Eight beautiful looking Saabs took off from the Berowra truck stop in search of the Lovedale Vineyards in the Hunter Valley. Down the Old Pacific Highway to Brooklyn then up the freeway for a quick stop at Freemans Waterhole to pick up John and Kerry who we noted were chatting up a lot of bikers…
From there we took a beautiful drive through Mount Vincent, the back of Kurri Kurri and Sawyers Galley. Our drive lead did not lose one Saab in the convoy, all the way to our on-time arrival at Wandin Valley Winery for lunch.
Twenty people and eighty clean tasting glasses all ready to go….Six tasting glasses of wine each and a taster plate satisfied most hungry stomach’s before more wine tasting (for the non-drivers of course) and our departure for a winery tour at Binet Family Wines.
Daniel Binet the winemaker took us over to the vineyard first explaining the growth stages of the vines and the impact of the weather, diseases and taxation! Once inside the science (and judgement) behind winemaking were carefully explained, with most of us surprised to hear that fish are a regular ingredient in most wines. After the tour most of us had opportunity for a little more tasting and more purchases of course, to fill those huge Saab boots! The photos however tell an interesting story of not all paying attention to the winemaker…
Before heading to our accommodation for the night we hopped over to the the Binnorie Dairy for a brief tasting and for some, a huge cheese platter, a cup of coffee and a few cheese purchases.
After a brief rest it was soon time for our Thai Banquet at the Maneeya in Maitland and uncorking of a few purchases from the day. Most of us made it across to Shenanigans pub after dinner to listen to a band and to enjoy a few nips and ales. We also saw the miraculous appearance of at least three very special Saab flasks filled with all sorts of refreshments.
Next morning there were stories of lemoncello and whiskey consumption the night before however most appeared in reasonable shape after a big breakfast.
We disbursed in a few different directions on Sunday before returning to Sydney – some to the pretty town of Morpeth, others to the Lost in the Fifties Car Museum at Hexham (the 1960 bat mobile was a highlight) and others to Maitland Gaol for a very sobering experience of life in thankfully de-commissioned cells of horror.
Big thanks to Bruce and Shani, Terry and Fay for organising another great weekend away!