
All produce areas are farmed using organic and permaculture principles. No soil is ever turned over or disturbed and old crops are either twisted out of the soil, or cut off at ground height to ensure carbon sequestered remains in our soil. Of course, we add our own compost back onto all of our beds.
If you'd like to read more about our gardens, click below: