After Jakobs update, I am afraid some time has passed and now I am going to try to set in words the last 10 days here - Down Under. The many myths that were dispelled while traveling here are nice road posts for Monika's trip...
Myth 1- SEMILLON IS A BORING WHITE VARIETAL
McWilliams Winery in Hunter Valley proved this myth to be fully bogus. They showed us great young wines drinking lightly now and rich, bottle matured Semillons made for contemplation! Not to mention that I tried an Port Stevens oyster at lunch and finally understood the whole bruhaha over oysters! Kangaroo Carpaccio and tender Lamb Ribs rounded off our wonderful visit at this winery.
Wyndham Estate was different - large scale and created for larger groups, the wines still showed us that Hunter is still a secret in the wine world. Lots of history (for Australia) and lots of laughs - had to wear a bushmans hat with corks tied to the rim to keep the flies from driving me mad - though the bouncing corks were doing a good job themselves ;-))
Overnight at Grapevines Boutique B&B - with a huge terrace looking over 50km of mostly uninhabited land, sunsets and a sky so full of stars that looking down seems a let down. Our hosts Michael and Mary made us very comfortable with a Barbie and Wines from Hungerford Hill - but first a few Coopers had to be emptied (the WInemakers Beer) and then the night got underway. Wonderfully comfortable small apartments with all the amenities that make traveling a pleasure - not sure how they get most people to leave willingly (we had to board our bus for the next leg of the trip).
Myth 2 - BIG IS ALWAYS BAD - WHEN IT COMES TO WINE
At 9am (remember, "we are not here for pleasure") we were given a wonderful tasting of Meerea Park Wines and found more reasons to grow roots in the Hunter Valley! But our driver was ready for that and had us in the car driving north by 10:30am! Rosemount was a wonderful venue for shing a light on the myth that large wineries make neutral/boring/lesser quality wines. Severine, a french ex-pat, and one of the master winemakers answered all our questions and the wines presented (ca. 15 or more) proved that big can also make great wines with careful selection and handling (like smaller wineries but with more money to allow for experimentation). In this part of Hunter the stunning Studs (as in horses!) are everywhere and the vineyards seem to all be hidden behind ridges.
We then rolled into our car are drove back to Sydney to catch our flight to Adelaide and more wine country.
see you there