The Wahroonga Food & Wine Festival

2015 - A triumph!

Steph and his team from Steph's Gourmet Foods

The Wahroonga Food & Wine Festival was on last week and it was a great success.

This is the second year for this event organised by Margot Natolli and staged at Wahroonga Park and she is to be commended on bringing together such a worthwhile event.

Thirty wineries, ten gourmet food stands and 154 local musicians and school bands turned the festival in to a huge success on a beautiful warm and sunny afternoon in Wahroonga.

Not only were there some great wine and foods on show, there was a chance to meet and chat with the owners, manufacturers, sommeliers and wine makers. Here are some of our favourites and the pick of their produce…


Image courtesy Wahroonga Food & Wine Festival
Image courtesy Wahroonga Food & Wine Festival

Swift Methode Traditionelle

A great place to start the day was at the Swift champagne and oyster bar with cold glass of champagne (Methode Traditionelle) and half a dozen freshly shucked oysters.

There were queues of people four deep but nobody was bothered waiting as they watched their oysters being pulled freshly from their shells.

 

Swift are offering 20% off their wines until end of 2015: Quote SSNYE15 when ordering online.


 

Gibbs Premium

Simon & Alex Gibbs
Simon & Alex Gibbs

The Gibbs brother were showing premium beers brewed in the Hills District by two local lads, Simon and Alex Gibbs.

  • Pale Ale – Happy and simple
  • Hefeweizen – Strong, dark wheat beer
  • Kolsch – Citrusy and quite happy
  • Ginger Beer – Made using grated ginger

Tamburlaine

Mitchell Unger (The Smooth Sommelier)
Mitchell Unger (The Smooth Sommelier)

Tamburlaine Wines has a cellar door in The Hunter but much of the wine is grown near Orange with 93 hectares of organic vines grown at 800 metres.

  • 2014 Marsanne – A crisp, light Rhone Valley varietal. Perfect for summer picnics and the beach. ($20)
  • 2015 Petit Fleur Rose – Which James Halliday gave 92 points. ($20)
  • 2014 GSM – The GSM is Grenache predominantly which is unusually grown in Orange, giving the blend a spicy tone, best served with meat. ($20)

Mount Majura

Kate Hibberson – Cellar Door Manager of Mount Majura
Kate Hibberson – Cellar Door Manager of Mount Majura

Only 15 mins from Canberra, Mount Majura Wines has good red soils on top of limestone which they have used to become one of the leading producers of Spanish Tempranillo.

Kate Hibberson is the cellar door manager and a real enthusiast about her wines.

  • 2014 TSG – is a blend of 57% Tempranillo, 19% Shiraz, 10% Granache. This is a fragrant and snappy wine with dark berry fruits. ($34)
  • 2014 Tempranillo – ($45)

Gilbert by Simon Gilbert

Will Gilbert, 6th generation wine maker
Will Gilbert, 6th generation wine maker

As winemaker, Simon Gilbert has been producing great wines for many vineyards for many years. Gilbert by Simon Gilbert is their venture in to their own label.

We met Will Gilbert who is the 6th generation wine maker from the Gilbert family. A great chap to talk with and highly knowledgeable about his wines.

  • Riesling – This is an interesting wine as it has 28g residual sugar and a highly acidic base so it will last forever. ($36)
  • Cider – A new venture for Gilbert, this is light and fruity. A great drop for a late afternoon cool-down. ($16/4-pk)

Ross Hill

Aaron Winwood – National Sales Manager of Ross Hill Wines
Aaron Winwood – National Sales Manager of Ross Hill Wines

You know you’re on to a winner when the winery next door tells you taste the Ross Hill Cab Franc. They thought it was that good!

  • 2013 Cabernet Franc – A Bordeaux varietal which is obviously working well in Orange. Purplish hues with incredible, ripe fruit. Drink anytime. ($40)
  • 2014 Cabernet Franc, Merlot – A softer wine (versus the CF) which will work across a range of meats and meals. ($25)

First Ridge

Colin Millot of First Ridge
Colin Millot of First Ridge

First Ridge is a vineyard, 500-570m above sea level just south of Mudgee. Previously, parcels of their Sangiovese grapes were sent to The Hunter and made under the Allandale label. Today they are releasing some wines themselves.

  • 2013 Sangiovese – A bright, fresh wine with good fruit and hints of vanilla and spice. ($20)
  • 2013 2850 The Blend – This is a blend of 40% Shiraz, 40% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot and 10% Petit Verdot. Dark chocolate tones with cherries, spice and subtle background of vanilla. ($25)

Tamada

Georgian Wines

Probably one of the most unusual suppliers were Tamada, who were offering Georgian Wines. With claims of being the home of wine in 7,000 BC they had some fascinating product.

  • Saperavi – This is a traditional red wine. Good, well rounded and interesting to have with red meat. ($29)
  • Kindzarauli – Using the same grape varietal, Tamada has produced a sweet red wine which is certainly worth a try. Great as an aperitif or perhaps a drop on its own in the evening.

Millamolong Cordial

Millamolong

Millamalong produce delicious bush-inspired cordials from fruit sourced around Orange.

  • Lemon Myrtle & Kakadu Plum – Lemon Myrtle is said to cheer and uplift the soul.
  • Ruby Grapefruit & Lemon Aspen – The tart citrus of lemon aspen goes well with the tangy grapefruit flavours.
  • Apple, Ginger & Rosella – Very refreshing on a hot and perfect if served warm on cold mornings!
  • Lemon, Rainforest Lime & Lavender – Delicate floral lavender notes combine with zingy rainforest lime and lemon to make this a winner.

Eat Me Chutneys

Mother and son team of Jaya & Ankit
Mother and son team of Jaya & Ankit

Eat Me Chutneys are produced are produced by Jaya and Ankit. There is quite a bit of competition between the pair as each one pours their heart and soul in to each recipe. Jaya is a self-confessed chutney queen and Ankit is a Michelin-trained chef.

  • Eggplant & Curry Leaf – This is the winner for me. A very fresh chutney with a good flavour of curry leaves.
  • Apple & Cardamom – The cardamom sets off the apple flavours well.
  • Tomato & Kaffir Lime – A more traditional flavour of chutney with a twist of India in the mix.
  • Christmas Chutney – Christmas in a bottle. A heady mixture of cinnamon and spices.

Steph’s Gourmet Foods

Stephane Pois with his assistants for the day
Stephane Pois with his assistants for the day

Newcastle based Steph’s Gourmet Foods were selling wonderful barbecued Chorizo on sticks. You can catch them at many local fares, markets and shows.


Apple Cider

After a great afternoon, all we could do was to find a nice shady spot and dream of food and wine.

About Mike Coles 353 Articles
As publisher and chief content contributor to The Kuringai Examiner, I have an interest in all things on the North Shore, particularly news, sport and food. I'm always on the outlook for something unique and original to bring to my readers.