Jun 16, 2011

A Winter Weekend in Orange

We were joined by James, Jo and baby Spencer over the weekend, who stopped off to visit on their way back from Yass. We had some stunning winter weather (cold in the morning but sunny during the day) and so made the most of exploring what Orange had to offer.

Whilst the boys explored the hostelries of Orange the night before, Jo and I went for a coffee and wander around town and then through Cook Park on the way home. 

Once baby Spencer was properly rested we loaded the car with all the baby gear (amazing how much is required!) and headed off to Racine restaurant. We had given the wait staff the heads up that we were bringing a baby and the whole team were so helpful and accommodating from the moment we arrived.

We were given a nice big table in the corner with plenty of space for the high chair and Spencer's toys. The menu was set up for diners to enjoy 2 courses for $60 or 3 courses for $70. The menu includes produce that is totally locally sourced and the wine list was well balanced with plenty of good local drops.

I chose to have the Venison with beetroot puree and it was a great choice as I had a huge plateful where as the boys with their richer pork belly and confit duck got smaller portions! All the mains looked amazing on the plate, chef Shaun Arantz certainly knows what he is doing. We shared sides of kipfler potatoes and green beans between us, washed down with a bottle of Word of Mouth Pinot Grigio.

Jo and I spoiled ourselves with a couple of delicious desserts, my 'textures of chocolate' including a chocolate basket filled with chocolate ice cream and chocolate ganache was lip-smacking. Through the entire lunch baby Spencer was super well behaved and didn't cry or play up once, we were all impressed.

We decided to round off the afternoon with a visit to the De Salis Wines cellar door, located at over 1000 metres above sea level on Mount Lofty Rd. The winery dogs Rex and Tanqueray welcomed us to the newly opened cellar door and lead us to their affable owner and wine maker Charlie Svenson. 

The views from the deck were amazing, even on a chilly afternoon, we crowded around the heater in the main room as Charlie took us through the delicious De Salis chardonnays and St Em blends. To separate the cellar door from 'the shed' there are some unique painted screens left over from a theatre production, and with the easy sofas and arm chairs create a nice relaxed feel.

Charlie treated us to a tour of the barrel room where we were lucky enough to try some of the newly barrelled wines and some of the rather limited but extremely delicious pinot noirs. Charlie was full of information and wine knowledge during our whole stay and welcomes everyone whether a wine buff or novice.

We left as it started to get dark, the baby got hungry and we couldn't fit any more bottles of wine into the boot because of all the baby gear. If you are undecided on which Orange winery to visit, then De Salis should get put to the top of your list.

No comments:

Post a Comment