On Friday 4th of October, I was delighted to host American wine blogger and publisher, Steve Noel on a special Yarra Valley Tour.
How Steve found Perfect Day Tours among the myriad of Yarra Valley Tour web pages, I have no idea.
However, find us he did – and after checking out our website – Steve was confident that we would be a good fit for organizing a bespoke snapshot tasting of some of the small to medium producers in the Yarra Valley.
Steve was flying to Australia for the annual Wine Media Conference in the Hunter Valley NSW. This is the first year that the event has been hosted in Australia.
The event was sponsored by the following.
Wine Communicators of Australia
Destination New South Wales
Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association
NSW Wine Industry Association
Destination Sydney Surrounds North
Royal Agricultural Society of NSW
Prior to his sojourn north from Melbourne to the conference, Steve was keen to discover the cooler climate wines of the Yarra Yalley.
Fresh, (if that’s the right word), from his flight from the U.S, I picked Steve up from his hotel in the Melbourne CBD, where he had arrived about an hour prior.
Our first appointment was the ever reliable Warramunda Estate, Coldstream Yarra Valley. An extensive tasting, hosted by Olivier (Liv Zak range), was warmly received. A great start to the day. It adds interest and depth to highlight the two distinct ranges,’ Liv Zak’ and ‘Warramunda Estate’. Not to mention the Maranchego cheese and real Prosciutto d’ Parma as part of the delights of the tasting.
Next it was off to Oakridge Winery, Coldstream, where Cellar Door Manager Matt was waiting to show Steve the expressive range of vineyard specific wines that Oakridge specialize in. Matt even brought out the ‘big guns’ of the iconic Oakridge ‘864’ range. See photo.
Time for lunch and a coffee. I recommended the mushroom pizza at Coldstream Brewery for lunch. As always, it did not disappoint. The best part was that Steve ‘got’ lunch. It made the pizza taste even better.
Refreshed and refueled after our delicious pizza, it was off to Pimpernel Winery. Wine maker Damien was waiting to host Steve through a magical tasting of their extensive range. The wines at Pimpernel are full of character and regional expression. I find they are some of the most impressive produced in the Yarra Valley. Pimpernel showcases a most eclectic range. For further information, please see PDT October ‘Wine of the Month’ for a review and tasting note of the GSM 2015. It also gives a brief outline of the Pimpernel philosophy and winemaking philosophy.
Check out Steve’s blog ‘Children of the Grape’ www.Childrenofthegrape.com.
Children of the grape help to demystify the sometimes confusing terminology around wine and wine tasting.
It is an honest, refreshing take on the world of wine – without the jargon that can often be found in wine writing.
Thanks Steve – let’s do it again soon.
Perhaps the Magnificent Mornington Peninsula, or the Mystical Macedon Ranges next time?
A quick visit to the idiosyncratic Madden’s Rise was just the ticket to round out the day. Madden’s Rise have a superb range of interesting blends,both red and white, as well as the standard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir offering. The Nebbiolo is a welcome string in their extensive bow.
Time to head back to Melbourne – Steve was still in great shape. Perhaps an early night was on the cards?