Jason's magnificent wine tour

Trip Start Jan 02, 2013
Trip End Mar 23, 2013

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Flag of Australia  , New South Wales,
Thursday, February 7, 2013

After my disappointment over the NZ wine tasting, I was really looking forward to the Aussie version. I wasn't quite so keen on the 6.30am start, I have to say. But (son) Steve, who sourced this fantastic trip, had "bigged up" Jason so much that we already felt like best mates by the time he arrived at our doorstep to pick us up. By the time we picked up the next two passengers in central Sydney, I reckon Jason had extracted our entire life histories from us. He proceeded to do the same with the other eight folk and also managed to fit in some of his own tales. He never stopped talking!!

It was near enough a three hour drive to the Hunter Valley and he took us in the scenic route to see it in all it's glory, before, through the course of the day stopping for tastings at three small independent vineyards. He ignored the big estates like McGuigan's completely.

Our first stop was at Tallevera Grove, where we sat on a shady verandah overlooking the vineyard tasting eight of their own wines, all grown on their estate. Absolutely stunning! We heard what to look for in selecting wines, what to avoid and what the differences are between the fine wines he was showing us and the mass produced wines that are available in the UK (from Australia). I've forgotten most of it already! Jason is an enthusiast. He currently has over 400 bottles of wine laid down under his house - for his own enjoyment and consumption. He undoubtedly knows his stuff.

The trip was becoming interesting because one of the punters, a nice guy named Dom, clearly also had an enormous knowledge of wines. And every time Jason posed a question about grape varieties, regions, flavours etc, Dom would be there with the answer. By the end of the day, I think Jason, who clearly knew loads, was well impressed by Dom's knowledge and they were almost making plans to tour Europe's wine regions together...

We moved on to the second tasting before lunch, the Iron Gate estate, run - for fun - by a retired Englishman who, it appeared, has no interest in conforming. He was experimenting and dabbling and messing with wines and offered up all sorts of interesting tastes - as well as some conventional ones. He and Jason obviously have a great relationship and as a result, Roger offered up 11 wines for us to taste. We finished up here with a quick tour of his wine making shed and a run through of how it's all done. At some time in the future, there may well be a photo appearing on Jason's website featuring the Jones clan, amongst others, posing in front of Roger's Spanish style gates....

After a nice lunch stop, we headed to vinyard number three, Ernest Hill. Our tasting here was run by an expat Englishwoman, Jackie, who we discovered went to the same school in Birmingham as Helen. She was great fun and we enjoyed her chat and the seven wines she offered up.

At the request of us punters, Jason then took us on a search for Kangaroos, just for a bit of a change. He found a mob of about twenty or so which really topped off a fine day. The kangaroo excursion was the thing that contributed to the one bad review that Jason has had on Trip Advisor but, to be honest, it made our day!

He dropped us off at home at about 7.30pm - a fantastic day. I will happily recommend Jasons Wine Tours. If you're ever in Sydney, do it!!

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Jane on

Nothing wrong with McGuigans but the trip sounded fab! Like the roos but the hats somewhat suspect!

cotysmore on

Hey, there's nothing wrong with the Team Hats from Paddy's Market....

Becks on

Sounds like number one son came up trumps with that one! And very pleased to see that the sun was shining for you! X

Jane on

So - hopefully Paddy will keep the hats...........and then you can have a new sombrero for Iberia?

Jane on

Just back from some rum punch tasting [again] - fab - we must do this it may even equal red wine tasting! We must try it - but preferably on palm fringed beach!

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