Wining & Dining at Handmade
If you haven’t visited the gourmet food hall at the Handmade Market, save the date for June 11 & 12. If you have experienced the sights, sounds and scents, we’re sure you’ll want to make a return visit, as the selection of fine food, wine and larder supplies grows with every event.
Our food stalls offer a great cross-section of what Canberra and Australia has to offer. Herbs & spices, jams & chutneys, oils & vinegars, chocolate & ice cream are all represented, as are three of the Canberra and NSW region’s wineries. We’re bringing the cellar door to you at Handmade, with all three wineries offering tastings and advice, selling their unique cold climate blends.
Quarry Hill is a boutique, family owned and run vineyard situated just outside Canberra and is part of the Canberra cool-climate region, with elevations ranging from 630m up to 655m. Established in 1999, it was named after a section of the property that provided rock for the construction of the Barton Highway. It has a diversity of geology including granite, quartz, limestone and shale and features terraces that have been cut into the steep slope of the hillside, providing excellent morning sun exposure and controlled afternoon sun. The vineyard’s four and a half hectares are largely devoted to Shiraz with small blocks of Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot, expanding in 2006 when Tempranillo and Savagnin were added.
They’ll be featuring a few special wines at the next Handmade Market, including their young-style Tempranillo that won wine of the month in Gourmet Traveller and their brand new Pinot Gris (that will have been bottled on the Wednesday before the market). However, they are particularly proud of their North Block Savagnin / Sauvignon Blanc blend. The main grape is Savagnin making up about 80% of the blend, with 20% Sauvignon Blanc. While Savagnin sounds like Sauvignon Blanc (and its full name is in fact Savagnin Blanc) it’s an entirely different grape with its own very distinctive flavour profile and palate. This is the 3rd vintage that Quarry Hill has made of this blend, and with each wine, they’ve increased the proportion of Savagnin as they’ve come to understand how it behaves in the vineyard and the winery. “We are kind of on our own when it comes to this wine, since as far as we know, nobody else in the world does this blend” says Russell Kerrison from Quarry Hill.
“The varietal characteristic that most people pick up from Savagnin is green-skinned apple. You get this on the nose and on the palate with some citrus and balanced acid. There is a strong presence of fruit on the palate that many people perceive as sweetness, despite this being a dry style of wine with minimal residual sugar. It has a lightly textural palate and a very crisp, clean finish. The wine is very enjoyable to have on its own, while its crisp, clean finish means it works well with a range of food – seafood, antipasti and spicy Asian dishes.” Chris Shanahan gave it Wine of the Week in the Canberra Times and James Halliday gave it 90 points, making it well worth a taste.
Mount Majura Vineyard is situated on the eastern slopes of Mount Majura, close to the centre of Canberra. Its unique site is characterised by red volcanic soils also containing limestone, producing wines of real character. Also known for a range of unique cold climate wines, the team from Mount Majura is particularly proud of the recently-released 2015 TSG – a Tempranillo, Shiraz and Graciano blend. They have been making this blend since 2008 and it is one of their best wines. “It blends some of the best varietals we grow and is a real expression of Mount Majura Vineyard,” says Cellar Door Manager, Kate Hibberson.
It is characterised by “dark blue and black fruits, savoury and gamey, with great spice in a juicy medium bodied style.” Kate would recommend that the classic match to this wine would be lamb. “A braised lamb pie with plenty of herbs and spices is a perfect match and delicious in this cooler weather.”
The TSG has recently been rated 96/100 by James Halliday and is certainly a favourite of Mount Majura’s customers.
Twisted River Wines will be at the Handmade Market for the first time in June. A boutique vineyard located on the Henry Parkes Way, halfway between Orange and Parkes, it is nestled on the edge of Goobang National Park, where coastal and western plant species overlap. Twisted River Wines focuses on producing low yielding, high quality grapes. The diverse geology of the area provides ideal soil. With a high elevation, Twisted River cool climate wines are medium bodied. The fruit flavours are more forward, which makes the wines crisp, bright and vibrant.
Their signature wine is the 2013 Shiraz Viognier. This medium bodied wine is their interpretation of the great wine from the northern Rhône Valley in France. With raspberries and spice on the nose, varietal pepper and well integrated oak on the palate, it has become their flagship red and won them several accolades including a silver medal at the 2014 NSW wine awards, gold medal and trophies at the 2014 Cool Climate Wine Show and a gold medal at the 2015 Royal Agricultural Society of Queensland’s wine show.