Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Thar' She Blows!

Well, what a weekend it was for us Melbournians! After a boring day in the office on Saturday I arrived home just before the deluge. Wind, hail and rain so fierce we had rain coming inside the flat. Personally I've never seen a storm like it, I watched it all from my bedroom window and the way the wind was whipping around was downright scary. H had water coming through the light fittings in the restaurant which is never a good thing - I hear electricity and water don't mix! Check out the photos of our driveway, before and during!

Once everything calmed down and the mudslide formally known as our backyard looked stable we decided to take advantage of the public holiday and get out of Melbourne.

H's parents have had a caravan on the foreshore at Dromana forever and it's a gorgeous spot to unwind and relax and just do nothing in's also a great place to kick of a killer wine and cheese day in the Red Hill area! So that's what we, together with one of my fine selection of brothers in law, spent Saturday doing.

We kicked things off at Main Ridge Estate for a quick tasting, the Half Acre Pinot deserves a special mention. We then ducked across the road for some cheeky cheese and crackers at the Red Hill Cheesery (see pic) yum yum yum yum yum. I am partial to goats cheese and they have a fantastic selection. The Cheviot is particularly special and we have already devoured the chunk we took home!

Next on the list was Paradigm, this was something special. The air was filled with the scent of lavender and the view over the vineyards was spectacular. We were greeted by winemaker George Mihaly and walked through four really special wines. The Riesling was exquisite as was the pinot, well worth a visit.

We dropped into the Merricks General Store and were instantly greeted by winemaker Kathleen Quealy who spent a good hour chatting and pouring us wine - too many to remember but some really interesting stuff. The General Store (which was heaving) is the cellar door for Elgee Park, Baillieu Vineyard and Quealy Wines. The store is a great space and it was delightful to spend an hour there talking to the passionate Kathleen.

Our last winery was Ocean 8, relatively new it is owned by the former owners of Kooyong Wines. Only open once a month, we arrived at the cellar door a little late and missed the Pinot Gris which we had heard a lot about. The Chardonnay was great and the pinot looks like it will be in a couple of years.

Our day finished at Red Hill Brewery as all good days should (you will notice that I have not mentioned any food apart from a little taste of cheese - this is because we got so caught up in the winey deliciousness we forgot to eat and ended up back in Dromana feasting on chicken and chips...and cheviot!

So a very successful Sunday in the hills, unfortunately it all came to a screeching halt when the three of us woke up in the middle of the night drenched due to the torrential rain and very leaky annex roof, it seems we couldn't escape the weather after all!

The Mornington Peninsula is really very close to Melbourne, especially with the new east link extension, it's a perfect day trip...just make sure you have a trustworthy designated driver! H drew the short straw this time and my BIL and I were chauffeured around having a whale of a time.

Check out the websites below for more info on the wineries:

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