It's a Sunday, and winter is introducing itself with an entourage of rain and fog. The drive to Kangaroo Valley looks like footage for a tourism commercial -rolling greens hills, jersey cow farms and the unmistaken fresh air that can only be found in the country. What better way to spend a winters afternoon then by discovering a winery perched within a valley that is not only a cellar door, but also home to seasonal produce goods. Yarrawa Estate -located 11kms off the Upper Kangaroo Valley Road is established upon an emerald hill looking out onto a small lagoon.
The scenic drive to Yarrawa Estate
Follow the tree lined Scotts Road and through the gates to Yarrawa Estate, where a rustic sign points to the cellar door. The views are breath taking, and suddenly you're a million miles away from civilisation.
Looking out to the estate's lagoon
Greeted by the gracious owners of Yarrawa Estate Susan and Mark Foster (and two larger then life Labradors), visitors will feel like they are coming home to old friends. The cellar door is established inside the coupleís home on the lower level, with timber walls lined with bottles of red, white and pink gold.
A table is set up for the tastings, its sunset and the view faces out onto the properties lagoon against the dense bushland backdrop. This is heaven on earth.
What a hard view to deal with
Starting the tasting session with lighter white varietals, the Jasmine Grace 2012 ($20 per bottle) is both a crisp and sweet drop. Made from muscatel grapes, it is one of the wineries best sellers.
The Verdelho ($20) is summertime in a bottle-light, and fruity to the palette the taste buds are left lingering with a sweet overtone created by the late harvest of the grapes. For those who prefer a less sweeter white, the Unwooded Chardonnay ($22) is fruity with twist of oak.
No wine tasting is complete without a cheese board, and I was fortunate to have a delicious handmade selection created by the generous and hospitable Fosters. It was a lovely touch that added to the inviting ambience of the estate.
Leftover Cheese and wine
The award winning local variety of the Chambourcin ($24) is well worth the trip alone. This is an intense red which is voluptuous in its flavours. The aroma is herby and robust, with the first sip being dry but leading to a chocolate tainted aftertaste. This is a distinct variety of wine which uses a spray free hand picked grape.
Radiant glow of Chambourcin
From the first sip of the Cabernet ($35), images of a cold winters night and an open fire place come to mind. It is a full bodied and bold flavoured red that would be married beautifully with venison or a lamb roast. Velvety and smooth, this was one of the most memorable of the wines I sampled.
In addition to the wines, there is seasonal produce which is available to purchase. Upon my visit, pecans and macadamias grown on the estate were available at $10 a kilo. There is also a selection of homemade conserves like Tangelo Marmalade ($10), Bread and Butter pickles and Preserved lemons.
Wall of conserves and preserves
Nuts grown on the property
Yarrawa Estate put simply is stunning. Itís a combination of the personalised wine education and hospitality from Susan and Mark, together with the picturesque views of the valley, and of course the award winning wines. It is a destination that every oenophilia should add to their to do list.
Lush bushland surrounds
Where: 43B Scotts Rd Kangaroo Valley NSW.
Why: Award winning wines, beautiful views and friendly, knowledgable hosts.
Cost: Wine tasting is free, bottles start at $20 each.
When: Saturday 10-5.30, Sunday 12.30-5.30 and weekdays by appointment. To arrange a visit please call 02-44651165.