Entries Tagged as 'Winery Visit'

Wine Tasting at Squitchy Lane

Squitchy Lane Winery

Squitchy Lane Winery – Our host Rob in action.

On a lovely sunny Sunday with nothing but a couple of friends and a well stocked picnic we ventured forth to the perils of the Yarra Valley. The aim of this trip was Squitchy Lane winery.

Squitchy Lane Winery

Squitchy Lane Winery with Mike at the old school cellar door.

The last time we visited the wine tasting room were still under construction and the cellar door was a trestle table out the front.

This time with the tasting room fully completed we ventured inside to the decidedly more solid bar to find a combination of white and red on tasting ranging from a Fume Blanc to a Cabernet Sauvignon. Missing from the tasting was their SQL label which they have retired to focus on a smaller range of wines.

After much deliberation…

  1. Squitchy Lane Fume Blanc, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $32, 7/10
  2. Squitchy Lane Chardonnay, Yarra Valley AUS, 2012, $34, 7/10
  3. Squitchy Lane Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $35, 8/10
  4. Squitchy Lane Cabernet Merlot, Yarra Valley AUS, 2010, $26, 7/10
  5. Squitchy Lane Cabernet Sauvignon, Yarra Valley AUS, 2012, $35, 8/10
  6. Squitchy Lane Peter's Block Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley AUS, 2013, $55, 9/10

The award winning wine for the day was the Peter’s Block Pinot Noir which showed excellent Pinosity, which became the word of the day.

The standard Pinot followed us home that night and performed stirling service matched with our homemade tomato chilli cream prawns.

Squitchy Lane Winery Website

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From @Squitchyman Darth Pinot

Winetasting at Cape Jaffa


On a holiday in South Australia on the Great Ocean Road we revisited one of those lovely off the beaten track winery finds.

In this case Cape Jaffa Wines on the Limestone Coast, which we had visited a number of years earlier, and now returned to renew our acquaintance.
The previous trip we had been passing through on a Great Ocean Road trip from Adelaide to Melbourne, this time we were spending a week based at Robe in perfect visiting distance of Cape Jaffa.

The winery itself is tucked away off the Southern Ports Highway in a gentle rolling grazing district. The cellar door is a lovely rock building situated on a rise with views out over the countryside. Outside are picnicking and bbq facilities while inside on the summer days we visited was cool and inviting.

The wine list was 10 wines long on the day we dropped by with an even mix of white and red, with half of the wines being certified biodynamic. The quality overall is high, from 7 to 8 on our scale, with the stand out being the La Lune Shiraz. As always our budget couldn’t meet our tastebuds however we still headed off with a 1/2 dozen mix, and the usual regret a year later that we should have bought more.

On our days tasting at Cape Jaffa wines averaged 7 out of 10

Highlights included:

  • Cape Jaffa La Lune Shiraz, Limestone Coast, 2010, $45, 8/10
  • Cape Jaffa Pinot Gris, 2011, $24, 8/10
  • Cape Jaffa Cabernet Sauvignon, 2008, $24, 7/10

Cape Jaffa Wines Website

The review list for Cape Jaffa

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Wine tasting at Port Philip Estate


The second winery on our trip down to Mornington Peninsula outside Melbourne was Port Philip estate. The cellar door is a rather spectacular affair, with a curving wall hiding the winery from casual view, whereupon stepping through the solid wood door the wide vista of Port Philip bay unrolls itself before you. An truly lovely office from which to work, especially on a sunny clear day such as when we visited.

We worked our way through their wine list, even letting our hostess convince us to try the chardonnay. Yes it was chardonnay which is not our favourite grape, however she made up to us by offering us a taste of one of their single vineyard Pinot’s, the 2011 ‘Meres’, It was a lovely Pinot, light on the tongue and went down well. Alas it was totally outclassed when she presented us with a taste of the Mere’s sibling ‘Ferrous’. Again 2011 vintage but otherwise completely different, a deep rich Pinot Noir that had you reaching for the bottle while oohing and aahing.


Highlights included:

  • 2013 Port Philip Estate Sauvignon Blanc, $24, silky smooth. 8/10
  • 2012 Kooyong Estate Pinot Noir, $48 big pinot, rich flavour and will appear on the Friday Night Pinot list. 8/10
  • 2011 Kooyong Estate Single Vineyard “Ferrous” Pinot Noir, $75,  a magnificent Pinot that deserves its high price. 9/10

DSC_8100Hiding out the back was a 2010 Meres Pinot Noir, described by our host as ‘Sex on Toast. I’m not entirely sure what that means however it sounded delicious. If anyone tries it please let us know!

And for dinner, local cheeses, pate’s and the most awesome ciabata from the red hill epicurean, with a dash of wine.

Port Philip Estate Winery website

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Wine tasting at Montalto


Montalto Restaurant. Image ©Montalto

In late November we decided to take a weekends break from Melbourne down the Mornington Peninsula to the seaside village of Sorrento.
The Mornington Peninsula is a popular wine region with a large number of wineries dotted amongst the hills so as we headed down through Redhill we picked one at random for lunch.

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove was not one we had previously visited and we were not familiar with their wines. As we had arrived  just before lunch we headed to the cellar door to pick something to go with our meal.


The wine list was replete with reds and whites across a variety of styles with two ranges: ‘Pennon Hill’ and Montalto ‘Estate’ wines. Following the guidance of our trusty tasting lad we started at the whites and wandered on down (up?) through their tasting list. Our scored ranged from 6 to 9 across the range, with the poor Chardonnay grape again failing to impress us while the Estate Riesling and Pinot Noir along with the Pennon Hill Shiraz more than making up for any lack in the Chardonnay.

