Day 247 of 400: Rutherglen to Murrumbateman, NSW – Australia

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We walked around the garden of our B&B this morning…enjoying the fresh air and sunshine before getting in the car to head to our next destination.  Once in the car…instead of driving somewhere for breakfast…the car suddenly turned into the driveway of a winery called Morris Wines (www.morriswines.com).  Hmmmm…is it bad to have wine before breakfast?

The Morris Winery was very well-known for their sweet wines…ports and specifically Tokay’s and Muscat’s.  We had a lot of fun learning the difference in both process and taste.  Muscat and Tokay are both grape varietals which is where the name comes from, and are actually very similar in process…the taste however differs.  The muscat grape is a red grape and therefore has more of an auburn color…its flavor characteristics are of raisin or prunes, fruit-cake and is very sweet with a syrupy feel in the mouth.  The Tokay which is a white grape has more of a golden amber color and its flavor characteristics are of toffee, caramel and butterscotch…it is also very sweet and syrupy.  Both types of fortified wines may sit in big barrels for many years and with time the flavor grows more complex…not from the oak in the barrel but just from the grape varietal sitting for so long.  The women working the counter lined up bottles of 4 different vintages of both a Muscat and a Tokay ranging from 10 years to over 50 years old.  We also shared with her a port we had purchased from Tahbilk Winery (www.tahbilk.com.au) while we were tasting wine in Victoria.  We ended up buying a very nice Muscat which was about 25 years old.

After our sweet wine breakfast, we drove the few minutes to the village and walked a couple of blocks looking for a place to eat.  We found a little place which advertised homemade food.  Giff ordered a lamb pie and I ordered lasagna and we sat outside on the street people watching.  After lunch we made one more quick stop before leaving town, St Leonard’s Winery (www.prbwines.com.au).  It was closed yesterday but open today.  After tasting their few wines we decided we really didn’t like them…but their tasting room was nice and we walked through part of their wine storage looking at their big and old wine barrels.

We finally got on the road to our next B&B which was a good 3 hours away.  It was close to dinner time when we arrived at the Schonegg Guesthouse (www.schonegg.com.au).  We checked in and were shown our room labeled the Pinot Noir room…yes, we had driven to another wine region in Australia!  After we settled in, the host invited us into the lounge where she had little complimentary finger foods and a complimentary local glass of wine.  We sat and looked over various brochures, ate our snack and listened to the relaxing music.  We are only staying at this place for one night but could easily stay for a week.

It was starting to get late so we drove down the street to a local pub for a light dinner.  We had a pizza and salad with a couple of beers.  The food was exactly what would be expected from a pub.  Giff’s allergies started to flare up so we went back to our Pinot Noir room and Giff crawled into bed to get some sleep while I did some “work” on the computer.  Tomorrow, we will explore this wine region called, Murrumbateman.

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