SHEDFEST 2018 NEW YARRA VALLEY WINERY TRIP website photos: Natasha Marchev and Elena Tretiakova review: Natasha Marchev
We were lucky enough to get the opportunity to review the ShedFest Festival organised by the Yarra Valley Smaller Wineries We were contacted by the Festival Publicity team and personally by Scott Bidmead at Tracado PR Agency who said that our tickets will be waiting for us at the first winery on our way to explore together with two complimentary Shedfest glasses
So the journey started. usually the Festival is stretched in 2 days so two days were allocated to explore 12 wineries in the Yarra Valley rich region. As we had only one day our task was enormous. We had to make it to all 12 in one day starting at 1000am in the morning and finishing at 0500pm. My assumption was that we would not have time even for a short break or lunch. It was a tough task but we made i!I will publish the glorious photo of the end of the trio . There is one bottle missing - the one Elena gifted to me as appreciation of the trip and I also guess for me not be able to drink at all - as I was driving ... and as you know if you drink you are what you think you are but don't just drive in such condition! Originally we planned to photograph Elena on the ground with her hands stretched to South and North between the full bottles of wine but we were so bloody tired we could not even move to make such an arrangement!
STOP 1 Kellybrook Winery was our first stop. It is located in a hilly area of the Yarra Valley. The landscapes are amazing down there. Rolling up and down hills, horses and grape orchids and yards. The place had a very special feel. The owners created an amazing garden full of blossoming shrubs and flowers on the way to the top of the garden where the historical 150 years old tree is located. Every flat platform in the garden has beautiful "corner with tables and hairs for the people to sit down and have drinks is a green and cozy atmosphere. My photos also capture the inside decoration of the house itself where the wines are sold. As it was our first stop we got the special two glasses from Shedfest 2018 t use on our next stop and for the whole trip down the valley. WEBSITE The wines were magnificent there. Elena could not resist to buy a bottle for her collection. The wine tasted: ROSE 2018 The Kellybrook Rosé is made by carefully harvesting and whole bunch pressing Cabernet Sauvignon. It is cool fermented and prepared for bottle immediately to retain maximum freshness. The 2018 is a dry style exhibiting candied strawberries and cream aroma with a nice acid balance. YARRA VALLEY CHARDONNAY 2016 Delicious stonefruit and citrus characters. The palate has a good balance of fruit and toasty oak flavours. It was 100% barrel-fermented in new, second and third fill French oak. The palate is persistent and long. A great food wine. WILLOWLAKE RESERVE PINOT NOIR The Reserve Pinot Noir starts with fresh, pretty, fruit aromas of cherry and raspberry, then opens up with some subtle spice and herbal notes thanks to barrel and whole-bunch influence. There is ample tannin but it sits beautifully in the roundness and generosity of the palate.
STOP 2 Billanook Estate WEBSITE The area was getting flatter. The estate is huge and the lands are not all covered with the grape vines yet. Our puppies were having fun watching the local dog meeting us friendly barks. The place is run by a very friendly family. The younger guys were very happy to pose for our cameras and smile. We had to rush though back to the car as we had a long way to go to the other places. Elena bought a souvenir bottle again - more for collection - great for fun! The wines tasted: SHIRAZ 2013 This Shiraz is deep garnet red in colour with aromas of blackberry, black pepper and spice. Flavours of blackberry, mulberry, maraschino cherries with black pepper, dark chocolate and vanilla characters on the finish. This well integrated wine exudes complexity in fruit flavour and will continue to develop with further cellaring. CABERNET MERLOT 2013 This 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (70%) and Merlot (30%) is dark brick red in colour with aromas of blackberries, black cherry, chocolate and coffee. Rich ripe fruit fill the mouth with lingering flavours of mocha coffee on the palate and soft fruit tannins on the finish. This wine is further enhanced by maturation in French oak barriques for over 14 months and will develop with further cellaring.
