Let the wine-ing begin……
Finally after a few weeks of running around getting things repaired and modified, we and the Troopy were ready to start our journey.
The date of departure was the 1st September and we headed straight to the Southern Highlands wine region. Having only driven for an hour and half (including a stop at the information centre) before setting up camp in Belanglo State Forrest it certainly didn’t sink in that this is what we would be doing for possibly the next 12 months.
Our first night in the Troopy was a bit of a disaster, not so much the tiny little space that we have available to sleep in (think coffin and you would be close) but it must have been well below zero and in our lack of preparation we hadn’t quite got our sleeping bags sorted, suffice to say the first thing we did next morning was sort out some heavy duty bedding.
That under control we were able to turn our attention to the condensation problem that had water dripping from the ceiling onto us during the middle of the night. In the cold, our breath and general body warmth was condensing on the roof seeing as we sleep so close to it. Urgh.
Now that we have made you feel a little less jealous of our 12 month trip let us tell you about some of the fun stuff.
We spent the next few days learning about the Southern Highlands wines and of course the all important tastings
We visited a few wineries over the nest few days:
Centennial Vineyards Winery – 4 stars
Howards Lane Vineyard – 1 star
Joadga Wines – 3 stars
Tertini Wines – 5 stars
Southern Highland Wines – 4 stars
It’s a cool climate region so the wines are generally of a lighter style. They had some bad luck in 2007 and a lot the vineyards lost there grapes to a black frost, this means that have brought forward a few later vintages a little earlier than they would have generally liked.
We did some video reviews of some of the wineries but they STANK!. We decided that they weren’t good enough to post so we ditched them. Chalk that up as lesson one.
Our next wine region to hit was the Shoalhaven. It’s a maritime climate which means or so we have been told that its pretty crap for grape growing. We were then informed by some of the wine makers that Chambourcin was the most planted grape in the region owing to its hardiness and ability to withstand mildew?? Of course we tried it. It’s usually a grape variety that is blended with others and for good reason it seems, it’s not a wine that either of us find appealing, but that’s just our taste buds talking.
Again there are some video reviews of some of the wines with some more info.
The wineries in the Shoalhaven we have so visited so far are:
Lyrebird Ridge Organic Winery – 1 star
Mountain Ridge Wines – 1 star
Coolangatta Estate – 3 stars
Two Figs Winery – 2 stars
And lastly the Silos Estate (5 stars even before we got talking to the winemaker) http://www.thesilos.com where we met Raj the owner and winemaker. It’s a beautiful winery on top of a hill in Berry, we got to chatting with Raj and he invited us into his cellar to taste some of the wine he had in the vats ready for bottling. We ended up back a few days later to help and learn about the bottling process, again there is some video footage of this. Raj has been extremely helpful and friendly and incredibly patient as we picked his brains about the region and his winemaking processes. We were also fortunate enough to walk away with a few eggs from his chooks that made for a very tasty birthday breakfast for Tim.
We spent a few nights in Yalwal camp ground 24km’s west of Nowra, a beautiful camp spot on the Danjera Creek Dam. We realized how old we are on Saturday night when there was a full moon rave going on in a field nearby and instead of investigating we chose to sleep through it. Well sleep until the wombats woke us up. They have to be the noisiest eaters and for some reason the grass around our tent was just the tastiest they could find.
Where are we now? Currently in Moruya enjoying the comforts and electricity in Kat’s parents shed. Kat is to be given some driving lessons in the beast this afternoon so Tim no longer has to do all the driving. Then it being Friday night and Tim’s birthday, the plan is to head into town a little later and see if we can’t find some boot scooting going on.
Where too next? Hang around Moruya for a few days and make some adjustments to the Troopy probably travel back up to a few more of the shoalhaven wineries. Then well the exact location is yet to be determined but I can guarantee there will be wine involved.
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