There is a burgeoning cottage industry in Tasmania and Wilmot Hills Vineyard & Orchard where the wines and ciders are grown , created and bottled on site is a great example of this. Due to a glitch with the video (not the operator of course) unable to bring you our chat with John Cole but was really impressed with this particular cottage industry and the innovative way in which John has set up his production area from equipment acquired and adapted over the years to suit their specific needs. Inland from Devonport on the North West Coast Wilmot is known as the Valley of Views which says it all really. Set in a truly beautiful rural setting with views to Black Bluff , John & Ruth Cole produce a range of table wines Pinot Noir, Traminer and a Gamay (the grape variety that the well known Beaujolais is made from). Johns version is a well structured fruit driven wine. There has been a steady increase in popularity of fruit wines in Tassie . An eclectic range of award winning fruit wines which include a raspberry, blackberry, elderberry and a cherry wine which are made by Ruth add another dimension to the winery. The couple are looking forward to adding a sparkling cider to their portfolio. Fruit is grown on site. To top it off spirits are also produced on site so there is Grappa, Kirsch, Schnapps , Apple Brandy and Basilico. Well worth a trip off the beaten track up Gentle Annie Hill to visit and chat with this inspiring couple who are living their dream . John is also a dab hand at creating his own labels.
Wicks Estate is an up and coming state of the art winery from the Adelaide Hills. The first release was in 2005 and with Tim Knappstein at the helm wine making, this winery has gone from strength to strength . Good food and wine with good company is always an enjoyable experience and the Wicks Wine Dinner at the local yacht and rowing club certainly fit the bill. A glass of the new release sparkling Chardonnay Pinot Noir on arrival set the tone for what was to be a very pleasant evening. Wicks Estate Winery is family owned and operated, moving on from their Orchard and Nursery operations to the wine industry in 1999.
Tim Wicks was on hand to chat about the families dedication to producing quality cool climate wines, giving insights into each variety as the evening unfolded.
Chef excelled himself presenting five courses with flavours and textures each complemented by the wines matched.
First up was :-
Fresh figs wrapped in prosciutto with fried haloumi and lemon vincotte matched with Wicks Sauvignon Blanc
Seared Hervey Bay scallops with cauliflower and blue cheese puree, crisp pancetta and black caviar – Wicks Chardonnay
Tartlet of roast rabbit with a salad of watercress, apple and walnut with sweet aged balsamic reduction – Wicks Riesling
Spiced Quail served on char grilled zucchini, red grapes, agresto and verjuice a great match with Wicks Cabernet Sauvignon
Venison fillet with roast parsnip, caramelised baby beetroot and blueberry jus – Wicks shiraz
Finally assorted cheeses with quince paste and lavosh – Wicks Eminence Shiraz Cabernet.
A delightful presentation of interesting combinations of flavours and well considered wine matches all came together for a memorable dining experience.
The beautiful Clare Valley in South Australia is home to some of our best Riesling and Pikes Riesling with its distinctive fish label is a stand out. Drink it now and if you have the will power cellar a couple of bottles to enjoy in a few years when it has developed aged characteristics. Having just completed their 26th vintage, this family owned winery is set to produce more of its flagship Classic Clare Riesling. This is the variety for which Pikes has become known but they also produce other whites and some classy well balanced red wines.
Clever wine making is also responsible for “The White Mullet” which is made from Riesling, Viognier, Chenin Blanc and Sauvignon. Might seem like a hard concept to grasp but is certainly not hard to drink and is a clean fresh quaffer to drink now and enjoy on its own or a good match for many foods.
Peter Bentley has the enviable task of travelling around Australia and the world to promote and establish markets for Pikes Winery and was able to give us a review of the wines and more 🙂
Look out for Pike`s Oakbank beer a traditional handcrafted Pilsner style. Available in limited amounts this beer shows faint citrus and fruity notes, is clean, malty and well worth a try.