For eleven days during April, the Great Southern in Western Australia was celebrated, and I was a part of this fabulous celebration of wine and food.
One of the celebrations of wine and food was the Galafrey Long Table Lunch, held at the Galafrey winery in the town of Mount Barker, about 4 hours South of Perth and 40 minutes North of Albany.
A big thank you to the team at Taste Great Southern, who kindly gifted the Travelling Corkscrew a ticket to this event.
The event really started in the township of Albany, as a bus was organised for a number of people to make their way to the event, and as my base was in Albany for the week, this was perfect.
The bus had a fantastic vibe to it, as everyone was excited to reach their destination. And why not, when we were provided on arrival with a choice of the Galafrey 2018 Reserve Riesling or a glass of the Galafrey Lightly Sparkling Panache.
I am a huge fan of Galafreys Lightly Sparkling Panache, especially after hearing that this wine was made especially for Kims wedding!
And a hot tip, the Galafreys Lightly Sparkling Panache is currently on special!
Guests were encouraged to enjoy a glass of wine and watch Perth Chef, Stuart Laws work his magic on a couple of delicious canapés made from fresh local seasonal produce, including octopus and asparagus.
The lunch setting was a bold black table cloth, white plates and pops of pink from the floral centrepieces, name tags and menus. Such an elegant combination of colours for about 70 guests to enjoy.
This year, they had a surge of interest, so an extra table was brought in to accommodate the larger than usual group size.
To get the official sit down part of the day started, we were each poured a glass of Galafreys 2018 Sauvignon Blanc and the 2018 Muller Thurgau.
The Muller Thurgau was Kim’s entrant into the Young Gun of Wine for 2019, which helped her land within the top 50 around Australia, along with seven others from WA, and Matt Eastwell and Danni Paviour-Smith from Freehand Natural Wine in Denmark.
The Wine Folly has a great explanation of the Muller Thurgau grape variety if you haven’t heard of it before. It is a cross between a Riesling and Madeleine Royal. It is a unique white grape variety that produces a light, flavourful, fruity grape that’s low in acid.
Our entree to match the wines was a ceviche of Albany King Fish with spiced Coconut Tigre Milk.
The slices of King Fish were so delicate and just melted in my mouth. Just thinking about this dish has me salivating! I would have quite happily have ended my lunch here if I had been served up a whole plate full! But there were a few more courses to go.
The Main Course
Next up was the Chargrilled Mt Barker Chicken. Walking outside to watch Stuart cook, you couldn’t help but just enjoy the wafting smell of BBQ goodness.
The Chargrilled Mt Barker Chicken was plated on a share plate, to be shared among four guests, along with a Lemon and Tarragon Creme roasted Fennel and Cavolo Nero salad.
The 2018 Reserve Chardonnay and 2017 Dry Grown Pinot Noir was paired with the chicken.
Kim has a great series of videos where she talks through her wines, including their Dry Grown Reserve Chardonnay. And I must say, I am a big fan of Galafreys Chardonnay (and so is the Travelling Corkscrew). Back in March when we visited as a part of Mount Barker Graze, friends I made sure to stock up, but unfortunately, I drank my last bottle while writing this article!
We were then treated to a second main course of wine and food matching, where we tasted the 2014 Dry Grown Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2014 Dry Grown Shiraz.
Deep red in colour it exudes excitement from the glass. Violets, cassis, and hints of dark chocolate from the nose. It shows all the classic cool climate characteristic of vegetable draw, earthy and mulberry leaves. On the palate it has dry elegant tannins nicely integrated with fresh sweet berry fruit.”
Deep dense colour of dark plum. It opens with lifted spice and black pepper aromas cutting through deeper vanillin oak. This wine is very impressive. The medium weight palate is supple and soft with nice balance of fruit and oak. A gentle and persuasive wine that creeps and delivers by stealth and is a typical Shiraz that comes from this part of the world.”
The wine was matched beautifully with a 45-day dry aged Stirling Range Sirloin, charred Radicchio and Rocket Salad. The meat was cooked perfectly for me – medium rare.
And no meat was left behind! This cut of meat was rich in flavour from the BBQ and worked perfectly when tasted alongside the Cabernet and Shiraz.
Dessert wasn’t just pleasing on the palate, but also beautiful on the eye. I ‘almost’ didn’t want to eat it. Spoiler alert, I did eat it!
The Edengate Blueberry Tart with Over The Moon Yoghurt and a Salted Macadamia Praline was bite after bite delicious. You know when you eat something that just dances in your mouth – this was that meal fro me!
The dessert was matched with a glass of the Sweetie Pie Muscat, but as I was enjoying my dessert so much, I completely forgot to get a photo of the wine!
There were also guests near me who had opted for the gluten-free dessert option, which was a similar take on the tart that I was served.
It was great to see the event cater to guests who were unable to eat the gluten option.
And the final course for the day was a platter of Dellendale Cheeses with bread, fruits, and my favourite, figs, matched with a glass of the 2017 Cabernet Franc.
The Galafrey website describes the wine as a:
…medium bodied wine has lovely juicy fresh choc mint characteristics, mouth filling with a dry elegant finish. Lots of Natural tannins, no oak or tannin additions just a bit of extra time on skins. Minimal Fining and filtration.”
The Galafrey Cellar Door
When driving to Galafrey, you won’t miss the entrance, with three brightly coloured wine bottles standing beside the Galafrey sign.
This is a small change since the Travelling Corkscrew last visited the cellar door in 2017.
The cellar door is both open and inviting, boasting breathtaking views of the vines and the surrounding bushland and inside you will find a wall full of wine available for sale.
The Galafrey property is twelve hectares under vine consisting of Chardonnay, Riesling, Muller-Thurgau, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir and Merlot grapes.
You will generally find Kim behind the cellar door counter, like my friends and I did during the Mount Barker Graze earlier this year.
You may even meet Bruce, the Galafrey winery dog. He loves to meet guests as they enter the car park and he will escort you to the cellar door. Once you offer Bruce a pat, you will have a friend for life!
A Big Thank-You
A big thank you to the team at Galafrey Wines, including Nigel and Kim (pictured above), who put on the long table lunch.
Events like these and others supported by Taste Great Southern are a perfect way to get to know a region and their wine list a little more intimately.