STOP 3 Yering Farm Winery We suddenly discovered ourselves surrounded by the growing crowd. The number of visitors who were waking up from the first day trip was growing very fast with the time approaching closer to 1100am. There was a jazz band that stared entertaining people .There was also green grass pastures with tables and chairs set up next to the grape fields where people were sitting enjoying good wine and life of course. The air was getting warmer. Again Elena bought some nice presents for her collection WEBSITE The wines tasted: CABERNET 2014 Yering Farm's Signature wine. Named for Alan's late father, 'The George' is a classic example of cool climate elegance. The nose exhibits aromas of blackcurrants, mulberries and tobacco. The palate is seamless in offering ripe blackcurrants & spice, with subtle fine grained tannins and a well rounded finish. New and old French oak barrel fermented over 18 months. I also convinced by the crowd decided to let it go and tried the dessert special wine LATE HARVEST SAUNIGNON BLANC Sweet but not sticky! This dessert wine is created by leaving bunches of Sauvignon Blanc on the vine for a longer period, to help naturally increase the sugar content of the fruit. Aromas of honey, citrus and summer stone fruits. On the palate, the sweetness of tinned peaches and pear is balanced with some gentle citrus acidity, with subtle honey sweetness lingering on the finish. 10% alc/vol.
STOP 4 Tokar Estate Winery WEBSITE Very familiar grounds and our puppies go mad - they recognise the place and want to run out in the fields with their fluffy new friend - not they are allowed to. The place is re-faced from the outside : the big sheds are built for tasting. There are raffles, food and lots of tastings taking place. Elena tried two wines but nothing was bought from this place. the wine seemed a bit young to y friend's tatste TEMPRANILLO 2017 Bright flashes of ruby purple. Aromas of blackcurrant, cola and cold tea. The palate is medium bodied, sweet fruited with blood orange and dark cherries before a charry note. I’m reminded of charry meat with herbs, which would make a great food match. Savoury notes of soy and mushrooms. I’m always amazed at Tempranillo’s spectrum of flavours! The ample mouth coating tea-like tannins frame the fruit nicely and will see the wine age for many years, but then it’s delicious drinking now. TUMBLR CABERNET Dense in colour with a bright purple tinge, showing its youthfulness. The nose is complex with roasted meat, olives, bay leaves and blackcurrant. The medium bodied palate is generous in flavour with cherries and a lick of vanilla sweetening the tobacco leaves and bouquet garni. The fresh acidity and silky tannins will provide the structure to hold this wine together for 10+ years, but it is so very drinkable right now.
STOP 5 Badger's Brook Estate Winery This is our best place so far. Music, happy people, very talkative and friendly owners who give us more information than we asked for. Very warm reception , greatest wines so far, cheese platters, just the whole atmosphere of the estate is amazing, lovely and very welcoming . We discover not only about the history of the region but about the estate's special wines, the growing secrets, the specialties of the harvest and so much more. The place is full of cute art works that I love , flowers in vases and flowers on verandas: wisteria sings serenades in spring at this place! Elena does not want to leave, I keep photographing and my camera is very close o be dead... Puppies are getting very hot in the car and extremely bored without us... But the wines are bought and we have the websites of the other interesting places that will go into our "collection" of photoshoots. Friends are made there easily and cheesily... Great people make happy wine! WEBSITE Wins tasted: PINO NOIR 2015 A full bodied Pinot Noir displaying rich black cherry flavours on the nose, with some underlying stewed plum characteristics. The palate is tight but continues with the rich black cherry flavours, hints of raspberry and plums combined with some nice oak integration. Matured in Seguin Moreau and Siruge Oak for 11 months, this is a Pinot that will benefit from some years in the Cellar. CABERNET SAUVIGNON The 2013 vintage was relatively warm and dry through the growing season. An extended Indian Summer saw exceptional Cabernet ripening conditions resulting in some great fruit. Harvest took place in April with all the fruit being handpicked at between 13-14 baume for acid and tannin structure.
