Our Cider House
Bellevue Farm Gate, our Cider House, was once the orchard’s workshop. It has been lovingly repurposed, amongst our apple trees and working orchard.
Wander around the shop filled with fresh apples, and Trattore ciders. We’re proud to sell our favourite products - local, Victorian and always 100% Australian. Sample the delights from our food van, choose a tasting paddle, enjoy a barista coffee or 100% juice slushies.
Bellelvue Farm Gate, represents everything that we stand for. Our family, our culture, our commitment to quality, and how much we love and want to give back to the community.
But most of all it reminds us of our story.
Our family own and operated orchard, Bellevue Orchard in Officer Victoria, has been growing apples for three generations and making apple juice for over 20 years.
Back in 2012, we decided to plant a range of heritage cider apple varieties on our orchard. After a long wait and several years of anticipation, we are excited to release our unique apple cider made from these rare varieties.
We wanted to make sure everyone can enjoy and purchase the best, 100% Australian made products at our cider house, Bellevue Farm Gate.
Where it all began...
Bellevue Orchard was first bought into the family by Angelo Russo and his brothers after they purchased the property in the early 1950's. In 1977 Angelo’s sons, Robert and Joe, purchased the orchard from their uncles and father, they expanded the orchard and planted some newer fruit varieties. In 1994, Joe’s daughter Bernadette began working on the orchard and later, Robert’s son Nicholas joined the team.
Then we grew and grew...
Family members started attending farmers markets and green grocers, letting people try real apple juice - very different from the juice made concentrates. Bellevue Orchard, regained its strength and continues to produce much of the fruit for our Summer Snow juices.
Years later, Bellevue Orchard is proud to now include our sister brand, Trattore; a sophisticated, boutique Australian cider. Our mission is to provide customers with a quality alcoholic cider that has no preservatives and is made with only real, Australian fruit straight from our family orchard.
Visit our cider house today, to try our best 100% Australian made cider.
70 Years of Cultivation, 25 Years of Juice Making
2023 is a momentous year for Bellevue Orchard, celebrating seven decades since the Russo family took ownership of the orchard and a quarter of a century since a devastating hailstorm ravaged their apple crop. This catastrophe led brothers Robert and Joe to pivot Bellevue's direction, giving birth to Summer Snow, an apple juice uniquely crafted from specific Australian varieties in our own orchard.
The Transformation of Bellevue Farm Gate
The once-utilitarian workshop of the orchard has now become Bellevue Farm Gate, tastefully redesigned to retain its rustic charm amidst the apple trees. This dynamic space invites visitors to explore the working orchard, learn about its history, and appreciate all the offerings from this renowned cider house.
Visitors can stroll through the shop, a central part of the cider house filled with freshly harvested apples, award-winning Summer Snow juices, and Trattore ciders. Bellevue takes pride in offering a selection of favourite products locally sourced from Victoria. All are guaranteed 100% Australian.
Indulge in culinary delights from our cider house's food van, featuring pizzas, gourmet pies, seasonal favourites, and even 100% juice slushies for the younger crowd. Tasting paddles allow us to savour different ciders, juices, and specially chosen beers. And make sure to catch our Barista coffee and sweet treats, all served in the warm ambience of a fully Australian orchard.
Four Generations of Apple Growing
The Russo family's roots run deep in Officer West Gippsland, where they have nurtured apple trees for four generations. Joe and Robert's expansion since 1973 has seen the introduction of various fruit varieties, transforming Bellevue into a flourishing cider house. The monumental hailstorm of 1998 shifted Bellevue's course, leading to the inception of Summer Snow Juice. The spirit of innovation continued, culminating in the launch of Trattore Cider, crafted from rare heritage apple varieties.
A Hub for Community and Growth
This vibrant marketplace showcases Bellevue's produce and regional products from Cardinia Shire and beyond. Since its launch in July 2018, Bellevue Farm Gate has grown into a thriving hub and cider house, offering various products like preserves, chocolate-dipped fruits, honey, pottery, and more.
We have continued to grow and adapt, especially during the challenging years of 2020 and 2021. New additions to the cider house include barista-made coffee, homemade snacks, sweet indulgences, and even a liquor license for serving and selling ciders. The installation of a Food Van in late 2021, and the introduction of Little Luka, the tap van, in February 2022 mark exciting expansions here at Bellevue Orchards.
Bellevue Orchards' journey is far from over. There's much more on the horizon, and this exciting chapter is just the beginning of Bellevue's ever-evolving story, firmly rooted in its identity as a cider house.