Tag Archives: wine

Hunter Valley – Part 1

A few weeks ago we spent a weekend in the Hunter Valley to celebrate our 3rd wedding anniversary (my, doesn’t three years fly). Instead of visiting the same old wineries, we decided to branch out and explore the wineries near the town of Broke. Even though these towns was only 20-odd kilometres, they were worlds apart.

Broke

Broke was a sleepy backwater compared to the tourist hub of Pokolbin with nary a car in sight – perhaps how Pokolbin was before it became a wine mecca. The wineries we visited in Broke were the kind that we liked – small places producing great drops, with the cellar door being manned by the winemakers themselves. They were always happy to explain away their wines and methods. Mount Broke Wines let cattle graze among the vines in the winter months to keep the weeds down.

Broke

Leeuwin Estate – Part 1

We’re still in Margaret River, as you can see. The area is currently known as one of the top wine producing areas in Australia. I get the feeling driving around the region that winemaking has ramped up in recent years, judging by Caves Road. It’s vineyards as far as the eye could see, and further still.

We didn’t visit a lot of wineries, but we did want to taste some decent wines, hence our visit to Leeuwin Estate.

Leeuwin Estate

Rural Sunset – The Driveway

And now for something different.

We escaped Canberra, first stopping at Clonakilla (a small but very successful winery), and then at Gundagai’s Niagara Cafe (with its genuine art deco interior and interesting history). Our destination however was Tumut. Nestled by the Tumut River, at the foot of the Snowy Mountains, it is a very quiet and scenic place.

Our cottage was in a paddock, by the river. It was wonderfully quiet, and the light at sunset was the best I’d seen yet.

Platypus Cottage

Winter Drive – Vines

To appreciate just how small this winery is, this is the extent of its vineyard. The owner took us personally through his wines, and in the end we bought a couple of bottles of shiraz, semillion, and a vibrant rose (stocking up for next summer).

Wollombi Winery

In the meantime, the beagle (who went along with us) had other ideas – getting acquainted with the bull in the vineyard.

Wollombi Winery

You won’t win this battle, beagle.

Winter Drive – A Wine Stop

Our destination for the day was the village of Wollombi, on the southern boundary of the Hunter Valley. The village itself was rather cute, if not quite peaceful due to the proliferation of weekend motor bike riders, but being wine drinkers we wanted to explore a winery. We found one in Wollombi Wines.

Wollombi Winery

A pair of old Morris Minor utes declare that this isn’t a big place, and indeed the cellar door was simply a little cottage. As for the little utes, they appear to be in good nick.

Wollombi Winery

McLaren Vale

While scoffing a bottle of D’Arenberg GSM the other day, I was reminded of my long weekend in Adelaide, four years ago now. A group of us from Sydney stayed at KK’s place near McLaren Vale. We had met through the C19 forum, drawn together by our love of period dramas and good wine. Yes, they do go together superbly, especially on a cold winter’s day. We’d tasted some great wines that weekend, from both the Barossa and McLaren Vale. KK was a superb host, and although our group has drifted apart since then, I still have fond memories of that long weekend in the Vale.

McLaren Vale