The good life on the farm

April 22, 2010

We have hearty good food when on the farm in Glenburn. The beautiful autumn weather allowed us to sit outside and enjoy pasta dishes, meats, salads and other rural food in the mid-day sun. And we all love Italian cuisine.

Zucchini pasta

Insalata caprese

We also have wine with the food. Often we just open a bottle of Two Hills Merlot. But more often than not, we are tasting wines made by our friends in the wine industry. The cucchini pasta we had for instance with a bottle of 2009 Sauvignon Blanc from Steve Sadlier’s vineyard, Nenagh Park, in Yarra Glen.

It has no label as yet, what Australians call “clean skins”, but it’s a ripper of a wine, not in the New Zealand style but rather the one of Sancerre, France. Epicurus would give an arm and a leg to be with us, for sure.

Steve’s Sauvignon Blanc

Restaurant Review: Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company in Yarra Glen

April 19, 2010

Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company in Yarra Glen

Where to go for lunch on a Sunday in the Yarra Valley? Ample choice it seems. But many of our choices turned out to be fully booked, to be precise the wineries cum restaurant were. So why not going to a beer place? Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company in Yarra Glen came to mind. They had seats available (online booking available!!) and off we went.

A beer tasting paddle

We started with a beer tasting. For this purpose a “tasting paddle” is available with six different beers. As a German I was pleased to find some German style beers such as the ‘Hargreaves Hill Hefeweizen’ and the ‘Hargreaves Hill Kellerbier’. But the paddle also includes classic English (Hargreaves Hill ESB, Hargreaves Hill Stout and and Hargreaves Hill Pale Ale) and Belgium style beers (Hargreaves Hill Abbey Dubbel). I liked the ‘Kellerbier’ best.

The beer tasting notes

The various aromas and tastes are neatly described on the beer tasting menu. Amazing what you can taste in a beer. I just loved the experience. This was a good start to a Sunday lunch, I thought.

The food was equally good. Below you find pictures of what we ordered. Needless to say all the dishes were delicious. The service was excellent. I loved the salmon on the bed of herbs and veggies.

The seafood pasta

Some side dishes

Slow cooked pork belly

My salmon dish

The desserts were equally delicious.

Simon Walkenhorst, the “brew master” and one of the co-owners

At the end of the meal I went over to the bar and asked one of the owners, Simon Walkenhorst, the micro brewer, if I could take a photo for my blog to which he kindly agreed.

From my friend Steve Sadlier I learned later that the brewery had burned down in last years February bushfire and that Simon and his partner Beth had lost their house and all their possessions. Now the beer is brewed in Lylidale. The quality of the “hops drink” has certainly not suffered. We had a great time at the Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company.

The good news for the wine aficionados is that Simon offers a fine selection of local wines. Among them the fine wines of boutique vintner Timo Mayer and the Mayer Vineyard of the Yarra Valley. I am a fan of the vintner and his wines . Try them if you can.

Hargreaves Hill Brewing Company
25 Bell St
Yarra Glen VIC 3775, Australia

Wine of the day: 2008 Yering Chardonnay

February 18, 2010

After a hot day in the tropics nothing is better than a nice glass of white wine. We selected a ‘2008 Yering Station Chardonnay’ from the Yarra Valley. Yering Station is the oldest vineyard in Victoria. The winery is a must visit if you are touring the Yarra Valley. It’s located just outside Yarra Glen.

Only very recently had this wine arrived in our supermarket in Thonglor, Bangkok. It’s moderately priced for Thai conditions (less than 10 EURO or A$ 15) and a very lovely drink.

Wine on the terrace: 2008 Yering Station Chardonnay

Yering Station has still ‘grape growers with contracts’ and our friend Steve Sadlier is one of them. If we want to drink wine from his grapes, Yering Station is the winery to buy it from. Steve produces excellent cool climate fruit in the Yarra Valley.

We were a bit homesick and needed a reminder that Australia can be very near. Cheers folks