Winter Wine Festival 2018

This was my first visit to the Sanctuary Cove Winter Wine Festival, held at Sanctuary Cove on the Gold Coast and it certainly did not disappoint! The location was just beautiful, each stop along the wine trail was decorated with fresh flowers and fairy lights and of course the sun was shining all day long.

We tried some amazing wines with a couple of stand outs that you can check out below. We also took part in a white wine masterclass where we had six winemakers/representatives discuss with us a particular wine from each of their vineyards.

Winemakers that presented at the masterclass were:

Stuart Pym from Flowstone – Margaret River, Western Australia, who presented a Sauvignon Blanc

I’m not traditionally a fan of Sauvignon Blanc, so I wasn’t expecting to think much of this wine, however this was a European style Sauvignon Blanc so instead of it having an overwhelming acidic passionfruit taste this wine was complex and smoothed by oak.

Marcus Wright from Lawson’s Dry HillsMarlborough NZ, who presented a Sauvignon Blanc

As I’ve mentioned above, I’m not traditionally a fan of Sauvignon Blanc and unfortunately this wine lived up to my low expectations. It was just what I expected from a Sauvignon Blanc – However, If you do enjoy wine with citrus, acidity and passionfruit you will really enjoy this drop!

Richard Done from Bimbadgen – Hunter Valley, NSW, who presented a Semillon

Light, crisp and will go beautifully with seafood. The Hunter Valley is the premier Semillon region in Australia so it’s no surprise that this was a really enjoyable wine. We also gave the Chardonnay from Bimbadgen a try with our Cheese platter and it too was fabulous!

Charles Smedley from Mandala – Yarra Valley, VIC, who presented a Chardonnay

If you are hesitant about chardonnays (due to the heavily oaked wood taste from the 80’s) then “let it go…!” This Chardy was smooth, delicious and well worth a try.

Tom McCarthy from Quealy – Mornington Peninsular VIC, who presented a Friulano

I was first introduced to Quealy when my partner, a friend and I visited their vineyard during the time we were living in Victoria. We had such a memorable experience, running into the cellar door out of the rain we were greeted by a lovely lady who had just baked fresh pistachio biscuits. Each wine that we tasted was truly amazing, we were shown the terracotta vats they use to age some of their wine and finished off our visit with a desert wine and a fresh pistachio biscuit.  

The Friulano we tried in our masterclass was very different, I’ve been told that this variety is rarely grown in Australia. Fermented with the skin on (rare for a white wine) this wine is plump, golden and very interesting.. My partners pick of the festival!

Elliott Ramage, a wine representative from Brisbane presented us from Alsace, France a Hugal Riesling

German Rieling is hands down my favourite of all white wine, so knowing we were going to taste a riesling from Alsace was very exciting for me (Alsace is a wine region in France situated very close to the boader of Germany). I must say, I was a touch underwhelmed with this Riesling, it wasn’t bad but my expectations are high in this region for Riesling.

IMG_0776First stop was a Champagne Palmer Brut Reserve NV (Reims, France)

fullsizeoutput_1582My favourite Rosé – Rameau d’Or Côtes de Provence 2017 – What I love about this wine is that it’s a very easy to drink, versatile wine – it’s quite soft with delicate spices and a crisp dry finish. If you’re stuck with deciding on a wine to take to a dinner party this would be perfect! It will go along beautifully with almost anything. Not to mention: How gorgeous is the beautiful delicate colour? 

fullsizeoutput_158bThe wonderful, authentic and well rounded Quealy Friulano.

IMG_0706Masterclass at the Sanctuary Cove Winter Wine Festival.

It is safe to say I will be attending the Winter Wine Festival next year! Wine preference is most certainly at the discretion of the person drinking it, however I hope you have the chance to give the above recommendations a try.  It’s amazing how much love, time and effort goes into producing wine and I have nothing but complete appreciation for all of the winemakers out there, Thank you!