Winemaking is very traditional with all varietal parcels kept separate in open fermenters with the addition of extra fruit over a period of 3 days to extend the ferment, helping to develop the classic regional and varietal flavours. Once fermentation is complete the juice is then placed in oak, a mix of French and American, for 16 months.
The 2013 Badgers Brook Cabernet Sauvignon has a small parcel of Merlot (12%) to soften the tannins and add complexity and depth. The finished wine shows many of the classic cool climate characteristics, Blackberries, Cassis with a hint of Capsicum. This vintage has a well developed palate of Blackberries, stewed Plum with well integrated oak showing cedar and cigar box flavours.
STOP 6 Soumah Winery This is our 5th stop and we feel that this will be close to the last before we will be asking ourselves o have a break. The puppies are tired and our tongues and legs are too. Nevertheless, the hills are opening a spectacular views again: uninterrupted and definitely unparalleled as they rolling like green rivers in front of our eyes. Beautiful views - nothing can be better! The cellar door is cozy and warm and feels Italian so so much : it smells on pizza made on wood, people start lunching. Elena tastes but I want to catch up too and I ask for something sweet for dessert : wine is given to me and I swallow my tongue so tasty and well crafted it is! Elena buys two bottle of sweet and normal. I makes me questioning myself: why would she buy the sweet? She never liked it. And I feel proud that perhaps I was the reason she changed her mind on sweet wines. Silly me! WEBSITE Tasted: BRACHETTO TRANQUILLO The sweetness of the wine comes from picking the fruit later with higher levels of natural sugar, then stopped fermentation before the wine is completely dry. We are left with a delightfully still dessert wine that tastes like roses and strawberries and is perfect to accompany berries, fruit pies and soft cheeses. BRACHETTO This lightly sparkling wine with it’s soft bubbles, low alcohol and gentle sweetness is the perfect start or finish to any meal AL FIORI The breezy aromas of flowers on a summer day are accompanied with the rich depth of creamy red fruits and spice, finishing dry with a lemon and lime freshness. Ai Fiori is perfect for relaxation, conversation, antipasti or all three combined..
STOP 7 Boat O'Craigo Missed stop. After driving 27 min in the other direction we suddenly discover that we miss on one winery on our way but it is too far o travel back and was too far to travel it reach it anyway - it is way up above Healsville and we feel like our puppies need a break more than us. We go for a short stroll to see the location sheep and the places surrounding the wineries... we get close to the point where three wineries are located on one road so very close to each other this distance seems a long way away from each other if we walk as we are slow like turtles after the morning rush and wines and way too close to each other if we travel by car... anyway... https://www.yarravalleysmallerwineries.com.au/wineries/boat-o-craigo WEBSITE OF THE MISSING WINERY
STOP 8 Whispering Hills Vineyard I hear quiet: "Natasha, I can not drink anymore! I had enough I need o slow down.. But I have to right?." Me: " Yes please if you can fit 5 more wineries please" Elena: "Ok, dear , just for the sake of art..." The place is located in a very strange area but it feels ok. There are people drinking and eating... Elena did not buy anything there from my memory WEBSITE What she tasted: RIESLING 2018 Light straw with a pale green hue, Whispering Hills Riesling displays very fine intense aromas of orange blossom and minerals. The palate is equally intense and particularly long, driven by fine green apple flavours and succulent, minerally mid palate richness. Well balanced in acidity, this wine should cellar for up to 10 years. CABARNET VAVIGNON 2016 Brilliant deep red with crimson hue. Whispering Hills Cabernet Sauvignon displays a lifted bouquet of violets, blackberry and spice. The palate comprises of beautifully integrated spicy oak, enveloped by rich loganberry blackberry fruits and damson plums, enhanced by fine, grainy tannins. The wine finishes long and even.
