October Surprise – Day 3

Posted: October 6, 2020 in Uncategorized

Good nights sleep only disturbed by pesky wildlife from about 5 am on had us fully charged and raring to go after our casual breakfast. Here is me raring to go

As wineries don’t open until mid morning we opted to stop in at Stanthorpe for a coffee first. As suspected the place is not really cafe society folk so we ended up with an ordinary take away flat white we drank on a park bench as no sitting in cafe. Thought the benches were a bit uneven until realised there was a homeless person still sleeping on it.

We headed off in general direction of Ballandean as the most likely suspects tendered to be grouped around down there . The local term for gathering of wineries in a close area is “ heaven”. Ballandean Estate was very good and we did beat any crowds by getting there early . A tour group did arrive soon after but only 3 in it so not so much a tour group as a group of losers with nothing to do on a Tuesday


As we found last time the cellar door staff are very friendly and helpful in recommending other wineries in region if after a particular grape variety. After we bought a few bottles Tobin’s just up the road was recommended as a unique winery . Not on our list but why not. In Maryhole we would call it pretentious rather than unique. To be fair he does advertise as fine , premium wines and has a price list to match . It was a bit busy by now and slow service so we bailed after he got to the $80 Moscato 😏 They do have big women in the area who seem adverse to clothing – win,win.

As we had visited Stanthorpe some years ago we had a fair idea of the best wineries and next on list was Symphony Hill. After Ballandean our cellar door experience had dipped and continued here. As a tour group was expected we were set up out in the back where all the forklifts practice reverse parking apparently. The Finnish lass said it may be a bit slow with the tour group so we relied on our old trick of order two different wines at once and sample both. After all you were going to tip half out with driving . Then stumbled on the best idea anyway and just helped myself to the vat .

We ordered two to be sociable and then out into the real world to check on this massive tour group and fuck me it’s the same 3 losers we saw at Ballandean 🤦🏻‍♂️ Getting a pit peckish by now so stopped in at Jamworks for a very passable beef curry as you do and CLP bought some Sheila stuff for the pantry. Hope the jam works tonight because a bit bunged up if ya get my drift and we haven’t hit the cheese factory yet

Having stopped drinking alcohol for 20 mins it was time to reattach the wobbly boot and headed to Harrington Glen just up the road. Walked in and were told doesn’t do much tasting midweek as he has to drink all the leftovers. His logic escaped me as did our $5 tasting fee for him. With a Verdelho and a 2021 Cab Merlot on offer to taste we passed. When in doubt stick with the old faves . Next stop Rumbalara . The closest we may ever get to Africa 😰 Rumbalara is a very honest winery and makes wines to suit their customers and not win awards. Hence the bottles start at $15 each and never go above $25 . Certainly drinkable in our Qld climate and do like the no bullshit approach. All varieties are named after animals so we got a Lion, Buffalo and Zebra so now we can start our own zoo when we get home

I have a theory that there is a limit to how many wineries one can do justice to in a day and I think it may be 4 . By the end of our last visit I had drunk enough and taste discrimination was lacking a tad . I was prepared though in case CLP wanted to soldier on .

Luckily I mentioned soap, candles and cheese and we were away. The Cheese factory was on outskirts of town but as our social calendar was not bulging at present we pressed on. After 8 toothpicks worth of cheese we headed home. Quite afternoon now as will pick up a frozen” chef prepared” meal for tonight from brewery . We have the technology . It’s called a microwave.

Been a fun few days catching up with family and the two days here. Long day tomorrow with about 6 hrs driving before Maryhole appears on horizon.Will break it up with first 4 hr stint to Flashman Inc at Sunny Coast and then a break before heading home later in afternoon . Back to reality then and the approaching sweltering summer . No more trips planned yet but then the best ones usually are the spontaneous ones.

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