Tag Archives: Murrumbateman Wineries

Murrumbateman Moving Feast in Review

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.

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McKellar Ridge Wines. Beef Bourguignon and Veggie Pie.

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.

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McKellar Ridge Wines. Matching our pie with sparkling Pinot Noir (l), and Cabernet Sauvignon-Merlot-Carbernet Franc blend (r)

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.

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Kerralee Wines. GF cheesecake with berries

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.

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Kerralee Wines. Matching delish cheesecake with Pinot Noir (l) and Merlot Rose (r)

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.

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Spring into Yass!

Yass is springing into spring with some fantastic events on offer to herald in the warmer weather including, food and wine events, music, classic cars, art, and flowers. Check out these great events running from mid-September to mid-October, and toss winter out of the window and get your spring on!

“Spring is the best time of year to visit Yass Valley. Not only is the landscape alive with the bright greens and colours brought on by the warmer weather, but it’s also the time of year that this region hosts many high-quality family-friendly events jam-packed with country charm,” said Tourism and Economic Development Manager for Yass Valley Council, Sean Haylan. “Spring in Yass Valley is a time to enjoy delicious regional food and wine, live music, culture, colourful local characters and the beauty of the natural landscape”.

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Rolling  3-course dinner and matching wines

First up, and new for 2017 is 4 Before Midnight, a rolling dinner where guests can graze four Yass venues in one night and enjoy wine as they go at Clementine Restaurant, Trader & Co, YazzBar and Thyme to Taste. Restaurants are offering three savoury and one sweet dish matched with local red or white wine, plus live music and cool extras like fire pits. The rolling dinner is on 28 September and bookings are available through Eventbrite.

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Pair wine and food at the Murrumbateman Moving Feast

Next up in the food and wine category is the Murrumbateman Moving Feast, a full weekend of fine food, premium wine, and fun with friends. The moving feast in the October long weekend and is a great opportunity to learn all about local food, cold climate wines, and enjoy Yass Valley hospitality.

Each participating winery offers a main meal and/or dessert, perfectly matched with one of their wines, and guests can meet the makers and get a complimentary wine and Moving Feast wine glass with every dish. The moving feast is on from 30 September to 2 October. To find out more download a brochure from Makers of Murrumbateman.

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Image from Gundaroo Music Festival 2016

Music events include the Turning Wave Festival—15 to 17 September—with traditional Irish and Australian music along the lines of an Irish Fleadh (Fla) or festival. Turning Wave will include concerts, dancing, music classes, and the spoken word. On 14 October visit the Gundaroo Music Festival for 12 hours of non-stop music, singing and dancing, food and wine, arts and crafts, a special kids’ zone, and an evening fireworks display.

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Tiptoe through the tulips at Tulip Top Gardens Sutton

Add to this a sculpture festival at Cooma Cottage from 16 September to 8 October, a Classic Car display in Meehan Street, Yass on 4 and 5 November, and top it off with a leisurely visit to Tulip Top Gardens where you can tiptoe through the tulips, spring blossoms, and waterfalls. The gardens are also dog friendly, and there are plenty of food stalls, a nursery, and heaps of entertainment. Tulip Top Gardens is located on the Federal Highway at Sutton, and the spring event runs from 16 September to 15 October and is open daily from 9am – 5pm.

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Chocolate – the ultimate degustation!

If you want to stay over and make it a relaxing get-away, there’s plenty of accommodation in the Yass Valley region, from humble motels, through historic hotels and country B&Bs, to luxury self-contained units. Yass has it all! For more information on these and other events visit the Yass Valley website, and for information on accommodation bookings call 1300 886 014.

Heard it through the Grapevine – with Vines & Wines

Canberra district wine has had an upsurge in recent years and local boutique wineries have been winning awards and medals right, left and centre. Reviews, such as the one recently posted on The Wine Wankers website, extols the virtues of our locally produced vino from a range of wineries from Murrumbateman to Bungendore, and cites Clonakilla’s Shiraz Voignier as a benchmark for the blend; Helm’s Wines to be added to your bucket list, and Lark Hill as a ‘standout’. And, let’s be honest, there’s not much that can beat the simple pleasure of sitting among the vines and enjoying an award winning drop while listening to some local live jazz.

Australian wines photo by Greg Snell

Australian wines – photo by Greg Snell

But, therein lies the catch—isn’t there always? While everyone else enjoys the afternoon, the designated driver generally has to make do with lunch and music, and then drive a bunch of ‘happy’ people home. Not any more. Now you can check out three or four wineries, enjoy a sumptuous lunch, and partake of the wine. How? You book a Vines & Wines tour.

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