Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Allandale Winery - Lovedale Long Lunch - part 2

Sunday 15th May was our first attendance at the Lovedale Long Lunch.

Allandale Winery was the first winery we visited for no other reason than it’s the first winery you come across when you pull off Wine Country Drive into Lovedale.
Allandale Winery was established in 1978, covering 17 acres, they grow Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Semillon on site, and source their other varietals from other Hunter Valley growers.
View from Allandale Winery
Set high up on the side of the hill looking out over the grapevines the view from Allandale’s back towards Pokolbin goes on for miles.
Looking out over Lovedale from Allandale
We arrived around 10:30 in the morning and after purchasing our tasting glass and meal tickets we headed for the tasting rooms. First cab off the rank was the Verdelho as it’s our favorite style of white wine. It’s a great wine on its own but it also matches perfect with seafood, Indian and Thai food and who doesn’t love at least one of these. Allandale have been awarded several Gold medals and trophies for the Verdelho over the years.

Over the years we’ve found 3 favorite Verdelho’s in the Hunter but now may have to add another to the list, it was very nice.
Allandale staff handing over some knowledge
We also tried the Epitome which is a blend of Chardonnay, Semillon, Verdelho and Sauvignon Blanc. All of which are grown in the Hunter. Having never tried this we were impressed with how well they do blend together, quite light and fruity.
Lovely country vibe at Allandale
Mel quickly moved onto trying the Semillon/Sauvignon Blanc desert wine. Being a bit of an expert on Hunter desert wines she gave it the thumbs up and I’m sure we will be visiting Allandale in the near future top up the desert wine collection. Perfect with cheese, which we'll surely try soon.

I went onto try several of the reds they had on offer but I’ll confess now I’m not the greatest judge of red wines after just one or two small sips. I prefer to buy a bottle and at least try a glass before I pass any sort of judgment on any red wines. This will be happening when we do venture back out to Allandale.

Being there at 10:30 it was too early to eat but gee it was tempting. The food was supplied by the Olive Tree Restaurant which is based at Wyndham Estate winery. The mains were a choice of Garlic Prawns and Calamari with Crispy Risotto Balls, Roast Tomato Sauce on a Rocket, Olives and Parmesan Salad or Duck Confit with a Cassoulet of Toulouse Sausage, White Beans and Pistou. Both matched with the perfect Allandale wine.
The food sounded and looked delicious, but a bit early at 10.30am for a Duck Cassoulet
The desserts were Chocolate Caramello Cheesecake with Vanilla Bean Crème’ Anglaise or a Binnorie Brie with Crusty Bread and a Fig and Apple Relish.

Now you know why it was tempting to eat despite it being so early.

Our group purchased several different bottles of wine, grabbed a table and settled down to take in the atmosphere on what was a spectacular winters day in the Hunter.

If you are in the Hunter and decide to give Lovedale a try instead of Pokolbin for a change, get to Allandale and give their wines a try. We’ll be heading back there for more Epitome.
Cam and Mel of Hunter Valley Grapevine were paying attendees at the 2011 Lovedale Long Lunch

Lovedale Road, Lovedale NSW
Tel: (02) 4990 4526

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