Tag Archives: Yass Valley Wineries

Yass Valley Autumn Harvest Escape

Autumn is the best time of year in the Canberra region—not too hot, not too cold, and with the beautiful autumnal colours of the trees and countryside, what better time to get out and about to explore the cool climate wines, cosy restaurants, and history of the Yass Valley.

It’s all happening in April with Canberra Wine Week and the Makers of Murrumbateman—Harvest Hamper Trail which includes hampers in the vines, degustations, barrel tasting, lunches, gourmet platters, and much more! So sit back, lock in your events, and enjoy your autumn harvest escape!

gourmet platter

Tasty gourmet platters.

Canberra Wine Week offers up an amazing selection of events to choose from including tastings, festivals, lunches and dinners, grape stomping, wine tours, meet the makers, and smooth entertainment. Enjoy special offers from a couple of our faves with dinner at Gryphons Caffe Bar (courtesy Kerralee Wines Murrumbateman) and the Long Lunch at Lerida Estate Wines (Lake George).

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Wine tasting at Kerralee Wines Murrumbateman.

On the Makers of Murrumbateman Hamper Trail you can enjoy wine pies at Dionysus Winery, book a picnic hamper with dips, cheese, cold meats, tomatoes, olives, bread and crackers at Eden Road Wines, indulge in gourmet platters in the barrel room at McKeller Ridge, or you can try bottling your own wine at Murrumbateman Winery, plus much more. And, if that wasn’t enough to tempt your tastebuds, get your hamper trail passport stamped at only three participating venues (pick up your passport at your first port of call) to go in the draw to win a super hamper chock full of locally produced goodies!

If wine and great food doesn’t tickle your taste buds, there’s heaps more happening including stunning artworks by local artists such as Hillgrove Pottery, Creators Nest, Gundaroo Collectors and the newly re-opened Crisp Galleries. You can also explore the 19th Century architecture and heritage listed buildings in Yass and the surrounding region, plus walking trails in Yass, Gundaroo, and Binalong.

picnic in the vines

Picnic in the vines.

And, seriously, who doesn’t love coming face-to-face with cute furry animals? At One Tree Hill Alpaca Farm you can take a guided walk through the farm, meet the alpacas, and stop in at the Farm Shop for a range of hand dyed and alpaca yarns and gifts. Book the 2.5 hour Aussie Alpaca Adventure to hand feed the alpacas, take them for a walk and give them a cuddle, and have short lesson in dying yard and how to skirt a fleece.

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Cuteness overload!

Click here for more information on current and upcoming events in the Yass Valley.

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Meet the Murrumbateman Makers!

The annual Murrumbateman Moving Feast is on again this weekend! From 29 – 30 September a number of Murrumbateman and Yass wineries will be serving up mains and desserts with a matching glass of their vino. You can tantalise your taste buds with this roving degustation of fine local wines and delicious tasting plates, and if it’s anything like last year, it will be fantastic—and crowded, so book now! Here’s a sample of what you can expect.

Eden Road Winery are offering a trio of Arancini with goat cheese and pesto, braised beef cheek with chilli jam, and wild mushrooms with feta, matched with 2015 Syrah or 2017 Pinot Noir. Indulge your senses with a triple choc brownie with home-made Baileys Ice Cream served with an East Lake sparkling or 2017 Canberra Riesling.

Yarrh Wines are serving up wood roasted butterflied leg of lamb with leeks in wine and walnut aillade, with a vegetarian option of roast sweet potato with chilli lemon sauce and mushrooms, paired with a 2017 Shiraz. For dessert taste test their famous pear and almond tart with a 2018 late harvest.

Dionysus Winery Who doesn’t love sliders followed by a salted caramel mousse! Dionysus have slow roasted pork belly with sriracha (hot chilli sauce) and slaw; and grilled haloumi, pickle, lettuce and Kewpie mayo, matched with their own Reisling. Followed by a rich salted caramel mousse made with Lindt chocolate and served with a dollop of salted caramel and cream—that’s got to be a winner! And comes beautifully matched with a Cab Sav.

Kerralee Vineyard was our favourite last year, and although much smaller than most of the others, family owned Kerralee is well worth a visit. Offering a Pot pie of beef slow cooked in Kerralee Merlot, topped with puff pastry, served with salad garnish, and comes with a wine of your choice. Their house-made cheesecake on a gluten free nut base topped with fresh seasonal fruit is totally yum! Matched with pinot noir rosé or my personal fave, their merlot rosé.

Delish slow-cooked beef pie 

But that’s not all … a total of 19 wineries are participating in the Moving Feast event, and you don’t have to just stick with one. You can choose your favourite main from one winery, and pop over to another for dessert. Savoury dishes are $25 and desserts are $20 and all come with the vino, and you get to keep your lovely Riedel wine glass worth $20. What are you waiting for?

Go to Murrumbateman Moving Feast to check out full details and book your tickets.

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.

Feasting in Murrumbateman!

The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is on this coming weekend, Saturday 30 September and Sunday 1 October, with over 18 participating wineries and speciality producers to tempt your tastebuds with divine wines and gourmet menus.

Cassoulet

Traditional French cassoulet with duck, pork, sausage, and haricot beans. Photo example only.

Canberra, or more specifically the Yass Valley, is fast gaining a reputation for its excellent cold climate wines, in particular its leading varieties of Shiraz and Riesling, and many of the wineries also include cafés and restaurants where you can sample a degustation, enjoy a light lunch or dinner—often with local entertainment, and learn a bit about wine matching.

To that end, the Makers of Murrumbateman have pulled together to put on an entire weekend of wine and food tasting and sampling. Simply download the program, select your choice of main and dessert, and book your ticket—it’s that easy!

Fish - roast barra with kipfler potatoes

Seared barramundi with Kipfler potatoes. Photo example only.

With mains from traditional French cassoulet, black truffle chicken, Australian barramundi, and Korean bao sliders, accompanied by desserts including chocolate mousse, cakes, cheesecakes and tortes, to clafoutis, home-made ice creams, and the quintessential  Aussie pav … what’s not to like! Each meal is served with matching wines, and … you get to keep the souvenir wine glass.

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Korean Bao Sliders. Photo example only.

But wait, there’s more! Pick up your Murrumbateman Moving Feast passport and have it stamped at the participating venues to go in the draw to win a prize pack full of local goodies and produce.

Cheated-Cherry-Clafoutis

Cherry clafoutis with ice-cream. Photo example only.

After the hustle and bustle of the moving feast you can slow down a bit with Music Monday on 2 October. Participating wineries will be offering cellar door wine tastings with live music from local bands, musos, and singer-songwriters. Click the link for more info.

C3 Pav Vegan, egg free, gluten free Pavlova.

The quintessential Aussie pav! Photo example only.

The Murrumbateman Moving Feast is part of a range of events in the Yass Valley from mid-September to mid-October including wineries, restaurants, music venues, arts and crafts, and accommodation. For more information on these and other events visit the Yass Valley website, and for information on accommodation bookings call 1300 886 014.

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.

image Gundaroo Music Festival

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.

sweet chocolate degustation

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.