Seated at long, beautifully crafted tables made from slices of polished Red Gum, we were welcomed by the friendly, enthusiastic Cellar Door team of Laura and Deb, who shared their extensive knowledge of wines and winemaking with us while we sampled generous samples of each varietal, all meeting with nods of approval. Even Keith, nurturing a bandaged hand, was still able to raise the odd glass or two.
Now for the History and Technical Stuff… A family owned and run affair in Rutherglen, Winemaker and owner, Andrew Sutherland Smith and his wife, Carol, started Warrabilla in 1991. The Cellar Door was opened at its current site west of Rutherglen five years later. The Winery prides itself on producing robust reds of distinction, particularly its flagship Durif. With an annual crush of approximately 150 tons of fruit each year, Warrabilla Wines’ low yielding vines (1.5 to 2 tons per acre) ensure maximum ripening and concentration of colour, flavour and tannin. Whilst the wines are designed for long term cellaring, they are also well balanced and (fortunately) easy to drink at an early age. Andrew’s skills as a Winemaker have been recognised many times in Wine Shows around Australia, with a string of trophies and medals to his credit.
Now for Lunch…The U3A group was now in a mellow mood and ready for lunch. The Rogers had chosen the Stonegrill Restaurant in Corowa’s Hotel Australia. Crossing the Border proved hassle-free and the venue in the Main Street easy to locate (unlike the Winery location for one missing carload!) The Hotel is historic and the main dining room, with its original stained-glass windows, warm and cosy, but due to group numbers, we had to be seated in a side room. Most of us were happy with our meal choices from the blackboard Seniors Special options.
Thanks to Keith and Heather, our hard-working convenors, U3A members enjoyed yet another Wine Appreciation outing.
Coming up in July – We are going to Sam Miranda Winery at Oxley next month, Wednesday, 28th July for tasting followed by lunch. Because we are only going to Oxley, we will leave a little later at 10.30.
Heather and Keith Rogers 5762 4086