Monday, October 20, 2008

Spring in the Valley

Spring in the Valley is the Swan Valley's equivalent of the Martinborough Wine and Food Festival. The Swan Valley is about 40 minutes away from Perth and my new work arranged a bus to this years event. Since Jason and I don't have a car in Perth we decided that it would be a good idea to go on the trip, that way we could see a bit of Perth that we may have otherwise has to wait to see.

Our day started at a leisurely 9.45 am pickup at my work last Sunday. From here we headed out to Lancaster Wines. Here we sampled the first of the local wines, I tried the Chenin Blanc and Jason the Old Vine Shiraz. The Swan Valley is not well known for its whites and I really didn't think a lot of mine. Jason liked his wine though. Here is the entrance to the winery... a very nice setting:
From Lancaster wines we walked across the road to the Margaret River Chocolate Company. The chocolate company has factories in both the Margaret River and the Swan Valley providing an insight into the world of chocolate. There is free chocolate tastings (YUM), interactive displays and viewing windows to watch the chocolate products being made. The shop sold lots of made on site chocolate bars, chocolate coated delights, hand made truffles, novelty chocolates, icecreams, chocolate milk and a variety of cakes and desserts!!! The free samples were fantastic!  I just had some of their hokey pokey and I still think of it as it was that good.
From the Chocolate place we headed to Duckstein Brewery... a little piece of Germany in the Swan Valley where German-style craft beers are brewed on location... the order of the day was to have a Duckstein Brew in the full litre steins! I didn't partake, but Jason did. We got to keep the stein as a keepsake as well:
Jason enjoying his pre-midday litre of beer!

For those of you that know how big Jason's hands are you will see from the following photo just how big his beer was... but he did well to finish it! I just enjoyed the sun and watched everyone trying to down these mammoth beers!

After Duckstein we headed to a nice quiet winery. Where Jason and I sampled fresh massive WA strawberries! They were really nice. About as big as apricots. I really enjoyed this winery as Jason and I relaxed on the side of a hill, overlooking the vineyard and just enjoyed the atmosphere.

After this stop our plan was to head to the Feral Brewing Company. I wasn't really looking forward to this stop... and to my relief it was closed as it was full. So our last and unplanned stop for the day was Ambrose Winery. Jason tasted 4 wines and I people watched...

Near the end of the day a fight broke out outside this last winery. It started between two girls from opposing groups (army chick versus toga girl) and then not long after lots of people joined in. Thankfully all of our group stayed clear. The cops arrived and one person was tasered! We had to wait until the cops cleared the road for us to leave... and so our day ended with a good hearted bus trip home. All in all an enjoyable day in the sun for me and a nice day of sampling local wine and beer for Jason.

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