Sunday, May 28, 2017

Wine and Dine locally in Harvesting the Feast time

When are secrets best told?

Is when you can’t stand it anymore or is it when you want to prove a point or SHOUT it from the mountains? According to Google its “something that is not properly understood; a mystery.”
Well there is a mystery that the Tf’s have known for a while….

Let us set the scene…..

It’s a like a recipe, what happens when you get a passionate chef from Fawcett, stir in award winning wines from Murrindindi, nestled in the Yea Valley and put the region’s best produce in to the same simmering hot pot? 

Add a dash of Australian Wine Month magic? and wham!

You get a Harvest Picnic – Murrindindi’s Local Fare and Artisan Treats at Sedona Estate.

The Tfs have been watching with interest the rise in popularity of local Caterer Lyn Hickey from Fawcett.

We have enjoyed many event at Sedona Estate as Sonja’s and Paul’s passion shines through like the Halliday awarded points on their recognised fine wine labels.

But we want to reveille the mystery behind another supporter of local produce…

Lyn’s strong philosophy of gate to plate and homemade has been brought on by growing up in New Zealand.  As her website states; “where my family and friends grow their own vegetables and fruits we also visited and holidayed on friend’s farms and the occasional trip to the lake to catch a trout or two.”

Lyn professes to have always loved cooking, her pleasure in the kitchen stems from the “joy of making people happy with amazing tasting food.”

Her career is a mixture of styles, creative cooking positions and over three states of Australia and New Zealand. Now with her mobile catering business firmly entrenched and residing on small life style farm where Lyn sources her ingredients as well as from local Murrindindi, Yarra Valley and Australian producers, Lyn is pleased to be involved working with like minded passionate producers such as Sedona Estate Wines.

Lyn enjoys and loves knowing where the food ingredients she sources comes from. “people have a right to know hence why my menus nominate with pride where the raw ingredients come from.”

For many years now Lyn has been quietly getting on with business, catering for 1-150 people at birthdays, weddings, school events, group meetings, wakes, balls and community events.
Her main source of creativity works out of Fawcett Hall where she hosts a few local events and the popular Wood fire pizza nights each month.

But back to the harvest…

The Tf’s were very excited to be part of the Harvest Picnic at Sedona Estate, we noticed how the estate has grown since our last visit; more trees in the driveway beautiful artworks by local Darren Gilbert adorn the gardens and more vines!

Paul and Sonja are very excited to dare to expand onto the hills. The biggest challenge will be to keep the native animals away from the young vines of Sangiovese and French Carmenere, the lost variety of Bordeaux’s Noble Six.

Once in the warmth of the shed of magic, we were seated at three long tables beautifully decorated by Allie from Flowers of Yarra Glen …..surrounded by walls of French oak barrels we were then in picnic mode…. perfect for this time of year…glass of wine and we were set.

First up…

Yabby bisque - Cooked in Sedona’s very popular Sauvignon Blanc, the Yabbies grown and caught by Eildon Trout Farm, served in pint sized serving cups left us warmed by the subtle taste.
We had memories of the cook and the chef on tv mentioning and showcasing local yabbies at a time when yabbies were simply boiled…to step out is to be bold and daring…. And this dish again reminded us to step up and enjoyed them immersed in buttered homegrown garlic, leek, home grown tomatoes and no brandy for this dish straight to the wonderful Sedona Estate Sauvignon Blanc.

Subtle and Divine and simply nothing better on a cool day in May...

Sedona’s Sonja stated ’’Aussie Wine Month is a fabulous excuse to embrace what’s on your door step. Lyn’s scrumptious Harvest Picnic menu is a celebration of local offerings and artisan treats.”

Next up was Buxton Trout & Salmon Farm Trout Lyn had gone all Paleo and presented a Trout gravlax with fresh herb salsa, the colours and trout was sensational with the salsa!
Indeed, there was a great diversity of flavours of the salty trout with the salsas picantes just a subtle reminder of its Mexican past.

The rain was gently falling out side but with wine by the glass or bottle, the picnic feast kept coming and we were in a working winery surrounded by oak barrels, for a moment we were transported to a faraway land steep in winemaking history.

And in one way we were part of Sedona Estate’s history….

Out on individual plates came a wonderfully smelling Herb crusted Yering Camembert style white moulded cheese from Yarra Valley Dairy and to our delight and excitement it was fried to golden crunchy perfection and didn’t last..
Many people commented how the cheese poured out of its crust and that oozy goodness.

What a treat!

Two Pickled didn’t disappointment either they had a presence with their Moroccan style olives, smoked pumpkin chutney & chilli jam lovely to spread over the selection of home style breads or if you were feeling cheeky as we did with the Yarra Valley fried Camembert style cheese. The soft creaminess of the cheese, the fried crunch and the chilli Jam were best friends very quickly on our table.

Before the main fare of lunch the rain eased off a bit, the sun shone and Sonja suggested a climb up the hill. On the hill amongst the grass was a stencilled logo of Aussie Wine Month 2017.
After much laughter, we assembled around the stencil, Paul handing out bottles of wine for us to hold above our heads and say cheers for the official photos of the day! Many of us took travellers in the form of a glass of wine with us…. and what a treat in the sun, amongst the vines celebrating what we already take for granted fine Aussies wines.

Main fare was served on our return, listening to the band BEETET with vocalist & song writer Belinda Parsons we enjoyed Sliced Smoked chicken breast by Thornton Butcher’s and Deli, flame grilled beef - Grass fed Murrindindi Angus/Charolais from the local butchers of Yea and Alexandra, with big bowls of hot oven roasted Dobson’s potatoes with extra virgin Bilyara Springs Olive Oil and home grown rosemary.

Oh my!

Our sides were Lyn’s veggie boost; Roasted pumpkin from Lyn’s veggie patch and baby spinach with caramelised onions and Persian Fetta from the Yarra Valley Dairy ..

Great big bowls of colour and texture and hidden crunch…

Just when we couldn’t enjoy any more,…. Great Divide Coffee was served with Cuvée Chocolates…

These are fashioned for wine; Deniz Karaca; Australia’s #1 Chocolatier didn’t disappoint with his expertly crafted and beautifully presented Grand Cru 75% cocoa which you match with medium to full body reds – Sedona’s of course and Amphora 65% cocoa which you could match with again Sedona’s medium body reds…

The great divide coffee was percolated and hot, great for ensuring we could face the cooler weather once outside.

What a way to finish off…

On speaking to others who attended from Geelong, Mansfield, the northern suburbs and the Yarra Valley all said the same, excellent venue, food, wine and music what more could you wish for?

More of these events we say…

Many people on leaving were taking away a case of memories…like we did, all part of the month long celebration of Aussie Wine…..


Harvesting the 0402125370 Sedona Estate182 Shannons Road, Murrindindi Victoria 3717M 0432 435 180E  W 

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