so it was rather packed in, but a lovely warm afternoon and dozens of wines to taste, we took some cheese, pate and strawberries, assuming there'd be somewhere to sit. we ended up perched on the stone wall behind the serving benches, giving strawberries to winemakers.
the event was focusing on the soils in which the wines are grown, so each grower had a sample on their table. we couldn't hear the brief winemakers 'soil chat'. most of the winemakers were serving. had there been fewer people it would have been a great chance to chat. as it was, i was told by one wine maker that the iron stone in his vineyard 'gave the wine really rich flavours....'. really...?
tasted some ordinary wines and several excellent ones. pretty much all reds in this region. the standouts were five geese reds, battle of bosworth 'white boar' shiraz (organic), halifax shiraz, marius symphony shiraz/mourvedre, piombo shiraz and 'valetta' grenache/shiraz, petagna 'dio' (grenache/shiraz/mourvedre) and 'diavolo' (shiraz/cab). Inkwell shiraz was impressive and showed promise for the future (nice photo blog here). gosh i'm sounding like a wine critic without even telling you anything about the wines!
we didn't get to taste our way through the alphabet, thank goodness.. I need to go back to 'Lazy Ballerina' and chase some of the others, including 'fall from grace', a new wine education, book and wine accessory shop in mclarenvale. (what a great name for a food and wine faith community....)
it was $40 a ticket. we never ever do things like this, so it was a bit of a treat. our friends won the door prize for 6 samuels gorge reds and gave us three ($35 a bottle - so nice of them)! plus the two really decent tasting glasses to take home - it was a well spent afternoon!
in writing i've found the mclarenvale wineries social network website here.
i'll have to talk to the local uniting church minister about life down here...
book me in for next year's vale cru, although i suspect the success will make it more often.