Yarra Valley: TarraWarra Estate and Museum of Art

March 8, 2012

One of the places we always wanted to visit is TarraWarra Estate and Museum of Art, which is one of the attractions in the Yarra Valley. Year after we year, we postponed our visit. We simply ran out of time.

Not so this year, that was at least our resolution for the Christmas holidays 2011-2012. My daughters were very keen that we kept our promise this time, and in the end, we did.

Unfortunately, I have no really good photo of the place. But rest assured, it is a very lovely place indeed. The Tarrawarra Estate and Museum of Art is a must see in the Yarra Valley.

We were lucky that the works of William Delafied Cook, a landscape painter from England, and his paintings of the Australian countryside, were on display. This was a faboulous exhibition and the three of us had a great time.

When we wanted to buy the catalogue, it was out of print but the lovely ladies behind the counter offered to send it to Bangkok. We were stunned. But just two weeks later, the catalogue arrived savely. What a great service.

The view from TarraWarra

The vineyards near the winery

My daughters Lucy and Charlotte

We had no time for a proper wine-tasting because we had to rush for a lunch appointment with our friend Steve Sadlier. Therefore, I just rushed in the cellar door and bought a bottle of ‘2009 TarraWarra Estate Pinot Noir’.

2009, the year of the great Victorian bush fires was a challenging year for win-makers in the region. Lot’s of grapes showed smoke taint, and were not useful for wine production. TarraWarra was no exception. That’s why this Pinot is a blend from different sources in Victoria.

But it turned out to be a good choice. The cherry and dark fruit aromas were very pleasant and so where the fine tannins. I regretted that we did not buy a second bottle which we could have enjoyed at home.

Charlotte with the Pinot Noir bottle

Address:
TarraWarra Estate
311 Healesville-Yarra Glen Road,
Yarra Glen 3777
Tel.: +61-3-5957-3510
Opening hours: Tuesday to Sunday 11 am to 5 pm
www.terrawarra.com.au


My beloved Mosel river – 1868 map of its terroir

March 6, 2012

I am very excited. Finally, my historical map of the Mosel river, which I had bought some years ago at Karlsmuehle, a winery cum restaurant at the Ruwer river, was put in a proper frame here in Bangkok. It’s a replica and not an original of course. But I looks very nice on my wall.

Vineyard location and quality map of 1868

The map shows the quality of the terroir in different shades of red. The more intense the red is, the better the quality and the higher the tax category. The Royal Prussian government had produced this map in order to streamline their tax collection.

The newly framed map of the Mosel, Saar and Ruwer

I can already see this map hanging in my house in Australia on our vineyard in Glenburn. I will tell my grand-children where I come from and how much I love my native town, Trier, and the Mosel river.


GranMonte harvest festival 2012

March 4, 2012

GranMonte Vineyards in Khao Yai, Thailand

About two weeks ago, my family was invited by Khun Visooth, the owner of GranMonte Family Estate, to attend this years harvest festival at GranMonte vineyard in Khao Yai, Asoke Valley, Thailand.

The four of us had rented a car and drove up country for a day of fun, food, entertainment and excellent wines.

Rows of vines at GranMonte

The Adam family: Margit, Charlotte, Lucy and me

We were some of the first guests, and used the time to walk around the vineyards and inspect the cellar door. It was a big event, about 120 plus people were expected.

Chenin Blanc grapes

Chenin Blanc ready to be harvested

Syrah grapes

Beautiful bunches of Syrah

I did not take any pictures during the evening meal. We were just to busy enjoying ourselves. And my little camera is not good at night either. The following pictures were taken while we waited for the start of the harvest festival.

The terrace of the restaurant where dinner would be served later

The restaurant

The GranMonte cellar door

The award winning wines of GranMonte

The entrance to the winery

This is where the event started, the entrance to the winery. We had nibblies and various wines, including freshly fermented grape juice, which we call in German “Federweisser”.

Stainless steel tanks

What would wine be without oak.

Selected wines on oak barrel

Khun Visooth and his family thanking the guests

The party was just wonderful. We enjoyed the food and the free flow of wine. The band played nice music even with some songs from my youth.

One highlight of the evening was the release of the ‘2010 Cabernet Sauvignon-Syrah’, the award winning flagship wine of GranMonte. It was poured from 1 1/2 litre bottles. Delicious stuff.

Unfortunately, we had to leave the very same evening at about 10 in order to get back to Bangkok. I had to leave for the airport the next day at 5 h in the morning. The other guests slept in a nearby hotel and could enjoy a second day of play, wine and food.

We made the best of our time. I loved the music and the band as well as the volunteers singing and dancing. We left fully satisfied with a couple of boxes of GranMonte wine in the car.
Thanks Khun Visooth for inviting us.

If you holiday in Thailand you should set a day aside and organise a day trip to Khao Yai. The mountains are beautiful, the trip is pleasant and in the Asoke Valley a few wineries with restaurants are waiting for you; one of them GranMonte.

Address:
GranMonte Vineyard & Wines
52 Moo 9 Phayayen, Pakchong,
Nakornrachasima, Thailand 30320
Tel : +66-81-923-200-7 , +66-84-904-194-4
+66-81-900-828-2 , +66-80-661-755-5
http://www.granmonte.com/