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Sunday, March 22, 2015

Balmy days in wine country

 Friends of ours saw an ad about a good deal for a two-night stay at Warrenmang, a winery with accommodation in the Pyrenees region of Victoria. Although we couldn't all go together due to everybody's commitments, DH and I thought we'd make use of the deal which was really good.
We'd been to Warrenmang several times, with friends, and with my sister, so the place is very familiar to us. It has very pleasant accommodation in log cabins or a large multi-room cabin for groups. Each cabin has a balcony and looks across the vineyard and adjoining national park. Warrenmang boasts an award-winning restaurant, and even though the famous hare dinner hasn't been on the menu for many years, the food is sublime. Most people, of course, come for the wine, but I rarely drink these days, and neither of us drinks red wine, so that's wasted on us. Still, I enjoyed a glass of bubbly on the terrace, watching the sun go down.
The harvest was on, and only a few vines remained with grapes still attached. Guests were encouraged to try the grapes, and they were delicious, small and sweet.
Kangaroos are regular guests here and come out to graze in the evening.
We spent the next day driving to Halls Gap, a small village in he mountains, and tootled around enjoying the scenery. There are some good lookouts that are quite accessible and provide lovely views over Halls Gap.

We saw lots of wildlife too, from eagles, currawongs, cockatoos, wrens, and kookaburras to an echidna, kangaroos, and lizard.
I really liked the trees on our trip, they were often large, old gums with pale cream and grey bark. Some of them were huge, with hollows for possums and owls.
On the way down the hills we saw these interesting rock formations. Would have liked to take more photos, but it was difficult to stop or park.
Later that day, we headed back via Avoca and enjoyed a leisurely dinner at the winery. DH had a yummy duck and veg, followed by icecream, and I ordered one of my favourites, house-made gnocchi with mushrooms and spinach, followed by a pretty raspberry muffin with chocolate an cream. Very indulgent!
Luigi, Warrenmang's owner, is trying to sell the winery. One can only hope somebody who loves the place will buy it and keep it going as a tourist venue and restaurant. We'll certainly keep going back.

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