July 5th ~ Manly Easy Day
We spent July 5th with our friends the Simpson running around Manly Beach, eating delish food, and basically taking it easy. The Simpsons had us over for a July 4th BBQ dinner of brisket, sausage, ribs, tomato salad, green beans and chocolate cake! What’s more Aussie American than that! It was a fantastic day with amazing sunshine, lovely sea breeze and better company. Just what we needed…
July 6th ~ Hunter Valley Wine Tour
Our good buddy Phill, was kind enough to drive us on this bright & early Sunday morning to catch our tour since there was not an early enough ferry! We were able to grab a delish coffee before getting on the bus. Another fantastic bus driver, Paul from AAT King tours. Really nice bus and well done tour. Would recommend them for sure.
Our first stop was to Drayton’s Winery. I was immediately annoyed by some 20something kids who were egged on by a lousy tour/tasting guide. The wine did not improve the situation – very sweet on the whites and lacking anything mentionable on the reds side – nor did the guides suggestion that we buy a 10 gallon drum of port. Moving on…
The next stop was Lindeman’s Winery. Certainly an improvement, but the wine was still average at best. This is a pretty popular wine here, but I would rather keep searching…
Between the 2nd and the 3rd winery, we had lunch and some more tastings at the Hunter Valley Resort. http://www.hunterresort.com.au/index.htm
We ended up purchasing several different wines from the region based on tastings from a guide from Baltimore, MD. He was very friendly and had us summed up quickly based on the first taste. Everything he suggested was likable and a few were really enjoyable. I also ended up getting some chocolate covered cranberries to match up with a wonderful Polin Polin Shiraz.
The last stop was to the McGuigan’s Winery. They have won many awards, but we found the wines just so-so. The sparkling was the best, but it really doesn’t really compare to our Schramsberg favorites.
We made it back to the bus, saw a few kangaroos on the side of the road – as you do and then made a mad dash (with a case of wine) to make the 6:50 slow ferry back to Manly. The kids and Simpsons were eating pulled pork, slaw and sweet potatoes and we grabbed a plate before calling it a night. Lincoln had a sleep-over with Stella & Declan and the rest of us called it a night!