The Perth Hills Wine Show returned to its traditional home, the Agricultural Hall at Kostera Oval, in Kalamunda, after a number of years being co-located with the Truffle Festival at Mundaring. When that event fell over last year the Wine Show went back to Kalamunda – in a tent at the ZigZag Centre on one of the wettest days I can recall – the water flowing through was exceptional and certainly put a dampener, so to speak, on the occasion. This year, however, the show was held once again at the hall and was much the better for it. The pity was that so few people attended the event held over the weekend of 11 and 12 October.
There were 11 exhibitors, and 58 wines, with wineries ranging from Stringy Bark at Chittering, Lake Charlotte at Wooroloo, through Hainault in Bickley, to Millbrook at Jarrahdale – and some outstanding wines on display. However, over the 2 hours or so on the Saturday when I attended, there were probably less than 30 people tasting at any one time. It is a puzzle to me why people in Perth are not more aware of the excellent wines and eating places in and around the Perth Hills. Everyone knows about Margaret River, no one seems to rate the Great Southern as highly – perhaps due to a little more distance to travel- although that cannot be the case when it appears fewer still seem to appreciate the quality of the Swan Valley, and Perth Hills is simply off the radar…. it is a shame.
Millbrook and Myattsfield, for example, produce wines the equal or better of most from Margaret River, and there are a number of great places to eat –Millbrook has one of the very best restaurants of any winery in WA, and other vineyards such as Stringy Bark, Fairbrossen, Hainault, Lake Charlotte and Malmalling turn out very good food. And with Core at Pickering Brook the Hills also offer an outstanding cidery.
The Show has secured a number of sponsors – Perth Airport Corporation was the major one – but a lack of promotion seems to have impacted on attendance – hopefully that will be corrected in coming years now that it has “come home”.
Anyway, lack of people has some advantages – there were few to get in the way, and also offered the chance to have a chat to the winemakers which is not always the case when the crowds descend.
Each of the wineries displayed some wines of great character and style.
Listed below are those I rated the better ones from each exhibitor, and over coming weeks hope to make more in depth reviews.
– 2012 Mèthode Champenoise
– 2013 Pemberton Chardonnay
– 2011 Mouvèdre
– 2013 Shiraz Mouvèdre Viognier
– 2012 Cabernet Petit Verdot Merlot
– 2013 Estate Viognier
– 2010 Estate Shiraz Viognier
– 2012 Perth Hills Petit Verdot
– 2009 Fogs Folly (a Bordeaux blend)
– 2009 Blanc de Blanc
– 2010 Cabernet Merlot Petit Verdot
– 2010 Zinfandel
– 2012 Rosé
– 2013 Shiraz
– 2013 Vermintino
– 2008 Shiraz
– 2013 Rosé
– 2013 Merlot
– 2014 Verdelho
– 2013 Cabernet Shiraz
– 2009 Sparkling Pinot Noir
– 2014 Chardonnay
– 2012 Gewürztraminer
– 2012 Chenin
– 2012 Verdelho
– 2012 Colleen’s Choice Chardonnay
– 2008 Cabernet Merlot
– 2008 Shiraz
– 2014 Rosé
– 2013 Tempranillo
Anyone who appreciates good wine and food should do themselves a favour and make the time to take a trip to the Hills region – a sortie up to Chittering could cover Stringy Bark, White Dog Farm and Western Range; a trip up Great Eastern Highway could encompass Lake Charlotte, Lion Mill, Malmalling, Chidlow’s Well and the excellent restaurant at Darlington Estate; while a drive through the Bickley and Carmel Valleys would allow stops at Myattsfield, Cosham, Aldersyde, Hainault, Fairbrossen, Carldenn and Brookside, or driving a little further towards Pickering Brook, Due Jolly and Core Cider. Jarrahdale is a little further afield but for great food and wine, and a wonderful scenic outlook Millbrook is hard to beat.
One thing to consider is the Bickley Valley Artisan Experience being held on Sunday 9th November – participants will be introduced to the Art of Blending at Myattsfield, the Art of Cider Making at Core and the Art of Food and Wine Matching at Fairbrossen, with buses to take people between the venues. Tickets are available online through Myattsfield’s website www.myattsfield.com.au
It sounds like a great way to spend a Perth Hills Spring Day.