Tagged: Australia

PYO fruit and vegetable farms

I’ve been planning to visit some PYO fruit & vegetable farms for a while so we finally made the time to go for an exciting day in the Farm Gate Trail of the Hawkesbury region.

PYO (pick your own) fruits and veggies is a great idea to get in touch with nature, pluck your produce straight from the trees and spend some relaxing time talking to some passionate and laid-back farmers in the countryside of NSW.
It is also a fun an educational experience for children, who can see where their food comes from.

So off we went to Hawkesbury, approximately one and a half hours north-west of Sydney. We checked the harvest calendar and knew what was in season and which farms to go to.

I was particularly interested in finding feijoa – a fruit that is originally from the South of Brazil and It is usually very hard to find in Australia.

It was a typical Autumn day: very sunny but cold and the colour of the vegetation had a stunning mixture of green, orange, brown, yellow and red. There was this amazing smell of cinnamon and apple in the air. So it is definitely not too hard to find a good apple pie in the region!

I really enjoyed our PYO stop at Bilpin Springs Orchard:we were guided by a young bloke that gave us a basket and pointed us to the middle of the orchard, where a farmer met us and assisted everyone very patiently on picking the best fruits without damaging the trees.

We were the only two interested on feijoas so we had a guided feijoa tasting with the farmer while filling up our basket.

We were charged $3.50 per kilo of any fruits. Apples, persimmons and feijoa are all in season so we got a bit carried away by the experience and ended up bringing home more food than what we actually needed.

Among numerous rustic roadside sheds selling fresh produces, we had homemade apple pies from The Local Harvest, from where we also stocked up some free-rage eggs and potatoes.

We finished our day trip at Mount Tomah Botanic Garden in the Blue Mountains where we had a late lunch in the terrace, overlooking the cool climate gardens and the endless vista of the foggy and blueish Mountains.

20 people like this post.

McLaren Vale – South Australia

McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale is one of the most renowned wine regions of Australia and it is only 40 minutes south of Adelaide, capital of South Australia.

The valley that lies by the sea, has a climate very similar to the Mediterranean and are here are produced some of the best New World Shiraz.

McLaren Vale

Most wineries in McLaren Vale are boutiques and several of them use organic or biodynamic farming.

Penny's Hill - McLaren Vale - South Australia

As this region has been affected by global warming, a while ago some local producers have invested in more heat-resistant grapes such as Tempranillo and Granach. The result are some very interesting wines that leave nothing to be desired for the Tempranillo of Rioja.

McLaren Vale

This post tells a bit of our 3 days stay in McLaren Vale.

Based on the hospitality, experience and peculiarities of each of these producers, every place that earned a special place in my heart, this trip has made me admire even more products and lifestyle of these people.
At each stop a story and had no idea how much knowledge I would bring with me from this relatively short trip.

Wineries that I recommend for tasting (and purchase):

Oliver’s Taranga
Samuel’s Gorge
Wirra Wirra
Coriole
Primo Estate
Hugh Hamilton
Settlement
Penny’s Hill

Coriole - McLaren Vale - South Australia

McLaren Vale

Where to eat?

Have a breakfast at Blessed Cheese. The best coffee in town!

Go to Willunga Farmers Market and make sure you eat a rabbit or a duck pie.

Enjoy your visit to the Coriole and make a stop for lunch. They serve a cheese platter, with local olives, organic vegetables, smoked kangaroo meat and many other fresh local produce and the view to the Vale is also fantastic.

Eat a wood oven pizza and enjoy the visual at Settlement.

Dine in Oscars Bistro. Ask for a chunk lamb and a bottle of Shiraz.

Visit the chocolate shop Bracegirdles and indulge yourself!

McLaren Vale

what else to do?

Follow the wine route to take pictures of the vineyards, architecture, of olive trees and even the sheep. Now it is spring and the valley is full of beautiful gardens and flowering trees. Even the vines are getting greener …

Spring - McLaren Vale

Taste the region extra-extra-extra virgin olive oil.
Stop by the Fall from Grace to buy exclusive international wines from France, Italy, Argentina, Chile, Spain and much more.

Watch the sunset from Maslin Beach. The beach is just a few blocks from the main wineries of McLaren Vale.

Go back to the airport via Adelaide Adelaide Hills and stop by the oldest German village in Australia: Hahndorf.
Here you will find cafes, gift shops, ice cream, traditional German sausage shop and of course, a very old pub where we had a local beer, ate pretzels and some German sausages.

McLaren Vale is one of the most renowned wine regions of Australia and it is only 40 minutes south of Adelaide, capital of South Australia.

The valley that lies by the sea, has a climate very similar to the Mediterranean and are here are produced some of the best New World Shiraz.

2 people like this post.