When I’m in the mood for a good Chardonnay, I head to the cellar. I have a few stashed away in there (and by cellar, I mean the bottom of the laundry cupboard) that I’ve picked up along the way, including this Myattsfield Vineyards 2014 ‘The Flyer’ Chardonnay from WA’s Perth Hills.
Recently the Travelling Corkscrew was invited out on an Up Close and Local Tour in the Bickley Valley. Naomi and her partner Bryce headed along on the tour. Below you’ll find out how their day went, it made me thirsty just reading it! A big thanks to Shannon & Paul for the invite and for what sounds like a great day out 🙂
Alongside the below tour, Up Close & Local Tours are the only company in Perth who offer a half day Bickley Valley tour too!
Recently my parents from New Zealand visited me for 3 and a half days here in Perth. The reason I love wine so much is because of those crazy two! My very first after school job was as a Cellar Hand at a local winery, this came about due to my parents visiting that winery so often.
So when they decided to come to Perth it was only natural that I had to make sure I showed them as many of my favourite wine haunts in and around Perth in the short time they were here! It was a hard few days but we managed to get to; 16 wineries, 1 brewery, 1 chocolate factory, 1 distillery, 1 cider house, 1 coffee specialist and a handful of foodie spots.
It’s nice to see and hear the first impressions of people new to the area so I asked my parents to come up with 1 sentence to describe each place we visited. I left this completely up to them, their words not mine. Here is what they thought…
Pinelli Wines, Swan Valley
“I’m not sure about the Cab Sauv in the flagons but they’d be ideal for a BBQ or party”.
Wine Pick: 2011 Margaret River Cabernet Sauvignon & 2012 Durif
Providore/Coward & Black, Swan Valley
“Great tastings, not just of wine either the oils, sauces and jams were to die for”.
Wine Pick: 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon
Lancaster Wines, Swan Valley
“The magic show by the managers son was pretty special as was the cheese board. The sticky Shiraz was a definite highlight”.
Wine Pick: Sticky Shiraz
Sandalford Winery, Swan Valley
“Great deal by Callum on the wines. However a few team members cared more about cashing up than customer service”.
Wine Pick: 2011 Botrytis Semillon
Mash Brewing, Swan Valley
“Freo Doctor was worth drinking”.
The Tap – Chapel Farm, Swan Valley
“Food was good, service suffered a bit due to a busy night”.
Tyler’s Vineyard, Swan Valley
“Mrs Tyler was absolutely lovely, it was just delightful to be there. We felt very welcomed and they have lovely Grenache bubbles. Super friendly, nothing was a problem”.
Wine Pick: Grenache Sparkling Wine
Windy Creek Estate, Swan Valley
“Tastings with the cheese and crackers were good. Lovely port”.
Wine Pick: White Port
Olive farm Wines, Swan Valley
“Very efficient Kiwi girl at the cellar door, there were some exceptional wines particularly the Cab Sauv and the Petit Verdot made the cut to be taken home”.
Wine Pick: 2009 Petit Verdot
The Cheese Barrel, Swan Valley
“Good selection of cheese and wine and the coffee wasn’t bad for the skipper: it was good to have the matching wine and cheese board, the Australian board was exceptional”.
Wine & Cheese Pick: Olive Farm Wines Crystal with the Tarago Shadows of Blue
Paul Conti Wines
“Lovely underground cellar, best Sauvignon Blanc tasted in Australia – nice and crisp. Very great wines”.
Wine Pick: 2013 Sauvignon Blanc
Ugly Duckling Wines, Swan Valley
“Great customer service, very friendly… Picked up some lovely olive oils”.
Wine pick: 2009 Reserve Shiraz
Mandoon Estate, Swan Valley
“The history of the property is amazing, the Irish lady at the cellar door was good value”.
Wine Pick: 2010 Reserve Research Station Cabernet Sauvignon
Ambrook Wines, Swan Valley
“Very pleasant cellar door lady”.
Wine Pick: 2012 Rosso D’ Amore
The King & I Thai Restaurant, Guildford
“Big portions, lovely curries went well with the sweeter style wines”.
Core Cider House, Perth Hills
“Great tasting platter – the lemon sparkling cider was superb”.
Due Jolly, Perth Hills
“Pretty good 08 Chardonnay and quirky cellar door. Nice art”.
MyattsField Vineyard, Perth Hills
“Looovely bubbles, nice big cellar door”.
Wine Pick: 2012 Kenneth Green Vintage Fortified & 2011 Methode Champenoise
Hainault Vineyard, Perth Hills
“Interesting driveway. Good cellar door staff, they were very informative”.
