Tantalizing wines and seductive food…
I have been in Perth, Western Australia, coming up to 8 months now and I still feel the city’s best feature is its close proximity to the wine region of the Swan Valley. The Swan Valley is the second closest wine region to a capital city in the world – being a mere 20-30minute drive from the city.
I am slowly making my way around the wineries, one glass at a time! I have to admit last weekend I made my second visit to Sittella Wines based in the picturesque area of Herne Hill. The setting is perfect, rolling hills of vines, a rustic timber winery and restaurant complete with a romantic Sound of Music style gazebo at the bottom of the stunning property.
Sittella is one of the states newest privately owned wineries, having been established in 1998, and is named after a small Australian bird found in the Swan Valley, the Sittella. The owners, Simon and Maaike Bern’s inspiration for the winery came from their travels though one of the wine and food capitals of the world – France. With their son Yuri, studying winemaking, Sittella prides itself on being a family enterprise who want everyone to enjoy the finer side of life with their tantalizing wines and seductive food.
The tasting list at the cellar door is a biggy with 20 products, which you can try for free. The grapes are grown on the property as well as being sourced from the Margaret River. The cellar door is full of goodies from sparkling wine stoppers, to wine glass coolers and even little umbrellas you can attach to the bottle so your wine bottle stays shaded on a picnic! You are also able to order wine flights with nibbles and platters from the cellar door without having to fuss about with a booking for the restaurant.
As I mentioned earlier, this was my second visit to Sittella. Unfortunately I don’t like blogging about bad experiences very much, and it’s sad to say that my first visit wasn’t the best. My Spittoon (a.k.a my thirsty boyfriend) and I ate at the restaurant for our 8 year anniversary only to be shoved at a table down the back, and my fish of the day not only had bones and scales in but they had to bring it to me twice because the first time around it was just too dry to get down. I believe in full disclosure, so that’s how my first Sittella experience was – on the up side the service was impeccable and the bottle of sparkling Chenin Blanc was lovely.
The sparkling CB was the winery’s saving grace as once I heard they had released their new 2007 Pinot Noir Chardonnay sparkling I just had to get back in their doors. However this time I just stuck with the cellar door.
Sittella really did deserve the second chance in my books and I do believe my bad experience was a one-off. The cellar door staff on this particularly rainy Saturday afternoon were welcoming and friendly. We tried through a few of the sparklings and my other favourite variety of the moment – Chardonnay, before sitting on the porch for some lovely platters.
The wines that stole my taste buds were the 2007 sparkling Pinot Chardonnay, the NV sparkling Chenin Blanc and the 2012 Berns and Walsh Chardonnay (tasting notes to come on www.facebook.com/travelcork). I went for a glass of the sparkling Pinot Chardonnay and my Spittoon went for a glass of the Chardy with our platters which consisted of:
Crispy baked Turkish bread with garlic scented olive oil, dukkah and sauvory dip for $13.25.
Cheese plate with a selection of Australian cheeses, served with Sittella’s Chili Jam (absolutely to die for!!) and water crackers for $23.50
The platters were delish however I would have been keen for more cheese (only 3 different types of the platter!) and less dried fruits and nuts on the cheese board. All up the platters and our glasses were $52, which is not too bad for a wee afternoon snack, actually it ended up being our lunch on this particular day as it really did fill us up. So extremely good value!
All up we had a lovely afternoon at Siittella, I am really glad I had another sip from their glass, they definitely know how to make a good sparkling!
The cellar door and cafe are open Tuesday-Sunday & Public Holidays from 11am-4pm. For further information please check out their website here.