Trip Report Australian Small Wine Makers Show 2017

A small group of WGA members and guests gathered in Stanthorpe for the Australian Small Winemakers Show (ASWMS) tasting on Saturday 28th October, 2017.

Some of our group arrived on Friday night and dined at restaurants around town. Kathy and I dined at Anna’s Restaurant as we were unable to get a booking at the McGregor Terrace Food Project. Anna’s had a good range of local wines by the glass and a good sampling session was undertaken.

Saturday morning  we breakfasted at Zest Pastries in the main street. After breakfast we visited Washpool Farm Soaperie before heading to Savinia Lane for a tasting. Although the sold out sign is out we managed to arrange a tasting prior to a group of their wine club members who were coming in at 11.30am.

The tour of the store room under the cellar door was enlightening as it has no doors, and the only entry is by the stairs or a large dumb waiter that has two pallet spaces of floor area. Needless to say being wholly underground the temperature was ideal. A dozen bottles were purchased for the boot.

On the way back into town, we took a quick detour to the Brass Monkey Brewery to pick up half a dozen of their 500ml stubbies.

Back at the Top of the Town Motel, which just happens to be right next door the Stanthorpe Show Grounds where the ASWS is held, we collected our tickets from June.

The doors opened somewhere between 1.00 and 1.30pm. This gave us sufficient time to peruse the 2017 results and formulate a plan for the afternoon.

At 2.00pm the bar was open and you approached the bar and asked for a glass of your choosing. I asked for Class 3 Exhibit 9 which just happened to be the Champion Chardonnay Wine of Show and Champion White Wine of Show. If you weren’t in the right place in the first 10 minutes you missed out

Photo1 One of our tables at the tasting

Photo 2 – Our other table

Wine tasting, interrupted by food, the auction for “wine judge for a day” continued until 6.00pm when the bar closed. Many, many wines were tasted and notes taken.

After a short walk next door to our lodging we congregated in the lounge, dining room and kitchen, of which we had exclusive use. Dinner was catered by the Food Project and proved to be a disappointment after their excellent catering the previous year.

Then to lunch at Whiskey Gulley Wines and what a lunch it was. Arriving at 12.30pm we were taken through a tasting on the veranda by John of many talents. There is more on that later.

Photo 4 John waits on the veranda ready to welcome us to his cellar door

John excused himself to the kitchen to cook and invited us to find our way inside to our table.

The menu is included here and needless to say the food and the wines (in particular the museum wines) were a good match and to saviour the 2012 beside the 2002 was fantastic.

After lunch the very talented John Gave performed a few songs from his repertoire and frequently changed guitars for the different sounds and effects that each guitar brought. I lost count of how many he played, but six would be the minimum.

I have attended the ASWS for the last 5 or 6 years but this was the best Sunday long lunch by a long shot.

Thank you June.

Bruce Hateley

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