Highlights included:

  • 2013 Montalto ‘Estate’ Riesling, great value at $25, tart, not too sweet, dry, delicious. 8/10
  • 2012 Montalto ‘Estate’ Pinot Noir, $48 lots of promise, Big Pinot, wine notes suggested cellaring up to 8 years and it will get great with age. 8/10
  • 2012 Pennon Hill Shiraz, $30, soft Shiraz lots of flavour, doesn’t beat you round the tongue like a Barossa Shiraz. 8/10

Then with lunch we had a taste of the Merricks Block single vineyard Pinot Noir. oh yum

  • 2012 ‘Merricks Block’ Single Vineyard Pnot Noir, $65, a delicious Pinot, I’d say more but at that point my wife disappeared with the rest of the glass. 9/10

Both our lunches were delicious, however my Rabbit terrine, which the chefs were preparing on our way in, definitely trumped the scallops as well as matching my glass of Pinot Noir. We had chosen the ‘small plate’ offerings from the menu to leave room for dessert, although the scallops were more an ‘entree’ serve,  but who cares for there was space and energy for a cheese platter.

After lunch a wander down through their vegetable gardens included a chat with their gardener and later a taste of their fresh raspberries. Onwards to the sculpture garden was a relaxing walk to end a lovely afternoon.

montalto garden

Montalto Vineyard and Olive Grove
and on twitter

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Winetasting at Yering Station

YSCD On a Tuesday in June I was able to escape into the countryside for the day. My partner and I headed out of Melbourne and into the Yarra Valley for a day of wine tasting, lunch and relaxation. We only had one winery we were visiting, Yering Station, and we were aiming to get there before the crowds and so ensure we had a chance for a good chat with the staff.

As we drove in the morning group of balloonists were just packing up, and dodging the enormous basket we headed into the cellar door. The cellar door is set in the middle of the original old brick winery built circa 1859 and is a tranquil setting for a wine tasting especially as it also serves as an art gallery.

The Yering Station wine list has over 30 wines, red & white, with vintages from 2004 to 2012. Not all of these are on offer for tastings, with the reserve labels being set aside for tasting packages. Nonetheless we roamed far and wide across the list.

Our ratings ranged from 6/10 for some of the ‘Village’ label to 9/10 for the 2007 Inverness Ridge Pinot Noir fresh off the reserve list.

While enjoying the wine we wandered around the gallery admiring the artwork returning to chat with the tasting staff over our next vintage. The staff themselves were were full of knowledge and great to banter with.

Overall a lovely morning well spent, and we are looking forward to the next visit.

Yering Station Winery Website

For the full wine list.

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Breakfast at Giant Steps

Giant Steps Cellar DoorAs a birthday treat we headed up to Healesville in Victoria to spend the morning at the cellar door for Giant Steps Winery. The cellar door is a restaurant with its own bakery, with a section set aside for wine tasting. The bakery is hard to resist so we opened with a relaxing coffee and cake before wandering over to peruse the wine selection.
They have two brands , Innocent Bystander, their drink now label, and Giant Steps itself, the supremo label. Between the two labels there is a large list to go through, but the necessity of finding something to go with lunch spurred us on.

The difference between the two labels was noticeable, with the Giant Steps list proving better on average to the Innocent Bystanders (then again sangiovese and I have never gotten along). Having said that the standout of the lot was the Innocent Bystanders Cordon Cut Voignier, a sweetly delicious dessert wine, that disappeared all to quickly.
The Giant Steps single vineyard Pinot Noir’s were also delicious and extraordinary in the amount of difference that could be found given that they were at most 30km’s apart. They will benefit from some cellaring leaving the Innocent Bystander Syrah free to be plundered straight away.

For Lunch?
freshly shucked oysters with seaweed dressing
sashimi of kingfish with white miso sauce
Pizza: italian buffalo mozzarella, san marzano tomato, basil & olive oil


2010 Moscato
2010 pinot gris

Weekend Menu
Giant Steps & Innocent Bystanders Winery

Tasting at Two Hands

Two Hands Winery

Two Hands Winery

We were over in Adelaide for the Australia Day Weekend and as always we headed off to the Barossa to try out some wines. On the advice of a friend we ended up at Two hands Winery on Friday afternoon ready for our final tastings of the day.

A large selection of wines were on offer, so while the kids explored the back of the winery we set down to work.
We sampled from the all their ranges: The Flagships, Single Vineyard series, The Garden and the Picture series generally trying their red wines. The only off note of the tasting was the Bad Impersonator, which none of us took a shine to.
We eventually gathered the children and headed home with a small box filled with Gnarly Dudes and Yesterday’s Hero’s.


  • Flagship Range:
    • Ares Shiraz, 8
  • Single Vineyard Series:
    • Barney’s Block Shiraz McLaren Vale, 8 with 15+yrs cellaring
  • The Garden Series:
    • Bella’s Garden Shiraz Barossa Valley, 7 needs age.
    • Harry and Edward’s Garden Shiraz Langhorne Creek, 7.
    • Max’s Garden Shiraz Heathcote, 7
  • The Picture Series:
    • Gnarly Dudes Shiraz Barossa Valley, 8.
    • Brave Faces Shiraz Grenache Mataro Barossa Valley, 8
    • Yesterday’s Hero Grenache Barossa Valley, 8
    • For Love or Money Cane Cut Semillon Barossa Valley, 8 with extra rahs
    • Bad Impersonator Shiraz Barossa Valley, 4.