Another winery tour

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Our friend Nate came down a few weeks ago (okay, over a month ago!) and we hired a car and set off for the Mornington Peninsula wineries! We had arranged to stay with Hubs' Dad down at Sorrento Saturday night, and we'd been recommended quite a few wineries to visit! The first one we came across was Hickinbotham of Dromana. Silly name, good wine. I was designate driver (as usual!) so I didn't really try the wines here.

Nate really liked the Pinot Noir, but he knew he was in Pinot territory, so he didn't want to buy the first one he tried, so we moved on, empty handed. We then popped in to Dromana Valley Wines cos, you know, it was there, and we were there, but the wines weren't so great, BUT we bought an $8 bottle of Pinot. We'll see how that goes (haven't tried it yet!)

The next winery was recommended to us - Ten Minutes by Tractor. We should have known what sort of place this would be (fancy-pants) going by the person who recommended it to us (fancy-pants). We had to pay for tastings ($5 per person, taken off the total if you make a purchase) which I'm not a huge fan of, but having said that, they really did provide a great service - were very informative and helpful. Again, I just had a little sip of Hubs' tastings. These wines were gooooood.

Look how professional they are with their tastings!

We didn't buy anything from here, but I think Nate may have. The wines were very nice but also quite pricey, so we just enjoyed the tasting. 

Now I THINK the next place we stumbled upon was Mantons Creek Vineyard, and it was definitely one of our favourites! The place itself was absolutely gorgeous!

The service was personal and helpful and the wine? Oh my gosh. The Tempranillo was incredible. We were enjoying the tasting so much, and the gentleman who was serving us just mentioned off-hand that their duck, pear and rocket pizza goes very well with that wine. We were hungry, we loved the place so we thought "why not?" And he was right. Oh so very right.

I LOVE when they match the food with the wine and this partnership was a success. We sat ourselves down on the veranda and watched a storm roll in. So I mentioned the Tempranillo. Now let me tell you about the Gewurztraminer. I can't recall if I'd ever had that wine before, but Nate was super excited when he saw it on the tasting list. He's been looking for a good Gewurzt for a long time. And he found it here. It is such a beautiful, smooth white wine - I was in love. We bought a couple of those and Nathan got himself a half-case and will no doubt be ordering more! We were sad to leave this winery, but ecstatic that we'd accidentally found it in the first place!

From here, it went downhill for a little bit. We headed to Red Hill Estate and they weren't tasting they're own wines that day - they had a "hurry hurry hurry all stock must go prices SLASHED for this weekend only!!" day. It had started raining by this stage, and as we were given our own little plastic shot glasses to help ourselves, and a list of 50 different wines, we knew we were in dodgy territory.

The faces the boys were pulling were hilarious! They certainly didn't hold back! There were people everywhere, and we felt like we were in a cattle shed - noisy, a bit smelly, and chaotic! We didn't stay long. It was now pouring with rain and our next stop was the Red Hill Brewery which my brother had told us to check out. Unfortunately by this stage, every man and his dog had tried to find somewhere to take cover, so we couldn't even do a tasting. We could, however, buy a pot, so Hubs chose a stout which was really tasty!

And Nate got all fancy with the camera!

After this, we came across Montalto Vineyard and that was actually quite nice. They had basil-infused olive oil which was SO delicious (and which I'm SO going to try and make!) and the wines were lovely too.

The last winery for the day was Tucks, and we certainly ended with a goodie! I think I bought a Shiraz Rose from here that I'm looking forward to cracking open for a special occasion. Here we are at Tucks:
We met some people here who were, you guessed it, down from Brisbane for the weekend! Crazy right? AND they lived in the AUCHENFLOWER/TOOWONG area! Of course we played "who do you know" and came up with some common acquaintances. Small small world.

After this, we headed down to Sorrento for a night of roast lamb, excellent wine, great company, and a good night sleep. Ready for the next day's adventures! To be continued....

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