I’m no wine snob, wine expert, or even think I know a good wine….one thing I do know is how to have an awesome time and every year since it started The Shoalhaven Winter Wine Festival has continued to grow and I’ve always had a blast with friends, from that very first little tiny wine fest, now she’s MASSIVE!!
So how do you really enjoy the Shoalhaven Winter Wine Festival and which wineries do I visit? Good questions, let me help out!
How do I enjoy the day?
Firstly, think about the itinerary, which wineries am I going to, North or South, and I taking a day trip or will I be a wine snob and only go to the wineries where I can sip and sit?
Now, on that sit and sip point, don’t be a goose and try EVERY SINGLE WINE when you know you have a fave, just get in there, get ya wine and get out, this allows you to spend more time with friends on a picnic rug and enjoying the wine you’ve purchased, rather than chatting at the cellar door comparing ‘tasting notes’ if that’s you, COME BACK NEXT WEEK!!!!!!!
There will be over 15,000 people at maybe 5-6 different vineyards of course and that’s 3000 people all wanting you and ya tasting note mate to “piss right off”, be mindful that everyone behind the cellar door is working hard to make sure that YOU have a great experience and keep coming back to the Shoalhaven….when it’s NOT Wine Fest time.
Now….to the nitty gritty!
The Shoalhaven is actually a big place and going from Crooked River to Bawley Point can easily take 60 minutes, so to maximise every opportunity at getting to your wineries, make a plan.
The Middle – I’d start with Silo’s Estate (always a great time), then head to Mountain Ridge – Coolangatta – Two Figs and maybe finish at Cambewarra Estate.
The South – the southern Shoalhaven are blessed with having just two vineyards to choose from, Cupitt’s and Bawley Vale Estate, so you can really chill and spend plenty of time at both!
The Day Tripper – If you do like to swirl the wine in your glass rather than smash back 12 tastings from each winery and then wonder how you’ve woken up in a strangers house, try taking your time and enjoying what the Shoalhaven really has to offer over the weekend…amazing locations, beautiful scenery and some wonderful vineyards to relax and watch the day drift by. My tips to do this are – Crooked River Estate at Gerringong, Yarrawa Estate in Kangaroo Valley, then hit Silo’s, Cambewarra Estate and take the 50 minute drive to Cupitt’s to watch the sunset across the valley on the western side of the highway – it’s a magical sight and a great way to see what’s around. This will take the entire day, but you’ll have a ball doing it.
The HOP ON HOP OFF Bus – This year a few things have changed, yes, you simply buy a ticket from Stuart’s Coaches and you can then wait for the “hop on and off” at the wineries you so desire, now you will need to purchase a festival glass ($15 this year) at your first vineyard for free tastings, but once you’ve outlayed ya $45 for hop on hop off ‘she’s apples…well grapes’. The buses run every 20-30 minutes and you’ll have a ball.
NOTE: There’ll be NO FOOD OR ALCOHOL permitted into any vineyard this year and certainly no drinking or eating on the Stuart’s Coaches!
So have an awesome time at the 2017 Shoalhaven Winter Wine Festival, on the long weekend between June 10-12, oh and if you’re kinda tech savvy make sure you use the hashtag #winterwine2017
To all my mates coming on board my private party bus, Straney Fun Tours is now is operation for 2017’s Wine Fest!