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[av_heading heading=’Pipers of Penola Wine Dinner
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Friday 25 October saw me driving to Penola in the Coonawarra as Helen and Joey Estate had been invited to present our wines at the Penley Estate Wine dinner, alongside the wines of Penley Estate and Alpha Box and Dice.  

The drive to Coonawarra was pretty miserable as it was a wet old day and the grey skies blended with the grey road to make it all a bit… well, grey, really!  On arrival, I was struck by how flat the Coonawarra was compared to the hills and dales of the Yarra Valley. I thought ‘you’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy’ and then thought, looking out at the endless terrain, ‘well, maybe I am’!  It is an amazing landscape with the green of the vines, set on the red earth and all that sky.

Friday night I joined my old University mate, Sue Bell, at her amazing ‘Table of Twelve’ in the Glen Roy 1868 stone shearing shed at Bellwether Wines.  The dinner is an invention of Sue’s and includes her glamping/camping guests staying at the Glen Roy property – a mix of strangers and friends. We were treated to an amazing meal with many of the ingredients coming straight from Sue’s garden and paddocks.  The food was matched with Bellwether wines and Sue gave us a run down on all the wines. The evening ended with a massive thunderstorm which was incredibly dramatic – I did feel for the glampers in their tents!

At the dinner on Saturday night, I joined Kate Goodman (winemaker at Penley Estate) and Sam Berketa (winemaker at Alpha Box and Dice) to show our wines matched with the wonderful food of Pipers of Penola.  Kate is a founding member of the Yarra Valley Women of Wine and was voted Winemaker of the Year at the 2018 Australian Women in Wine Awards so I was in good company for the dinner. The evening began with our Inara Blanc de Blanc served as a welcome drink. 

The pairings of our wines were as follows:

The wines all looked amazing and we were lucky enough to also try the trophy winning 2019 Penley Estate Francis Cabernet Franc – congratulations to the team at Penley on producing such an outstanding wine. 

The drive home on Sunday was fuelled by a triple shot flat white and seemed surprisingly short.  Thank you to everyone in the Coonawarra for showing your love for our wines. We now owe you a dinner in the hilly Yarra Valley.
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