Monday, 18 March 2013

Flashback... Perth's Famous Wine Cruise

All photos copyright Robert May.

First written 14th March 2011

Today was all about Wines, Cheese and scorching Sun!   

We had a tour booked on Captain Cook Cruises to take us to the beautiful Sandalford Estate in Swan Valley about 30 minutes outside Perth by car, or over 2 hours (!) by boat.  The boat set off quite early from the Barrack Street Jetty and we were only about an hour into the trip until the first four wines appeared.  Before we could get drinking, the crew decided it would be fun to get a few of the other passengers to model the wine for the rest of us… to some dodgy music!  During the tastings, we really liked the Sauvignon and the Cabernet Merlot from the Jane Brook Estate, but weren’t that keen on the other two.

Just lazing around on the river...

The trip was good and we landed at the Sandalford Estate to a lovely view of grape vines and other flowers (apparently planted near the vines as they act as an early warning system for diseases and similar).  At Sandalford, we tried another 7 wines (and really liked about 4 of them) and 2 ports.  We bought a bottle of the rather special Sandalera Port as a anniversary present to ourselves.  We’ll open it at our first Christmas together as a married couple and share it with the friends & family that we see.

The beautiful Sandalford Estate

After quite a few more tastings of the nicer wines, we headed back onto the boat (just about walking in a straight line) to go to the Waters Edge Winery for a 3 course lunch and even more wine tasting – this time for another 3-4 wines that we could pick from a big selection, including a sparkling.  The tasting was in the the oldest underground wine cellar in Western Australia and it was fantastically rustic, although also a bit musty smelling… in a reassuring way.  We had another walk back to the boat and were hit with a wall of intense heat as soon as we got outside, which made the the wine go to our heads even faster.  On the boat, we were greeted by the friendly crew and even more wine.  

Swan River at Sunset

Once back in Perth, we visited the Lucky Shag Bar on the riverside for some water (!) and contemplated what else to do on our last night.  After finishing off the drinks, we had a wander down the rest of the jetty and then made our way over to Northbridge again for some food in one of the local restaurants.

Perth city at Sunset

It was a really lovely last day in Perth and we both agreed that we would come back again – lots of exploring around the city and suburbs to still be done.  I'd definitely recommend the wine cruise and Captain Cook Cruises in general, they were excellent.  Onwards to Ayers Rock tomorrow… apparently, the weather isn’t so good… oh dear, I can see a large bill from the Spa coming my way!!

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