And the rain came too, for days prior, the weather was really ordinary!! Which in Tasmania especially, is a great sign for things working out in your favour!!
With the Crays ordered on the last day of the season, Red Dragon Seafood held on to them in their tanks for 3 weeks and they were lovingly delivered the day prior still alive. A good friend and chef at Tombolo Freycinet in Coles Bay cooked them to perfection for me.
With my fresh scones and jam from Kate’s Berry Farm I headed to Jack Cotton’s amazing property at Kelvedon Beach. The SW wind was knocking my bus around on the way, but I had the feeling it was going to drop out any second.
Unlocking the the 1800’s padlock for the gate to the headland, reminded me of the history 5 generations on from the first settlers that worked tirelessly on this property. If only they knew that one day a helicopter would land here for morning tea, I think they would be quite happy to pull up a chair and enjoy a cup of tea and fresh scones.
I guessed right….. just after I had the white table cloth down and the cups on the saucers, the wind died down! In the distance I could hear the Rotor Lift
“Just is enough” I always say.
A lovely bunch of guests from Sydney stepped off the Helicopter, the sun came out like it had been there all day and the wind died right out.
“Phew…………!” (a big sigh of relief)
So I poured out the loose leaf Bushells they enjoyed the scones and soaked up the Tassie sun with some warm scones, raspberry jam and Tassie Double Cream. How else would you do morning tea??
After some pics in front of the sweeping vista of Freycinet Peninsula, they took off in the Helicopter and enjoyed a scenic flight over the jagged Hazards Range and Wineglass Bay!! Saw some whales too!!
So I packed up and headed off to Spring Vale Vineyard as they were lapping up the great views from up high, definitely one for “The Bucket List” you can take all kinds of scenic flights over Wineglass Bay. But I think by Helicopter would have to be the pick!
After their 25 minute scenic flight, they landed at historic Spring Vale. First settled in the early 1800’s, they had the first part of their tasting in a convict built stable circa 1842. I had some little delicacies to match the wines. Wasabi Cheddar & Gewurz, Smoked Salmon & Sauvvy B, Flat Head Pate` & Chardy to name a few.
Then for a real treat ……..
Off to the barrel room.
The winemaker Dave ran them through tastings of various barrels of their soon to be assembled and bottled Estate Pinot Noir.
They tried about 8 samples of the same wine all made slightly differently, new oak, old oak, whole bunch, wild yeast, cultured yeast, different blocks etc. All showing why Spring Vale is renowned for having such a complex Pinot that has really put the East Coast on the mainland and even further abroad.
Then back to the stable for Dessert Botrytis Gewürztraminer & Blue Cheese!! If you think you don’t like Blue or Sticky . . . put them together and voila . . . . your new favourite thing!!
The guests thanked Dave for enlightening them with as they put it ……”A no B S tasting of wines!! ” and some of them now like Pinot, can approach Chardonnay again, understand that not all Sauv Blanc is boring , Gewurz can be dry and that you should probably start a dinner party with a Botrytis wine instead of ending it with one. (Amongst other things. My Job here is done!)
So a very short drive and we were at Milton. A picturesque property with a cellar door perched on a hill overlooking the vineyard. Michael and Kerry Dunbabbin have farmed superfine Merino and various crops for decades here and now have entered the wine industry. Their vines planted in 1996 have now yielded some of the best fruit the East Coast can offer. With the careful winemaking skills of Julian Alcorso and his team, Milton have been winning Gold Medals for years now.
I know…… you cant stop looking at the Crays on the right of the screen!! So they took a seat with some award winning Riesling and enjoyed some Oysters, Smoked Ocean Trout, Hill Farm Wasabi, one of my Rocket and Walnut salads and . . . oh yeah half a sweet cray each!!
Then some of Kate’s Salted Caramels to fight over . . . they did fight !!
So I drove them back to the Helicopter and they headed of to Rotor Lift Head Quarters to be greeted by their stretch Lincoln Limo and they were back at Somerset on the Pier by 4:30 !!
Now thats a Long Lunch !!!
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