The Retirees Home in Brisbane – Travels to the Wild West – Day 5

The sun gets up a bit later here. We are much further south than Brisbane on the east coast and it is hard to pull yourself out of bed. Kerry and I make it up to go for a bush walk before breakfast. Definitely need a jacket and long trousers but the walk is enjoyable. Breakfast is a mad affair with the four of us trying to get things prepared in a kitchen designed for one person. Nevertheless, no one starved and there were no murders. Excitement is high because today we focus on the vineyards particularly the House of Cards. Now we have been playing cards once per month for over twenty years. To find a vineyard named “the House of Cards” seemed prophetic and we could not miss visiting the cellar door.

Our first port of call is the House of Cards where our hostess Keri (Yes another Kerry) doesn’t disappoint. We get the last two packs of cards and we get behind the tasting bar for an intimate photo. Not sure if it was the mood or the wine but we bought a case of wine between us. Alongside the cellar door is Gabriel’s chocolate shop and after tasting wine a mouthful of chocolate is hard to pass up.

Next we went to Laurence Wines. A marked difference to House of Cards. This is an opulent winery, grand in its style and elaborate with statuary, rose gardens and manicured lawns. Evan referred to it as the place with the “chick on the stick” referring to the soaring statue that greets all visitors. This was un-ashamed commercial winery with every sort of nick knack and wine on sale. Of course we sampled the wines but Kerry was more interested in the T shirts and the empty bottles. We thought about lunch but with a hamburger costing $26 we decided to try the place across the road.

Across the road we found Sampson and Bowen Winery and a brewery. Mistakenly we thought there would be a lunch available at the brewery but we were out of season and the restaurant at the winery was clearly not what we were looking for or wanted to pay for. Now driven by hunger we went to Metricup Road and scanned the road sign for a café. Woody Nook Winery jumped out and soon we were turning into the Nookery Café. Just the opposite of Laurances, the Nookery is rustic and located in the woodland around the vineyard. A shared tasting plate followed by tastings at the cellar door made for a nice lunch. Kerry found a nice Chardonnay but we left it as we were uncertain about the other chardonnays available. No one had suggested that Woody Nook would have Margaret River’s best Chardonnay at half the price of the more notable. Whilst there I noticed some of the relics of yesteryear and a most unusual skirted Xantherea.

Next we visited Hayshed Hill Wines and Pierro Wines looking for that perfect chardonnay. Still Woody Nook seemed a better wine and a better price. Well that just about finished us for the day but there was one more place we had to visit – Margaret River Venison. We selected a venison pie for dinner tonight. A night of cards, venison pie, and the cabernet merlot from Redgate made a good end to the day.

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Retired Australian Lawyer having worked representing the innocent and the not so innocent in Australia and some of the remote parts of the world and having travelled widely through Europe, Western Russia, Canada, USA, New Zealand, Thailand Malaysia Solomon Islands northern China, Hong Kong and the UAE So now that I have the time I am writing about my travels present and past. Hope you enjoy exploring off the beaten track.