Wine Harvest Feast – A Wild Food Adventure
15 May 2018
Ahhh, weekend envy. We’ve all been there. When your “S” days happen somewhere around sports grounds, work, meal prep and the adult version of the The Never Ending Story (aka the laundry). Then, come Monday, some good ol’ Facebook pal flippantly recreates their weekend of amazingness, complete with #nofilter and #lovemylife, tags. Vineyards and brunches. Beaches and parties. Yoga and markets. Blaaah. It stinks. We know. That’s what makes doing this to you all so very difficult!
Maybe you’re good at maintaining a non-emerald complexion?! Good for you. That skill is going to come in pretty handy right about now. You see, The Fold have had a rather spectacular weekend recently and, while we would never want to blatantly brag about our super cool jaunt, we did kinda promise to tell you about the best that the Southern Highlands has to offer… and so, we find ourselves in this slightly awkward, #bragalert position.
Oh, but wait! The difference between us and your hashtag obsessed insta mate, is that we will give you all the info you need to plot your very own weekend nirvana. Awww, see! You can’t stay mad at us! #winning. And so, we share with you all our latest jealousy-inducing excursion, The Wine Harvest Feast. A Wild Food Adventure.
Our day begins as we are collected by our Highlands Chauffeured Hire Car service. Hooray! It’s a fancy booze-bus! We are headed to Canyonleigh, to a boutique vineyard called Far Ago Hill, the location of our harvest celebrations and where our Harvest Feast host, Amanda, awaits our arrival with free-flowing Pinot Gris and platters of delectable hors d'oeuvres. We arrive. We drink. We mingle. We nibble. So far, so very, very good.
(If you need to take a little break right now to search Wild Food Adventures, it’s fine! Limo. Wine. Appetizers. Boutique vineyard. Ahhhmazing views…. that bit’s new. We totally get it! Just pop back to hear the rest of the story, mmkay?)
As our glasses become empty and the sun signals midday, Amanda leads us along a winding track, down towards the rows and rows of lush green vines we have been admiring from above. In front of us, suspended between vines, is a big, old timber door. Just chillin’ like a villain amongst the grapes. Right here is when we have our first of many, Alice in Wonderland moments. We step through the hovering door and – WOW. We are blown away by what we find. Perfectly positioned, smack bang between two rows of vines, is an elegantly set, twenty-metre long dining table under the shade of large, white sun umbrellas and sprinkled with centrepieces worthy of any fine-dining establishment.
We choose our seats and, for the next three hours, enjoy dish after dish, wine after wine of absolutely impeccable quality. The ‘long lunch’ setting allows us to pass shared platters up and down the table. Cheeses and cured meats. Scrumptious salads and the freshest seafood. Crusty breads and mouth-watering mains. Fruits and desserts. And wine. Much delicious wine. Live music playing. Sun shining. Lively conversation and raucous laughter surrounds us. It’s a Mad Hatters tea party. The real world we left behind this morning feels light years away and yet we couldn’t be closer to mother nature. Her rich, fertile soil at our feet and sun at our backs.
During the meal we hear from Katrina Hill, owner of Far Ago Hill. We sample shiraz grapes (they taste like regular red grapes!) and get a sense of life as a woman on the land. Restaurants such as Aria and Rockpool choose to offer Far Ago Hill wines on their menus. That alone speaks volumes. It is stupendously good. Check it out.
Somewhere between the smoked salmon and coconut panna cotta (honestly, the timeframe thing is a bit of a blur…) we are properly introduced to Amanda Fry, our Wine Harvest host and owner/operator of Wild Food Adventures.
Amanda shares with us her deep love of the Highlands and all it has to offer. Wild Food Adventures came about as a way to showcase our region through agri-tourism, a fast-growing but largely untapped market. Wild Food is all about seasons. It’s about the harvests and the planting. The equinox and the solstice. It is about reconnecting with nature, breaking bread and celebrating the stories behind our local people and businesses. Supporting our famers and producers. Each season in the Highlands offers us something new and different. Wild Food Adventures aims to provide a platform where we can come together to uncover all the wonders that our little patch of Oz has got to show for itself. And, as we well know, that’s a whole lot.
Unable to squeeze in another morsel of chocolate ganache, we admit defeat and call it a day. As we meander back along the track (it’s not quite a stumble, promise!), towards our air-conditioned chariot. Turning back one last time, we bid a fond farewell to our little world beyond the looking glass. Taking leave from newly made friends and making plans to reconnect at the change of seasons. Autumn has certainly set the bar high. We cannot wait for Winter to show us just what she’s made of. Thank you, Wild Food Adventures. You haven’t seen the last of us!
If this sounds right up your alley, Wild Food Adventures is hosting their next Wine Harvest Feast on 23 March, 2019. Click here for all the deets and to book tickets!