5 September 2018

Long lunch at Poachers Pantry

| Emily Morris
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William Bruce, Proprietor, Poachers Pantry. Photos: Supplied.

Canberra life is pretty close to idyllic but, occasionally, even we Canberrans like to get out of our fair city and soak in some rural tranquillity. We also like a long lunch. And when we want these to coincide, we can head to Poachers Pantry.

Situated just twenty-five minutes out of town, Poachers Pantry is a family business that offers visitors a culinary destination, wines made from homegrown grapes and a setting replete with a rustic ambience.

Poachers Pantry vineyard

Poachers Pantry vineyard.

Established in 1991 by Susan and Robert Bruce, the business originally focused on the smallgoods which are still very popular today. Back then there was a real gap in the market for artisanal smoked meats and these two food lovers eagerly stepped in, keen to share their passion for food with the broader community.

Poachers tasting plate

Poachers tasting plate.

A few years later they planted a vineyard, realising then the region’s great potential for producing cool climate wine. They now do so in increasing quantities under the Wily Trout label – a homage to the family’s love of fly fishing.

Add a gourmet restaurant and farm shop to reveal the Poachers Pantry of today. Enjoy a meal incorporating fresh produce grown on site and, on the way out, there’s the option to pick up some smoked ham or try the unique flavour of kangaroo prosciutto.

Poachers Pantry restaurant

Poachers Pantry restaurant.

Those thinking this setting would also make a great place for a wedding are absolutely right. Though if you’ve spent any length of time in the Capital, you’ll quickly recognise this as a place where you have been or are going to a wedding at some stage.

Poachers Pantry boasts a sophisticated marquee which can comfortably entertain up to 250 guests. There are also options for more intimate functions.

Poachers Pantry wedding marquee

Poachers Pantry wedding marquee.

Recently the Bruce’s son, Will, who has spent his entire life on the property, has taken on a leadership role in the business, steering it in new directions for the future.

“My parents started Poachers the year I was born!” says Will. “I’ve always been drawn to the vineyard and still remember working there with my dad as a kid.”

Poachers Pantry William Bruce

Lucas Williams playing at Poachers Pantry outdoor play area.

As the business moves into the hands of the next generation, some of the modern approaches Will is implementing include shifts to organic farming practices and planting of new grape varieties such as Riesling, Tempranillo and Sangiovese for harvesting in several years’ time.

Will and his parents are keen to see Poachers continue to develop as a popular function venue and well-regarded vineyard producing a range of gourmet products. And with a daughter of his own, Will hopes he can continue enriching the family property for yet another generation of the Bruce family to enjoy.

Poachers Pantry ham

Poachers Pantry ham.

If it’s been a while since you last took a drive out to Poachers, makes some time to get reacquainted. There are lots of new ideas in the works but Will tells us we will have to keep an eye out. “Can’t give away all of our secrets,” he laughs.

Smokehouse Restaurant

Brunch Sat & Sun 9:30 – 11 am
Lunch Fri – Sun 11:30 – 3 pm – Platters available
Mon – Thu 11:30 – 3 pm – No BYO

Cellar Door and Farm Shop

Seven Days 9:30 – 5 pm

Address: 431, Nanima Road, Springrange, NSW 2618

Location: View on Google Maps.

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