STOP 9 Payne's Winery This is when we realised we missed all the fun! It looked like half of Melbourne was there: we started seeing people on the grass having rest after lunch and wines from the car parking which was by the way controlled by the radio equipped teenagers. There are lots of ectivities were taken place outside and inside the sheds. Te tasting tables were hard to approach. It was overcrowded on the inside and forget about the outside: the place was like a beehive. Elena's collection kept growing to the maximum! The hills were soft and the wine gardens were surrounded by Russian silver birch trees... Great place, but the parking was a nightmare indeed... WEBSITE On taste: PINOT NOIR Bright, Delicate & Perfumed. Soft & Structural Light- to mid-weight flavours, the combination of sweet-sour cherry, undergrowth, spices and assorted herb flavours. Razor sharp varietal expression with a silky texture
STOP 10 SEVILLE ESTATE WINERY This winery is located just next door to the Payne'sand the crown did not get less there too... My phone battery though got flat on me plus some kind people saw our puppies left in the car for 5 minutes and started to complain. I trust these people would have kids and keep living their own lives rather than observe the happy dogs sleeping in the other people's cars... any way... the wines. WEBSITE What was on taste: SHIRAZ Bright brick red in colour with a pale purple hue. The aromas are complex showing darker fruits, plum and rhubarb. There is a lovely spice thread of cinnamon and nutmeg that softens and adds perfume to the wine. More earthy and savoury on the palate showing great structure from the natural skin tannin and acidity. The whole bunch character sets in the background adding savory depth while balancing the riper berry fruits. I could not take it anymore without my mobile and I started with cider tasting. I felt I was overdoing it when my glass seemed to have more than 10 ml of a drink... I love ciders! APPLE STRAWBERRY CHERRY CIDER APPLE CIDER very nice, light and balanced in taste and aroma but I like German's one much more MERLOT 2016 The Barber range enables Seville Estate to play around with different styles and varieties that can be sourced outside of our estate. The wines are made for early release and focus on freshness and drinkability. The range offers a great selection of wines and delivers on price point and quality.
STOP 11 Five Oaks Feels like we have been walking and drinking for not one but two lives. Feels though like the end of the journey too It is a very modest but very friendly winery with the very warm husband and wife, a couple running it and seems that they know exactly what the are doing . Five oaks means five oaks on the property of course and they look spectacular. I am out of battery of course literally and literally again! We take some good photos with the owners and go outside after some tastings - Ellena adores their wine and she buys more. Peope playing croquette outside next to the table placed under the oak trees and the wine garden. It looks so cute. I remember some rules of the game as I was attending a media coverage for the championship last year ad I really loved the game. The people are dancing. There are also gorgeous flower beds that my camera would love to take inside if i was charged... But ... We promise ourselves that we will have some food at the next stop but we never do and we keep running. Deer were totally surprised meeting Dasha and Tosha, even more than the puppies themselves. There are pancakes made on the spot but we want to sit in a peaceful place and sleep ... WEBSITE Tasting 3 different MERLOTS 2011 FIVE OAKS CABERNET SAUVIGNON MERLOT This 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 30% Merlot blend from the cooler 2011 vintage is our most exceptionally good medium-bodied Cabernet blend since 2002; a great middle ground between Pinot Noir and the traditional Yarra Valley Cabernet style. Ravishing black olive, cloves, wet forest floor (like a walk after the rain); an earthy purity and fine structural acidity that easily flow through to the finish. Red currants and darker berries guide the style from beginning to end. A beguiling drop! 2013 FIVE OAKS MERLOT Sydney wine writer Paul Ippolito described our 2013 Merlot in his "5 Minute Wine Rush" of 31 March 2015: "Classy drop from the boutique Yarra Valley outfit. Aromatic spicy and an overall attractive nose. Medium bodied with evocative black olives, cherries, blackberries, plums and prunes, the nose does have it all in a melded array of aromas. Like the smoothness on the palate with plenty of oomph on one hand and yet good overall integration on the other. Mildly oaked, smooth ripe tannins. Well rounded, long and lingering on the finish, this drinks well with chargrilled chorizo sausages."
