You’ve always got to love the first winery of the day. After our first night at our Denmark accommodation we thought it would be a great start to the trip to head straight to the Valley Of The Giants Treetop Walk. I got just a little bit sidetrack though. After seeing ‘winery’ after ‘winery’ sign I soon gave in and let out a yelp for Mr. Spittoon to stop the car as we were heading along South Coast Highway. He hates when I give him a mere seconds notice, but these things happen right?.. Oops!
But the slight moment of gruminess was definitely worth it! What also caught my eye was the sign for ‘Champagne Scones’, I really wanted to indulge in these homemade sparkling wine delights with jam and cream but seeing as we had just ate brekkie I unfortunately knew I wouldn’t do them justice. Definitely next time!
I guess for most people, the first thing that would catch the eye would be the humongous giant marron outside the winery. So what does a large marron and Old Kent River Winery have in common?
Mark Noack, the owner of the property has a bit of penchant for the freshwater crustacean which is synonymous with the South-West, commonly known as marron. After starting off small by creating a small dam to home these delectable freshwater crays, popularity grew and soon enough he was building more dams to meet demand of marron sales at the cellar door.
I thought it was absolutely fascinating and wildly unique to see the pond of vibrant blue marron at the cellar door. The pond was darn right funky with a waterfall made from a wine bottle and wooden planks. I was so surprised by the colour and it was interesting to find out that this particular type of cobalt blue marron is unique to the area and is caused by a rare genetic trait in the marron. Funnily enough both the blue and normal marrons taste the same apparently.
Mark with his wife Debbie own and run the property which was once a bustling sheep farm. When Debbie fell pregnant in 1985 she planted a few vines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir to keep her occupied and it’s safe to say that wee hobby has blossomed into a very fruitful venture!
Cellar Door Tasting
We were lucky enough to be served by Debbie on the cellar door and taken through a tasting (which is free of charge by the way). The cellar door is an old traditional dance hall and really it’s quite perfect for a nice spacious tasting. I always love it when we are the only ones at the cellar door. I love being that annoying person who asks all the weird questions!
The cellar door is full of local goodies, so make sure you have a good look around. I bought some delicious Bee Nourished Calendula Balm which is made locally.
I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised by the wine list. I could have easily taken a bottle of everything. However my picks were the Diamondtina sparkling, Chardonnay and the Burls Reserve Pinot Noir which was so darn good I didn’t write a tasting note!
But here are my tasting notes for the other two:
This ‘Diamondtina’ is 70% Pinot Noir and 30% Chardonnay and spends 5 years on lees. For every bottle purchased, a tree is planted to help reduce carbon emissions. It’s white gold on the eye, with plentiful tiny fast streaming bubbles. Aromas of marmalade, toast, apricot, apples and citrus. On the palate it’s got a lovely fruit and acidity balance with a smooth mouthfeel and the bubbles don’t cut you like with some sparkling wines, they’re soft and gentle yet lively. Flavours of apples and citrus which dominate the finish. Lovely little find.
Barrel fermented and matured in French oak and weighs in at a whopping 14%abv. Lovely rich golden colour with elegant aromas of honeyed orchard fruits, baking spice, oak and citrus lemon. On the palate its a fist in an iron glove. Nice punch of flavour yet a silky creaminess in texture. It’s an amazing fresh Chardy which I think both unoaked, oaked and non-Chardy drinkers would enjoy. Simply everyone should get their smackers around a glass of this!
All up it was a fab stop-in to Old Kent River Winery and it’s safe to say next time I’ll be stopping by for a cobalt blue marron lunch followed by Sparkling Wine Scones with cream and jam! Read more about my time in the Great Southern Wine Region here.
Further Details on Old Kent River Wines:
Address: South Coast Highway, Rocky Gully WA 6397
Phone: (08) 9855 1589
Email: [email protected]
Opening hours: Dec to Apr – open Wed-Sun 10.00am to 5.00pm, May to Nov – Wed-Sun 11.00am to 4.00pm.
Food: Meals are based around their marron of course as well as lamb which is reared on the property. Salads are also available and are made from produce grown by Debbie in her garden. Plus of course there are delectable desserts and treats like the sparkling wine scones and a home-made Apple Pie, which was featured in the Food Magazine Delicious!