Vine to vat

Vine to vat

Living is Tasmania means I’m never too far from a vineyard, which I assure you, is a really good thing.  I enjoy my wine, and being able to be part of the whole experience – not just an end user – is interesting.  I helped pick grapes last year, and again this year, but was also lucky enough to go to the winemakers’ to see the next steps in moving those little globes of juice to the final destination of glass and mouth.

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Fun, Grapes, Tasmania, Weekends, Wine, 2 comments
Travels with my brother

Travels with my brother

My brother came to visit for a few weeks, and this gave me the opportunity to explore much more of this beautiful island I live on. Seeing things I am getting used to with new eyes is wonderful. We pretty much covered the island, creating as many adventures as we could into a short time.

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Road trip, Tasmania, Tourism, Village life, Weekends, Wine, 0 comments
Dancing in the rain

Dancing in the rain

“I’m as wet as a shag on a rock”, she said – and it was true. The rain came down, the raincoats went up and the show went on. Tasmanians are a hardy breed, and a little rain wasn’t going to stop them from enjoying the “Music in the Vines” day out.

Tickets sold out well before the event and more than 1000 people turned up to party at a local vineyard. The music covered everything from Johnny Farnham to Shepherd, with a stop or two on the way for Hotel California, and a touch of Whitney and Queen.

From the beginning people were up and dancing, so the wine couldn’t have been a major factor. The ‘elite’ bought the pricey tickets and sat inside and were able to buy from the menu. The rest of us had tickets in the outer, supplied our own chairs and could buy food, coffee and wine from the various outlets set around the outside. We had the best fun – we could dance down the front near the bands, or near our chairs.

Did the rain stop us? NO WAY. Forget singing in the rain or dancing in the dark – we’ll dance in the rain any day.

Posted by DeborahH in Australia, Cultural dimensions, Music, Village life, Weekends, Wine, 0 comments
Wine away the Weekend

Wine away the Weekend

Tasmania has four distinct wine growing regions, and as a newly transplanted Taswegian, I feel it is my duty to explore this vital aspect of the economy.  To that end, I enlisted the help of my best mate, and trouper as always, she flew down from Brisbane to provide support for this difficult exploration.

We began the weekend by tasting raspberry champagne at the raspberry farm down the road. A soft pink colour, but distinctly nice sparkles, and it accompanied the raspberry dumplings and cheesecake we ordered nicely.

Closer to home we stopped to pick up some chocolate to go with the next round of exploration – the Janz champagne and Ninth Island Chardonnay I had stored in my wine cellar.

Now, this was just preliminary preparation for the great adventure that the next day was to bring – the foray into the Launceston Wine Fair!  Much preparation was required for this – fortifying with a solid fruit toast, mushroom and egg breakfast; dressing appropriately with stable leg supporting shoes; ensuring we had our tickets to enter the unknown realm, and; once in Launceston, ordering the transport to take us to the beginning of the adventure.

We set off with high hopes and much courage – we would not be daunted by the challenge ahead of us – over 200 local and mainland wines, plus a few whiskies to fight our way through to reach the end.  We had considered plans of attack but had yet to decide upon one as we entered the wine jungle.  In the end we decided on an all terrain approach – down one side, up the other and take on the middle last.

We sipped, tipped, chatted and listened our way around the various wineries presenting their challenges to our palates.  We found wines we loved, wines we thought should have been left in the grape, and the whisky finale was eye-opening.

The jungle was filled with other explorers and the atmosphere became louder as the afternoon explorations wore on.  Young people starting out in their first adventures into this wine world mingled with seasoned adventurers looking for a hidden treasure, not yet discovered.

Our transport out of the jungle called for us, and so we left to prepare for the next stage of the adventure – dinner at a local winery.  This necessitated a bit of recuperation and gear rearrangement, but once that was accomplished, we were ready for the next arduous round of exploration.   Joseph Chromy Winery was on the other side of the concrete jungle and we appreciated the differences between the federation and art nouveau style jungle of Launceston and the wild areas of grape vines scattered across the hills.

We valiantly adventured on through the amuse bouche, the two completely different local oyster dishes, the confit of chicken and the thick, rich undergrowth of dessert, testing the various wines that supported the life of the food.  Our bravery knew no end – although, as designated driver, my courage was limited.

Back at the camp we planned the next day’s adventures; creating another path into the jungle by venturing north to Vélo Vineyard.  Exploration gear reassembled, we followed the river to our destination and again, tested our strength and endurance against the array of bottles waiting for us.

The exploration concluded with a quick trip to the airport for my fellow explorer to head back to her civilization, while I continued my adventure by exploring a cheese factory on the way back to my civilization.  We had done well, and planned for more wine jungle exploring in the future.

Posted by DeborahH, 0 comments