STOP 12 Si Acres Winery Our last stop and we are about to drop dead... we want to fall on the green grass and make a picture of us finishing with a stack of bottle around our dead bodies but we do not have strength to do even this.... Dasha and Tosha are let outside to run free... We do not care anymore . The curious puppies run direct to the winery kitchen and backyard to check out for food and local kitties. They also check out all the guests and what is there on their plates. Tosha of course can not miss the bushes. The winery is small and very humble but the wines are beautiful and Elena buys two mor bottle - the last drops she can not resist under the supervision of a tall blonde and handsome winery helper with curly air and blue eyes. He explains us about wines and he is very curious what we do apart fro drinking (Elena( and not drinking (myself) We give it out and invite hi as a model to our projects. The owner is happy I guess as the wines get sold at no time! We trust the blue eyes. The shopping is completed now and the dogs are collected from the shrubs and holes. WEBSITE What was tasted: SYRAH 2017 A juicy purple-red syrah, it has plump cherry and plum characters dusted with white pepper, which gives the wine a moreish, savoury edge.This is a delightful light wine made with fruit sourced from a biologically farmed vineyard in Wandin North in the Upper Yarra. the final note that takes place as we approach the car doors... Elena takes out all the bottles bought and we take photos.. .She suddenly picks up the bottle from the Somah Winery and gives it to me. "This is your present darling for today!" I am speechless ... not tired anymore, happy of course and grateful . My task is to find a good very late lunch place and I failed it=n that - my disappointment was ot obvious but I say to myself: "Again, I wanted it o be the best and it turns out o be the as usual..." I never trust my own intuition. Never. The trip is over, the area is so full of new and gorgeous places. The wineries have tastings taking place every weekend. Go there people. you will enjoy it! We did ... We also would more if we were not that tired after 14 hours drive :)
PIZZA 1B website CAFE OPENING NIGHT photography: Anna Starikova review: Natasha Marchev
We were lucky enough to be invited to the Pizza 1b cafe and pizzeria opening night on October 15 . The Pizzeria and cafe is located in Craigieburn right opposite the car park next to the shopping plaza. It is a small but very cute and cozy place. When we arrived at around 06:00pm, following the owners' invite the place was already full. What shall I say Who does not like hearty Italian food and beautiful music!? Everyone does. But wait as the details follow. We were served salt, pepper and lemon calamari which were delicious and I have to admit they were a must try. Then the dishes were changing like Russians change their astronauts in space: efficiently, with high quality ingredients and at a good pace. We tried every possible pizza on planet Earth, arancini, meat balls, drinks including white wine and very well brewed coffee, Italian doughnuts, biscuits & canoli. The pizzas had traditional thin bases and all were made in house in the woodfire oven. They were delicious to say the least. My favourite of all were the calamari and coffee which were made to the expert's taste. I say the calamari were the best quality - as we even noticed that two women were fighting for the left overs, that's how good they were. To add to the "cake" and the fun everyone had socialising and chatting, there was as I mentioned above the music that was basically the culmination of the event and its most beautiful feature.... and more than the music there was Lorenzo's amazing voice. Robert was masterfully accompanying on the key board with a warm smile that did not leave his face for the rest of the event. People were standing around them having snacks served by the nimble crew of waiters and waitresses. The time was passing by so quickly we had not even noticed that the happy crowd started dancing: the music changed and the twirls were changing one another: from tarantellas to something else that perhaps does not have a name and who cares about the names when there is so much joy around! The night finished closer to 10:00pm and it was time to go home. Anna, our photographer took lots of amazing photos, jumping from one group of people to another, family and friends, they all knew each other and the food, the music and the wine, the happy eyes of the children were some of the many reasons for these people to unite and celebrate. Michelle and I were sitting at the table outside and drinking coffee and wine. Michelle was posting some photos on insta and online, I heard her phone was beeping from "likes". We said good bye and biggest thank you to the owners of the newly opened place wishing them lots of good and merry customers, to Lorenzo and Michelle for the invitation and drove back home.