Wednesday, May 2, 2012

One Last Road Trip in Great Southern.

As vintage slowly came to an end, we not only had a day to go on a road trip but also had two guests – the Sydney distributor and a sommelier who sells FE wines at his Sydney bar – to show around. First stop: the Rocky Gully Pub. A trip to Frankland wouldn’t be complete without the experience of the one and only local pub. We picked up some appropriately classy Emu Bitters and were on our way. 

We drove to Mt Barker and then even further out of town until we reached a little sign on the side road pointing down a driveway that said “Maleeya’s Thai Food.” Thai food on the outskirts of the Porongurup National Park might seem a bit odd, and maybe it was, but it was a tasty little treat. 

The petite Thai chef Maleeya has quite an impressive and international culinary background, including Le Cordon Bleu, and an equally impressive garden outside the restaurant where she grows not only 260 varieties of bamboo, edible plants, and exotic flowers, but the herbs and vegetables she uses in the kitchen. Her Swedish husband Peter served us the dishes that we shared along with the BYO wines we had brought. Being in what seems like the middle of nowhere and to amplify it's apparent randomness, the small dining room looks more like a tourist information center with its bright cedarwood, postcards for sale, posters of the surrounding area, and pictures of their home-range Highland cattle.

 If you’re ever in the area, be sure to stop by for some home-made locally grown Thai food, but be sure to call ahead if you’re a vegetaraian and be definitely sure to BYO!

With a wine maker, a wine distributer, a sommelier, and a wine business student, it was natural that we would go to one of the local wineries. There are quite a few in the area, but most are quite small and we went to one of the better known ones, Castle Rock. Set on a hill, Castle Rock has extensive views with the mountains in the distance. 
It was quiet as the father and son wine makers were hidden amongst the tanks, busy at work and unexpectant of visitors, but were happy to give us a tasting.
After lunch, there was talk about taking a walk, or a hike, up one of the local mountains to check out the views. After the recent hike, or walk, up Bluff Knoll and after a full lunch that included a peanut allergic reaction and glasses of wine, and then more wine at Castle Rock, I was on the side of dissuading this excursion. 

Luckily, we ultimately decided it was a bit late in the day and we were ill-equipped for a trip that the locals informed us would take longer than we had anticipated. 
But, we still had a bottle of Pinot Noir to drink, so Hunter drove us to a spot I am pretty sure is not in any guide books of the area.*
climbing up.
*(if such a book existed HA). 
wine on the hill.
nice day. 

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