Wine Pick: 2010 Semillon & 2012 Ruby Cabernet (Port style)
Yahava Koffee, Swan Valley
“Great to do a coffee tasting for a change from all the wine! It was very informative and interesting. The ice coffee was a nice surprise”.
Whistlers Chocolate Factory, Swan Valley
“Large range – lovely little tasting, the coconut rough was a favourite for all”.
Great Northern Distillery, Swan Valley
“Tasting platter was very disappointing, the coke didn’t taste like natural coke but rather a cheap soda-stream alternative”.
Spirit Pick: OP rum if I had to choose one.
Rose & Crown Hotel Pub, Guildford
“Beautiful meal! The lamb rack and sirloin steak were simply lovely. Great bar downstairs but pity we didn’t see a ghost”.
My parents had an absolutely fabulous time and they were already talking about their next visit. They would definitely want to head back to Olive Farm Wines and MyattsField to stock up their cellar and they would love to get down to the Margaret River and the southern regions next time!
It was like visiting my Grandma’s house. And by all accounts that is not a bad thing! The café is so cosy and homely that I could of easily spent a few more hours there. The café is housed in the old tractor shed that sits elevated above the vineyard with large glass windows so you can soak in the atmosphere of the vineyard. The table we sat at had lovely big straw chairs and the table setting was complete with a little vase of just-out-of-the-garden flowers. Just like Grandparents do when their grandchildren steal flowers out of the neighbours garden!
I was instantly relaxed upon entering the café and Mr. Spittoon was too – which says a lot since he is a t-shirt and jandals/thongs wearing type of guy 99% of the time! Our timing was impeccable, we didn’t book therefore it was first in first serve and we luckily got one of the last unreserved tables. So I suggest booking ahead! As we melted into comfort we scanned the specials board and then sat back and relaxed as we looked over the 2-page menu. It was fairly straight forward, some breakfast options, lunch options, children options and then onto the wines, coffees, cakes and a selection of Devonshire teas.
I love when menus are short and simple – however I still managed to not be able to make up my mind! In the end we decided to go for a Vineyard Platter with the additional meat selection and a coffee for Mr. Spittoon and surprise surprise an AU$8 glass of Fairbrossen Blanc de Blanc Sparkling Chardonnay for me (read my tasting note here), guess who I convinced to drive! Mr. Spittoon did make mention that his coffee was very good and was tempted to order another.
At the top of the menu there is a small disclaimer to say that there may be a short wait for all food orders since they prepare the meals fresh and cook to order. I was starving, but I also know that patience can be a virtue with it comes to food.
To be honest the wait wasn’t too long at all, I got through about half of my glass of bubbles when the platter came out. Can I just say WOW – this was most definitely the most amazing and mouth-wateringly tasty looking winery platter that I have ever set my eyes on. You can see the picture, so tell me that’s not true! Plus it was the perfect amount for 2 people for a lunch, if it was just a snack I may have been a bit overwhelmed!
So what was on the platter?
- An assortment of cheese (there were 3 very generous chunks of; a blue, a brie/camembert style, and the most delicious mustard seed cheese!)
- Homemade chutneys and relishes
- Olives (ours where marinated with rosemary, oh so good!)
- Dukkah, balsamic and olive oil
- Stuffed vine leaves
- Seasonal fruit (pears, oranges)
- And a basket full of fresh Turkish Bread… it literally tasted like it was straight from the oven, warm and melt in the mouth soft!
- Meat selection (included ham and salamis)
Overall it was AWESOME! I loved it all and it washed down with the sparkling just lovely. The platter was AU$45 and the added meat selection was AU$10 extra. Please note the platter will change depending on what is in season. Would I go back again? Hell yeah!! However I must admit even though our platter was so good I had food envy when I spotted the Beef and Mushroom Pie coming out of the kitchen, yes my eyes are too big for my stomach – I know!
But honestly, yes – I’m still on the pie topic, how does this sound “tender pieces of slow cooked Harvey beef in a rich Fairbrossen red wine sauce with mushroom, top encased with puff pastry served with a creamy mash potato”. Drooooooool.
After a lovely lunch we stopped in at the cellar door next to the café to have a wee taste and we picked up a bottle of the sparkling and Tempranillo (read my tasting note here) to take home. I was actually after a couple of bottles of their GSM which I recently tried however they were all sold out – I can understand why as it was fabulous. I didn’t even write a tasting note for it as I was so swept away in its deliciousness.
I loved my visit to Fairbrossen and I was definitely feeling a bit of this:
A phrase often expressed at the completion of very hearty meals is;
“…I’m fair brossen” meaning quite literally “I am full to bursting!”.