Church Wine Tour, July 2006

This past weekend, Olivia and I joined about 20 people from our small church and guests for our first ever "Trouble Free Wine Tour" - a wine, cheese and chocolate tour of Red Hill and surrounds. It was a fun day out enjoying the Peninsula's picturesque scenery, wide variety of small (and large) vineyards, and our friends' company.

First stop was Crittenden winery. Crittenden was very classy yet well-priced in the wine department, and also put on a nice spread of cheese and crackers plus home-made-style jams, spreads, sauces, and a really mild home-grown olive oil to sample. Best of all, for us amateurs, our group was there by ourselves for around 1/2 an hour and had the manager's full attention. I bought a nice white (Crittenden 2005 Sauvignon Blanc Semillon) and will definitely be going back for their Moscato, which was a lighter wine (7.5%) and really impressed our small group. Lunch was also delicious at the lovely Stillwater at Crittenden restauraunt (and Crittenden gets bonus points for a well-designed and informative website at

Our next destination was Mornington Peninsula Chocolates, where I took it easy and restricted myself to only two of their fine, rich, hand-made chocolates. Mmmm. It turned out to be quite busy and we didn't have time to interact with the host or his staff, which is unfortunate as last time Olivia and I visited, we were able to speak to the owner, who was an interesting and knowledgable guy (he also converted us from thinking that Cadbury's make the best chocolate in the world).

Next was Red Hill Estate winery. Our host Gary was charming and funny but I think some of his jokes were lost on us, and, for some, tasting a dry white after lunch and chocolates was too much. I bought a nice red, their 2001 Red Hill Estate Cabernet Merlot. I didn't try their Muscat liqueur, which received many favourable comments after Gary served it straight from the freezer (interesting) - this also shows what a collective sweet tooth our group had!

Last stop was Red Hill Cheese, a nice, comfortable place hidden among the gum trees. Jan Brandon, one of the owners, came out to tell us about their cheeses and they put on a fine sample plate (or two) of mainly soft cheeses (including goat's milk cheese). We didn't buy anything here, mainly because Olivia - the family's cheese expert - can't eat soft cheeses while she's pregnant...but there's always next time!

Lisa, our tour driver and organiser, did a great job. All in all it was a fantastic day. It was great to spend a day with friends, and sample some fine wine.

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[Listening to: Grace - Jeff Buckley - Grace [Bonus DVD] Disc 1 (05:22)]

2 Responses to "Church Wine Tour, July 2006"

Rodney Olsen said... Monday, July 03, 2006 11:14:00 PM

Is there another tour planned for the first week of October when we'll be in Melbourne? :)

Thomas said... Tuesday, July 04, 2006 1:16:00 PM

Hey Rodney - October's a long way away...I'm not sure we planned that far ahead :-)

Olivia and I would be *more than* happy to take you guys out for a day though (advance notice: we'll have a 6-week-old baby travelling along).



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