Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Hunter Valley

With 10 days having been spent in the Sydney Area, we are now beginning to move further afield. On March 31 we went to the Hunter Valley; Australia's oldest and most famous wine-growing region. The first grapes were planted here in the 1820's, and it has been turning out superb wines ever since, most notably Semillon and Shiraz. There are hundreds of wineries in the area, the vast majority of which do not ship product to Canada, and some wines are sold only at the estate, so this was an opportunity to try some really special wines.

The area itself is very pretty, with many of the wineries having attached gourmet restaurants or art galleries. We spotted some very interesting wildlife on our way up the valley; the high-light was wild kangaroos grazing in a field next to the road. We are going to look for some really big Boomers (as large kangaroos are known), later in the trip, but for now, these were the first wild 'Roos' we have seen. They scarcely paid any attention to us as they went about their business. There were also Wombat Crossing signs all about, and the woods are known to be inhabited by Koala Bears, but as we were on a mission in the valley, we did not stop to seek out these exotic creatures.

We were very impressed by the fact that nobody charges for their tastings; in the Oakanagan Valley in Canada this has become common practise. We were especially impressed with Rosenburg Wines; not only did they sit us at a table for our tasting; they set out special placemats listing the varietal, year and price, and gave us a fresh glass with each. Furthermore, as the piece de resistance, they served us with two cheese and cracker plates; something we have never seen anywhere else in our travels. The excellent wine, the table-setting, the food and the friendly staff all combined to make the visit to the Rosenburg Winery the most memorable one I have ever experienced. (Photo; the remains of our tasting table!)

So a day spent in the Hunter Valley was an incredible experience for us all.

Aussie Oddities

  • a Wombat Crossing sign;

  • evidently, anyone in the rural areas of Australia need not worry about registering a motor vehicle; you just get out some cardboard and make your own license plate, as this local did;

  • one of the local adverts in the Manley Beach area.

  • a group of Kangaroos is known as a Mob.


Blogger Brian Rollins said...

What great pics!!! I just printed you whole blog. It yust turned into ma's Birthday present Thanks

Canunks 3 Kings 2 in OT.
They were lucky.

Cheers Mate

11:45 AM  

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