Thursday, April 17, 2008

Absolutely Fabulous!

Well, I feel like I've been away for about 3 weeks, not the 5 days of my actual trip! This is Peppers Convent at Pokolbin in the Hunter Valley wine district of NSW. We spent three days and two nights here. It is an old Brididine convent that was built in Coonamble and transported the 600+ Kms to it's present location in 1991. The nuns kept the stained glass, the cedar doors, the beautiful mirror and lots of other goodies when they sold it. Once its rebuild was completed the nuns were invited to visit. They were so impressed with the job that had been done that they gave back all of the goodies they had kept so that it could be truly complete again. It is absolutely gorgeous and now has a tasteful yet comfortable French flavor to its interior decoration. We loved it! Maybe the bottle of french champagne on arrival helped, as did the spectacular service and food perfection, or was it the wine and canapes in the evening... It has been many years since I was last in the Hunter Valley and it was virtually unrecognisable. There are now 130 vineyards and the ones we saw were both beautiful and tasty! We only visited 4 (or was it 5? all a blur by the end of the day) vineyards. And this is how we got around! Frank was our driver and Fred was our Clydesdale horse power.There is not much nicer than a slow day of food, wine and great company. Frank is a true character. I told him that if he had bookings where people asked to have him as the driver and state that they MUST visit Tyrrells, then he would know I had recommended them!!!
These vines were back at Peppers Convent, although we saw this in many places. They are beautiful but have had the grapes left to rot on the vine due to a glut of red wine (a glut!?!?! What have we all been doing with out time???) They will be pruned off with the rest of the vine within the next month when they cut it all back to within 18" of the stem.

Ah, the memories. I drink a few more of them in every night.


dinahmow said...

Ooh! Peppers! It's on my wish list, but now I live 'way up North(Mackay)
It certainly looks like a lovely trip

Jan said...

dinahmow - bump it up your list! I thought I was crossing it off my list by finally going, but all I managed to do was add it back on to my list with repeats!!!

caseytoussaint said...

Beautiful sketches - and it looks like a great time.

laureline said...

Jan, this looks fabulous, indeed! But I do think it's inconsiderate of you to share such lovely images and your infectious excitement about a place that is farther away than I'll be able to travel, probably, because now I really want to go there ;D. When I saw the photo of your carriage driver, I thought you were in Amish country here in the US. Here's why:
Glad you had such a good time.