Rural life – fishing in the dam

April 10, 2010

It took me a while to resume blogging. I did not keep my promise to post at least a photo a day. I am sorry about that. My first week of holidays on the farm was very eventful and I had a lot of things to do. But today it is raining and I have some time on my hands. Work can wait.

Yesterday was one of these beautiful autumn days. We decided to go fishing in the dam. Some years ago we had stocked the smaller dam with some silver perch. We took the fishing rods, got some scrubworms and off we went to check out if the cormorants left some fish for us humans.

To cut a long story short, Lucy was the first to catch a silver perch,then came Charlotte and finally Helen, all with their first ever fish. The fourth fish was thrown back into the water. Three beautiful fish should suffice for a hearty country meal. Later Margit pan-fried the perch with a few local herbs and butter. It looked beautiful, but came up a little bit muddy. This was possibly because of the rain and yabby activity. We threw in a couple of yabby nets, which should provide us with a nice lunch in a few days.

Lucy with her first ever fish

The silver perch

Lucy searching for a suitable worm

Charlotte and her first fish

Another silver perch – Lucy, Helen, Charlotte and Michael

Food and local wine at the dam

Of course, we tasted a lot of local wines. I chose a bottle of ‘2003 Kinloch Estate Pinot Meunier’ and a bottle of ‘2004 Two Hills Merlot’. I love the Pinot Meunier Malcolm Kinloch makes. A bottle of our own wine

The fishing party

Beautiful silver perch

Ready to be eaten

Needless to say that we had a wine with the fish. I selected a ‘2009 Sauvignon Blanc cleanskin’ from Steve Sadlier, our friend and vintner. which he had given to me the day before. That was a wonderful choice. The Loire style Sauvignon Blanc from the Yarra Valley complemented the flavour of the white fish perfectly.


Wine tasting: Upper Goulburn selection

July 30, 2009

UpperGoulburnWines

Three of the four wines

When up on our vineyard in Glenburn, Central Victoria we do not only drink our own wine, but sample also quite a few, mainly local wines. Some of them I have introduced to you before (Rees Miller Estate and Kinloch Wines).

The four wines, we tried recently, were the following:

Lost Valley Winery, ‘2004 Hazy Mountain Merlot’ (14.0% alc.), from the Upper Goulburn
Mount Samaria, ‘2005 Shiraz Cabernet’ (13.5% alc.), Upper Goulburn
Girdwood Estate, ‘2005 Pinot Noir’ (16.0% alc.!!!), Alexandra, Upper Goulburn

The fourth wine came from the King Valley, just north west of The Upper Goulburn wine region.

DALZOTTO, ‘2002 Cabernet Sauvignon’ (13.5% alc.), King Valley

MtSamaria

Mount Samaria has a wombat on his label.

I do not want to describe each wine (I hate tasting notes), but a short summary is warranted.

Unfortunately, the Pinot Noir from Girwood Estate was somehow off. I had a strange smell and must somehow gone bad. We will have to try again.

I loved the Merlot from Lost Valley Winery. What a ripper wine with all the qualities of an excellent single variety wine. Also the Shiraz Cabernet from Mt. Samaria is a very nice wine and need to be praised. Both wines show that members of our association produce outstanding cool climate wines.

Also the King Valley wine from Dal Zotto was just lovely (excellent). It seems that we will not be able to visit this cool climate wine region during this visit. After the bush fires, there is just too much to do out here on our farm. Moreover, winter is an ideal time for cleaning up the bush, the land and the vineyard.

We will continue tasting various local wines. Soon more, stay tuned.


Jewels of the Upper Goulburn Wine Region Part I

October 25, 2008

Today, I want to start a new series and introduce to you some wine and grape producers from our wine growers association, the Upper Goulburn Winegrowers Association. I plan to feature three to four wineries and vineyards at the time. The selection is random. I will start with the wineries with open cellar doors. Of the 30 odd members of our association, about 9 belong to this category. Another 12 are vineyards which also produce some wine under their labels but conduct wine tastings only by appointment. All the others are fruit producers only and do not sell wines commercially.

The first cohort of wineries to be presented consists of Kinloch Wines, Rees Miller Estate and, a small boutique winery, called Rocky Passes Estate. I want to be honest with you. I have tasted wines made by Malcolm Kinloch (Kinloch Wines) and David Miller (Rees Miller Estate) but not the ones made by Victor Oles (Rocky Passes Estate). I have visited the two former wineries (and I know Malcolm and David) but not the latter.

