Moss Vale in the New South Wales Southern Highlands was once a market town and is said to have been named after a herdsman, and former convict, named Jemmy (Jeremy) Moss, who lived in a bark hut near the present railway station. His employer, Dr Charles Throsby, pioneered the district in the early 1800s. Settlers in the region established farms, raising sheep and cattle, growing fruit, potatoes and cabbages, among other things. The rural ethic continues to this day, with more than 150 artisan food and wine producers stretching across nine distinct communities in the Highlands.
The farmers, winemakers and food producers have banded together to form the Southern Highlands Food & Wine Clusters, which have been designed to entice visitors direct to the region’s farm gates.
I am hoping that this Good Things article will encourage you to discover that there is more to Moss Vale than meets the eye. Indeed, as you will see from the map below, Moss Vale offers a delicious destination for food and wine enthusiasts.
The Moss Vale Cluster was launched recently at Peppers Manor House, in conjunction with the relaunch of that beautifully refurbished property.
Driving the initiative is NSW Regional Business Leader of the Year, Brigid Kennedy, along with my friend, Food Path pioneer Jill Dyson. The project has been made possible with the backing of the Moss Vale Chamber of Commerce, and Destination Southern Highlands.
"By working together as a food and wine community, we have made it easy for people to get hands on with their food source, and buy direct from the farmer. Visitors can also stay on the farms, where they can enjoy an authentic taste of Highlands country living," Brigid explained.
The farm gate experience adds to the English village charm of Moss Vale, with its historic heart, grand heritage residences, and winding highland roads lined with European trees. Food lovers are spoiled for choice when selecting a base for exploring the cluster. From cosy country cabin stays on a working Angus farm at Pines Pastoral, or the living canvas of local lifestyle designs to be experienced when staying at The House by Them, to the decadent new Garden suites at Peppers Manor House.
Foraging for fresh local produce is just the beginning with Paddock-to-Plate cooking classes offered at Fox Hill Farm, Italian Food Experiences at Tre Porcellini, or unwinding with a glass of wine or cup of specialty tea on the wide verandahs of the Farm Club Tea House.
There is also a variety of Moss Vale eateries to visit, many of which offer local farm produce, great tasting food, and exciting experiences. Add Bernie's Diner, Katers Restaurant at Peppers Manor House, The Porterhouse Bistro, Il Pranzo Cafe, The Post Cafe and Bar, and Tooses Wine Bar to your list of places to visit.
Producers within the Moss Vale Cluster include Highland Organics, Maugers Meats, Park Hill Garlic, Mt Ashby Wines, and Southern Highlands Wines. There's also the Railway Street Farmer's Market.
If the food and wine showcased at the launch of the Moss Vale Food & Wine Cluster is anything to go by, then Moss Vale should be at the top of your next food and wine destination.
Moss Vale Food & Wine Cluster launch - postcards and morsels...
The Good Things team enjoyed the launch of the Moss Vale Food and Wine Cluster, and an overnight stay, degustation and breakfast as guests of Peppers Manor House and the Moss Vale Food & Wine Cluster. We made our own way to Sutton Forest by private vehicle.
Apart from the lead image of the Moss Vale bandstand and the photo of the roaring fireplace, all of the images used in this article were kindly provided courtesy of Peppers Manor House and the Moss Vale Food & Wine Cluster. (To my huge disappointment, my little travel camera was not playing nicely).
For more information about the Southern Highlands Food & Wine Clusters, visit the web site. For more information or to book a stay at the award winning Peppers Manor House, visit the web site.
Tell me dear readers, have you ever been to Moss Vale in the New South Wales Southern Highlands? Have you stopped in to explore all that the area offers? And you like the idea of the food and wine clusters as much as I do?
Cooking and writing have been a lifelong passion.
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- Liz Posmyk
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NB: I use Australian standard measuring cups and spoons in my recipes.