The weather has been beautiful since we arrived. Although it rained the last two days, the showers were welcome because the country is so dry. Today, however, was wet and windy and it was our only day left to go to the wineries. We love wineries grazing for the (free) world-class wines, the fine food and the beautiful scenery. A not-to-be-missed experience whenever we come to Australia.
Grapes for shiraz at Fergusson Winery
Yi is down with a bad cough. In fact, we all went through a slight flu, although I suspect it was more hay fever because it comes and goes. Anyway, we left for the valley at 11 am, 2 hours later than planned. It was a 1-hour drive and the cloudy weather and cool temperature was really pleasant. However, when we got there, the winds and rain started and it got colder and colder (mid 10s) and it was real disappointing not to be able to take lots of good pictures.
Yering Station winery
There are more than 60 wineries in Yarra Valley but we only went to: Fergusson (nothing much; wine's quite good,esp the port), De Bortoli (my favorite for their pinot noir, and today we thoroughly enjoyed their wine with their cheese platters. I also enjoyed their food the last time we were here), Yering (where we had lunch) and a quick drop-in to Domain Chandon (which has one of the best kept vineyard and scenery; can see Yi having her wedding here...). We went as far as Yarra Warra, as recommended by Yi's connoisseur friend Alan, but by then it was past 5pm and most of the wineries were closed. I drove and followed a sign for 'farm fresh cherries'. There were so many varieties of cherries! I thought all cherries are Bing cherries. We bought the Star cherries and the delicious, juicy, sweet, flavorful, large, dark-red variety called 'Lappin'. Heaven.
Lunch was at Yering Station, voted the Best Tourism Winery for 3 years now:
Bread (excellent, heavy and chewy yet soft) with a pepper pesto.
Side orders of roasted potatoes (good) and salad, A$8 each.
Porterhouse steak; very good. A$32 (RM90)
Today's special: turkey breast wrapped with prosciutto (too dry) n dark meat in a salad. A$30.
Lamb cutlets with mushrooms A$30. Wey said 'Okay only.'
On to De Bortoli (winner of international awards for their wines; my favorite winery so far) for more good wine and cheese:
You can try the cheeses before deciding what you want on your cheese platter. Choose 3 cheeses for A$6 only.
We had 2 cheese platters. Excellent cheese, especially the Tasmanian raclette and the camembert. Wey liked the Stilton. One cheese we sampled was the Vegemite cheddar which Hub said tasted like salted fish. Very good description.
De Bortoli was voted best winery this year. This choc fudge, which can be found in other wineries too, is simply the best I've ever tasted! Soft, very smooth, nice flavor without being too chocolaty and not too sweet. Wow. I'm going to miss this when I'm home.
At the fruits farm:
The apples aren't ripe yet.
Isn't this like one of those cross-stitch pictures??