Tag Archives: Young Gun of Wine

Afternoon Delight

12 Oct

When you’re a happily married mother of small children and busy running a successful business, it is cause for a fair bit of guilt to sneak away on not one, but two, work afternoons to engage in activities that seem a little bit naughty and very pleasurable.  I was able to alleviate any guilt I was feeling as I was with The Brewer, it involved food and both occasions could be justified as ‘business’!

The lake and terrace at Stillwater at Crittenden

The occasion was not one, but two lovely soirees at Crittenden Estate Winery.  The first at Stillwater at Crittenden restaurant.  We caught up with our friends from Mordialloc Cellar Door to talk “business”.  Stillwater is one of the loveliest spots on the Peninsula, overlooking a gorgeous lake, with old vines, beautiful gardens and consistently good food that features quality produce.  Add to that professional and friendly staff (all too rare on the Peninsula sometimes) and every visit here is a delight.

The Brewer chose well, the duck 3 ways – rillette, cigar & parfait, it was beautifully presented.  I chose a braised rabbit pasta with pecorino which was delicious.  With our entrees we had a bottle of the Zumma Chardonnay. Zumma is the single vineyard, estate range, a pinot and a chardonnay, both very refined wines.

Duck 3 ways at Stillwater

This Black Angus aged eye fillet, with the cross section of marrow on the side and creamy mash was highly photogenic and  just looking at it again makes me hungry. The Brewer did well again.

Steak with marrow bone

My turn for duck now, a gorgeous little pot of cassoulet, featured confit duck leg & all manner of tasty morsels including, I think, garlic sausage, speck, pork belly and white beans topped with brioche crumbs!

Duck cassoulet

The steak presented sliced on the board looked amazing, Rangers Valley wagyu sirloin.  With it’s little condiments, fresh salad and smashed potatoes, it too was a winner.  Note, evidence of work meeting in background!

Steak with smashed potatoes

With our mains, we chose the Los Hermanos Homenaje a Cataluna, a tempranillo, mataro & grenache blend. I am such a fan of the Los Hermanos wines, created by siblings Zoe & Rollo, not only are they lovely wines, they are such fun to drink! I always seem to have fun when I drink them.

Boys hard at it over work lunch

The second Afternoon Delight was the Crittenden Wines annual garden party at the vineyard for Mornington Peninsula customers.  Under the shade of the beautiful big oak trees, surrounded by some of the oldest vines on the Peninsula, an abundance of wines are laid out for our enjoyment.

Crittenden Wines Garden Party

Gathering around the old oak trees

The wines were accompanied by a gourmet bbq / shared platter style of relaxed food, perfect for the occassion.  Stringers of Sorrento did a fine job with the catering.

Lunch

Lunch Menu

Even the ladybirds were impressed.  We were all covered in them, a sign of a healthy vineyard I am sure.  Ladybirds are natures way of keeping lots of little mites off grapevines.  They also can’t be too abundant if there is excessive use of pesticides, so they are a very welcome sign of a healthy ecosystem and hopefully will bring us all good luck.

Lucky Ladybirds

They certainly seem to have bought Rollo good luck recently, having recently been awarded the highly prestigious Young Gun of Wine Australia, they sure like him. Must be the secret to his success. Loved by Ladybirds!

Rollo

Rollo Crittenden... The secret of my success.... A healthy vineyard

The vineyard had a crew of workers tending the vines during the lunch.  Notice the size of the vines, it’s a pretty rare thing on the Mornington Peninsula to see them this established.  There were also crops planted in the rows, presumably providing agricultural diversity and to put back nutrients into the soil.

The beautiful vineyard

The days proceedings were watched over by the Sage, Garry Crittenden.  Keeping an eye here on two young bucks having a bit of a banter, making sure things didn’t get too out of hand!  Garry & Margaret must be very proud to look around at the vineyard they started in 1982 (worth a look at some old pics here) and to see the continued success & evolution of the business with the involvement of the next generation.

Garry Crittenden sees all!

Afternoon delight. Sure was.

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