But this is no impediment to write about all three of them. Anyway, we are going to visit Australia for Christmas and we might take this opportunity to get to know the Rocky Passes people.

I am starting with Kinloch Wines. Malcolm and Susan Kinloch have established a wonderful wine business. The vineyard is located in the Booroolite Valley, about 15 minutes by car from Mansfield (almost next to another famous winery of our region: Delatite Winery).

This year at the Federation Sq Showcase Series the Kinlochs were rewarded two gold medals, one for their “2004 Mary Friend Cabernets-Merlot Blend” and another for their “2006 Don Kinloch Sparkling white”. Moreover, the “Mary Friend” red was judged the Overall Best Red Blend in its class at the Award presentation for the Victorian Wine Awards.

2008 was a most unusual year in the Upper Goulburn. Kinloch Wines harvested a record 34 tons of fruit of outstanding quality. From the 2008 vintage three wines have been released so far (cellar door prices in brackets):
-Unwooded Chardonnay (A$ 18)
-Sauvignon Blanc, and (A$ 22)
-a first rosè (A$ 18) made from Pinot Meunier grapes.

I have tasted earlier vintages of the two white wines and they are delicious. When we visited Kinloch Wines in winter, one could see Mount Buller in a not so distant distance, all in white with a beautiful snow cap.

How to find them:
Kinloch Wines
In the Booroolite Valley, the cellar door is warm and friendly and offers gourmet luncheon platters on weekends and public holidays.
Address: 221 Wairere Rd, Boorolite – 15 minutes from Mansfield
Open: 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily
Tel: 5777 3447
Email: info@kinlochwines.com.au
Web: www.kinlochwines.com.au
Contact: Susan and Malcolm Kinloch

Rees Miller Estate is the next winery in my cohort. Located near Yea – about 15 minutes drive on the highway to Alexandra/Mansfield – Sylke Rees and David Miller own and operate a fully certified biodynamic vineyard and winery. Today about 7 ha are under vines, the farm has a total of about 64 ha. Sylke and David are both very much committed to the protection of the environment, and the organic production of food. They intend to produce pure products for consumption in a way that supports the land and its people.

We got to know Sylke and David when our wine stall was just adjacent to theirs at the 2007 Alexandra Food and Wine Expo. David conducted a very interesting wine tasting, actually my first wine tasting at such an event, and Sylke sold the wines. When we visited their cellar door some time later, they were both on Christmas holidays. To my great surprise Rees Miller wines were available at our duty free wine store in Jakarta, and we did not have to suffer any shortages of their beautiful reds.

How to find them:
Rees Miller Estate
Fully certified biodynamic vineyard situated on the Goulburn Valley Highway, just east of Yea.
Address: 5355 Goulburn Valley Highway, Yea
Open: 10.00 am to 4.00 pm daily
Tel: 5797 2101
Email: info@reesmiller.com
Web: www.reesmiller.com
Contact: David Miller or Sylke Rees

The last vineyard in this first cohort of Upper Goulburn wineries with cellar doors is Rocky Passes Estate, a small boutique vineyard of about 6 acres (5 acres Shiraz and 1 acre Viognier) located in Whiteheads Creek, near Seymour. I only know their one-page website and their listing in our membership directory. Rocky Passes Estate is another vineyard dedicated to organic grape growing and wine making (there are quite a few in our region). Cropping levels are kept low (about 2 tonnes per acre). The cellar door was opened in 2006. The wines can be ordered by mail, phone or e-mail.

How to find them:
Rocky Passes Estate
Situated at the southern end of the Strathbogie Ranges, the wines are made using organic practices and biodynamic preparations.
Address: 1590 Highlands Rd,
Whiteheads Creek, Seymour
Open: Sundays 11.00 am to 4.00pm or by appointment
Tel: 5796 9366
Email: rockypasses@activ8.net.au
Web: www.rockypassesestate.com.au
Contact: Victor Oles or Candy Westney

I hope I could stimulate your curiosity. The Upper Goulburn Wine Region is a rural place with real people who love what they are doing, have passion for their wines and commitment to the environment.