Culinary trail breaks new tourism ground in Margaret River

A new food and wine trail handbook has been created to provide visitors with an exclusive guide to the Margaret River Region’s small-batch producers of food and wine. The guide, which is being officially launched today at Fair Harvest

Inspirational Food and Wine Journeys

Inspirational Food and Wine Journeys

Margaret River, is the brainchild of the Augusta Margaret River Tourism Association (AMRTA) and has been produced collaboratively and with funding assistance from the Shire of Augusta Margaret River and the Margaret River Regional Producers Association. Titled ‘Inspirational Food and Wine Journeys’, the handbook contains profiles on 19 local producers, personal recipes and a map to allow visitors to follow the trail around the region.

AMRTA’s Simon Latchford said “Visitors want to do more than just take a photo these days. They want to touch, smell, taste, get their hands dirty; go behind the scenes to meet a winemaker, a chef, a gardener – it’s not just about the produce itself; it’s about the people behind the produce.

“This guide also celebrates the ‘little guys’ – the aim is to build awareness for the outstanding food, wine and produce being generated by these smaller-scale, somewhat understated farmgate producers, who don’t necessarily have the brand power of some of the bigger stakeholders in the industry,” said Mr Latchford.

Copies of the guide are free, and will be available at the Margaret River Farmers’ Markets, the Margaret River and Augusta Visitor Centres, and selected local outlets.

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Wirra Wirra 2013 12th Man Chardonnay: Tasting Note

Straddling the middle ground of Australian Chardonnays can be a difficult balance. The Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay is not as lean as some, nor as broad and flabby as others. Basically the Elle Macpherson of Australian Chardonnays – that is “well fit”. Showing elegance and grace, with curves in all the right places.

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay

Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay

The Chardonnay fruit for this comes from the cool climate of the Adelaide Hills Lenswood subregion. Lots of ripe stone fruit aromas, and some fresh citrus juice characters. A baked custard and biscuit aroma adding to the depth. Noticeable oak is balance with the intensity of the fruit.

On the palate, its manages that middle ground very well.  Neither big and over blown, nor light and lacking.  More stone fruit, white peach, and vibrant orange/lemon freshness. Some roasted nut complexity. Subtle vanilla oak adds to the finish.

Alarmingly drinkable now, but will probably reward patience with a few years in the cellar.

Serve with Blue Swimmer crab linguine.

Also see the Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz and Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

RRP $31.5
Alc 12.5%
Region: Adelaide Hills
Sample: Provided by producer

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Wirra Wirra 2012 Woodhenge Shiraz: Tasting Note

The Woodhenge is a not so small ‘post and rail’ fence outside of the Wirra Wirra winery. Think Stonehenge – but made of wood. Heavy and solid. Thankfully the Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz doesnt have anywhere near the wood as the Woodhenge fence.

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz

Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz

The Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz leans more toward the traditional McLaren Vale Shiraz style of being, riper and fuller bodied, with typical dark chocolate and black olive brine notes in the mix.

On the palate there’s mouth-filling dark fruit, ripe plums and dried fig.  Bitter chocolate and spice has me thinking of pan-forte. Tannins are as sturdy as the Woodhenge fence and support everything. Easily cellar for 5-10 years.

Also see the Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay and Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

RRP $35
Alc 14.5%
Region: McLaren Vale, SA
Sample: Provided by producer

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Wirra Wirra 2012 Catapult Shiraz: Tasting Note

Every good winery needs a catapult.  Or, more correctly a trebuchet.  How else could you get wine over to the McLaren Vale neighbours of Wirra Wirra? So thought Greg Trott, in the hope that the neighbouring wineries would reciprocate.

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz

Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz

But Wirra Wirra Catapult Shiraz is one you probably wouldn’t wish to through at your neighbours. While almost all Shiraz, it does have a splash (1%) of Viognier to add a bit of floral attractiveness to the mix of ripe red and dark fruit, roasted meats and green peppercorns.

On the palate its medium to full bodied, with nice acidity keeping it all together. More dark fruit, ripe plums and pleasant Asian spice. Good intensity of flavour, keeps you coming back for another glass. Tannins are grippy, and probably be balanced out with some red-meat protein. Try BBQ dukkah crusted kangaroo fillet as a food match.

Also see the Wirra Wirra 12th Man Chardonnay and Wirra Wirra Woodhenge Shiraz.

RRP $25
Alc 14.5%
Region: McLaren Vale
Sample: Provided by producer

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Schwartz 2012 Meta Mataro: Tasting Note

The new Meta range from Schwarz Wine Co includes a Shiraz, Mataro and Grenache.  Meta being defined an abstraction from a well known concept. 

Schwarz Meta Mataro

Schwarz Meta Mataro

Continuing on with this abstraction idea, the Schwartz Meta Mataro displays all you would expect from Mataro.

Lots of dark berries, a bit of earthy funk and some warm spices on the nose. On the palate nice and bright, fresh and juicy. Morelo cherries, dark plums and some stewed rhubarb.

This was actually enjoyed with char-grilled ratatouille, where the smokey charred vegetables balanced with the earthiness and spice. The acid in the dish balanced with the freshness of the wine. But any tomato based dish would work.

Also check out the Schwartz Meta Shiraz, and the Schwartz Meta Grenache.

RRP $35
Alc 13.9%
Bottles: 500
Sample: Provided by producer

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Matt Moran heading to Art Gallery of NSW

Leading Australian chef and restaurateur Matt Moran will be bringing his passion for quality food to the Art Gallery of NSW from 1 July 2014. Moran and his business partner Peter Sullivan from MorSul, together with Bruce Solomon of Solotel, have been appointed as the new restaurant, cafe and event food partners for the Gallery.

“More than one million people come to the Gallery each year and are looking for great food to complement their rich art experience – whether at our buzzing cafe, at our restaurant with some of the best views of Sydney, or at one of some 250 functions we hold annually,” said gallery director Michael Brand.

Moran and Sullivan will take over all venues within the Gallery from the start of July, and have plans for a destination dining concept in the existing restaurant space which will be announced later in the year.

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