Faber, one the best of the many Swan Valley wineries, held a celebration to mark harvest over the long weekend, with a seafood barbeque as its centre point – along with the wines of course. Tables and chairs were set up behind the tasting room under the gum trees that grace the area, looking over the vines – demountable gazebos provided further shade to the 70 or so guests who turned up.
Plates of juicy succulent freshly shucked oysters set the scene for the afternoon – with a plentiful supply of sparking Blanc de Blanc and the Scarp Chenin to get us all in the mood. John Griffiths, owner and winemaker, invited us into the winery where vintage is well underway – a taste of just crushed Chenin gave an insight into how good this year’s wine will be – full of glorious tropical fruit flavours – and then a sample of Semillon that had been fermenting for a few days, pulling out the sugar as it converted to alcohol, excited the palate – and later in the day we enjoyed the 2017 of this wine – excellent with the 2018 expected to be even better.
A couple more tastes – Swan Valley Shiraz from the tanks, crushed grapes floating on top and a fantail flitting across the vats gobbling up the myriad vinegar flies – the Shiraz to become, in time, either Reserve or Riche in the Faber range – and finally just crushed Muscat – an explosion of flavours, and anticipation of another great Swan Valley fortified down the track.
Then it was back to the tables and helping ourselves to platters of salmon steaks, calamari, crumbed whiting and giant prawns on skewers, salads, with copious amounts of Chenin, Chardonnay, Verdelho, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz to wash it all down – thankfully we had Ubered so had no need to worry about the drive home.
A fantastic day in the Valley – excellent wine, good company, and a seafood barbeque to boot – what more could you want? Well a dozen of John’s wine and a short wait for an Uber to get us home. Faber is a definite if you want to sample the best of the Valley – and he also produces wine from grapes sourced around the State – Great Southern, Ferguson Valley – and they have regular events at the winery – get on the email list.