Yass Valley is becoming the hub of NSW for its cold climate wines, and the Murrumbateman Moving Feast is a fantastic opportunity to discover some of the lesser known wineries in the region.
Avoiding the larger and more known wineries, we opted to wine and dine at a couple of smaller boutique places, and then popped into a couple of others—just for a taste … as you do.
Our lunch was at McKellar Ridge Winery just off the Barton Highway and about 20 minutes out of Canberra. This was well set up for the Feast and was probably the most commercial of those we visited. I can highly recommend the Beef Bourguignon and veggie pie—full of chunks of steak and veggies and with light puff pastry, and well matched with a wine trio of Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot and Cabernet Franc—the perfect blend. The sparkling Pinot Noir (an alternative choice) proved to be surprisingly heavy for a sparkling wine and one I doubt we’d choose again. The winery had also organised live music for the event—a laid back duo who played unobtrusively in the background.
We had intended to visit Gallagher Wines—on Dog Trap Road—for dessert, but apparently so had everyone else who was at the Feast as they had sold out by 1pm! However, the wine tasting was going full blast and for the Moving Feast their sparklings were out on display, and their sparkling Duet or Shiraz would have been the perfect accompaniment to their home-made maple ice-cream … but sadly it wasn’t to be. This is obviously a really popular winery for those ‘in the know’ and it has been flagged by us for a future visit.
That said, we moved our dessert to Kerralee Wines, a small vineyard just off the Barton Highway. Don’t be misled by the size of this place—only 5 acres, but producing the best wines we tasted on the day. This is family owned enterprise over four generations, and I think they were all there on the day, and recent vintages have been named after grand-children. Nothing was too much trouble, and everyone was up for a friendly chat. We sat outside at a bistro setting placed under the trees, patted the Jack Russell Terriers roving around, and enjoyed the lightest gluten-free cheesecake I’ve tasted. Served with fresh blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries, and matched with the choice of a Pinot Noir or Merlot Rose, it was delightful choice of venue. We were so impressed with the Merlot Rose that we purchased a bottle to enjoy later.
The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is presented by the Makers of Murrumbateman, and ends tomorrow, 1 October—so get out there and enjoy the fabulous food and winning wines! And our thanks to Visit Yass Valley for providing us with the opportunity to enjoy a great day out.
Hi Aine – an informative read. Curiously, Gallagher Winery has been an absolute favourite of mine for many years – their sparkling wine in particular (Duet??) is Fabulous! (Reisling is good, too.) My other favourite destination is Shaw Wineries – the décor is amazing, and the wine is very nice also. 🙂
Thanks Chris. I think Gallagher is popular with a lot of people – hence the sellout and crowds! We’ve made a note for a later visit 🙂