Saturday, October 31, 2009

I'll toast the coast!

This weekend, The Bellarine, Surf Coast, and Moorabool Valley wine regions have opened their doors to showcase their fine wines along with local produce, music, and entertainment. Yesterday, we spent the day driving through the countryside and visiting some of our favorite wineries in this region. Here are some highlights from this beautiful, relaxing, spring day....

We started the day off at Pettavel Winery on the Surf Coast. They had great live music, food, and had even invited 6 local boutique wineries to offer tastings. Most wineries were offering tastings of their most recent vintages. A couple of our favorites:
  • Wayawu Estate Harry's Shiraz 2008 - a relatively young wine but made from very old vines which gives it a nice complexity; aged in French oak for 9 months, this wine is a full bodied wine with soft tannins
  • Barrgowan Vineyard Simonsens Shiraz 2008 - another boutique winery with hand-pruned vines and hand picked grapes, this shiraz is also aged in French oak and is not quite as full bodied as the Wayawu. Although this wine is ready to drink now, it would make an excellent addition to your cellar as it has years ahead of it and is expected to be one of their best vintages.
Our next stop was Bellarine Estate on the Bellarine Peninsula. In addition to the winery, a few local vendors attended the event offering samples of spices, cheeses, olive oil, and local produce.
After picking up a few goodies from Screaming Seeds and Manzanillo Grove, we relaxed in the vineyard listening to the tunes of one of the region's local musicians.
Our favorite wine here:
  • Bellarine Estate Cellar Reserve Shiraz Viognier 2007 - unlike many of their wines, this one didn't have a catchy name but certainly caught our attention. This very fragrant wine is typical of a cool climate shiraz with dark berry and spice flavours, but complemented by the viognier that gives it that extra lift!

Heading home, we made our last stop at Leura Park just in time for the annual Great Wine Spit Challenge. Yes... you read that right, wine SPIT challenge. Unfortunately, I've had the pleasure of witnessing John's skills in this area so he had no choice but to enter. We didn't go home with a case of wine, but it was hilarious watching him make his way to one of the top contenders.
Our last purchase of the day:
  • Leura Park Estate Block 1, Reserve Hand Picked Chardonnay 2008 - This beautiful wine was aged in French oak for 12 months which has given it an elegant and lengthy finish. This wine would be fabulous paired with some buttery lobster!
Overall, a great day and we came out of it with some good food and wine! Now I'm left to plan some great meals to do these wines justice...

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