Anyone who knows me, knows just how obsessive I am about snow (which has only gotten progressively worse over the years).
On top of our weekend trips, F, myself and a few friends went on a 9-day snow getaway. As much as we love snowboarding / skiing, there came a time where our little aches and pains cumulated together and threatened to make us miserable doing the thing we love; a break day was much needed.
Two years ago, we stumbled upon a little gem of a winery/microbrewery just outside the small town of Dalgety. We had a rollicking ball there and were keen to repeat the experience (this time armed with my trusty camera).
There was only one person on the trip who had not been to the microbrewery and seeing that even a flooded causeway could not stop us from reaching our destination he muttered, “Geez… this must be one hell of a place.”
I think it was also the dusty and bumpy unsealed road that made him think we might be slightly… overly eager. It was only 4km of unsealed road, but when you’re driving at 40km/hr, it kind of does feel like an age.
But finally, we arrived…
And we went straight into the business of beer and wine tasting.
Oh, and also schnapps tasting and a couple of the guys did a bourbon tasting just for good measure.
The sour apple schnapps were a big hit with the group and I think we ended up buying 3 bottles of the stuff, plus several bottles of red wine (including a Disaster Bay Chillies‘ Chilli Wine) and a couple of 6-packs (the Strong Ale and Blonde Ale were F’s favourites).
Last time we were here, we arrived when the kitchen had just closed, but the owner’s wife kindly put together a ploughman’s platter for us. This time, we resolved to be there at a more lunch-oriented time, but despite our careful planning, their chef had the day off! Too funny.. then again, it was a Wednesday, so in a way, it kind of made sense.
At least there was basic menu to choose from…
The ploughman’s platter was as huge as we remembered and just as delectable.
The two platters had slightly different spreads (one had salmon, the other had hummus and chive), but both had 4 kinds of cheeses (blue, gouda, cheddar, and some sort of chive-infusion), carrot chutney, olives, assorted crackers, salad, dried fruit and some choice cold cuts. Hot diggity!
The spicy wedges wasn’t the hot kind of spicy (thank goodness) and to boot, it was wonderfully fluffy inside while being scrumptiously crispy on the outside. Instead of sour cream, they was served with a creamy aioli, which was nice change and deliciously garlicky!
The weather was a bit dodgy and so I thought it would be nice to have something warm and soupy. The pumpkin soup wasn’t perfectly smooth – it had just the right lightly lumpy texture that I like – and I think there was a bit of ginger and chilli infusion going on that added a really nice warming depth. P and F couldn’t really feel the little kick I did from the dash of chilli in it, but I’m sure my chilli-dar wasn’t wrong!
For dessert, we ordered Warm Chocolate Mud Cake, Raspberry Cheesecake and a Lemon Tart with Raspberry Coulis – all with a double helping of vanilla ice cream. Bliss. It was hard to choose a favourite, as they so good in their own way.
The owner mentioned rather off-handedly something about chocolate, lemon rind and chilli during the wine tasting. The vagueness really intrigued a few of us and despite the numerous glasses of wine during lunch managed to remember to ask what it was all about.
Turned out that it was candied lemon rinds infused with chilli and covered in dark chocolate (made by Disaster Bay Chillies) that they sell by the bag. The chocolate dampened the chilli kick by quite a bit, which was good news for me, as it was at a level I could handle. I was told that the chilli flavour and kick was definitely more pronounced when the lemon rind was eaten without the chocolate.
I can totally imagine Snowy Vineyard and Microbrewery crowded with customers during the warmer months, but with the sharp chill in the air, there was just us and that was quite lovely too. In a way, we kind of preferred it.
We were left to our own devices and didn’t have to worry about embarrassing ourselves in front of strangers doing things like chasing after the peacock trying to make him fan out his iridescent tail (I swear that wasn’t me!), messing about with the animals on the property, and using rocks to get the perfect jumping shot.
Not only were there farm animals like goats and sheep, there were two adorable Shetland ponies, the aforementioned peacock and 3 peahens. I feel compelled to add that there were also weird chickens with feathers on their feet, several guinea pigs (or hamsters), a super friendly collie cutie-pie who revels in scratches behind the ears and a pig named Delilah.
This was my favourite photo sequence of the day though: the sheep noticed I was taking photos of it and came over to investigate. I could almost hear it saying, “What? What’s going on here? Huh? Whuuuuut?!?!”
Maybe it’s the country air, the rawness of the vast fields, or the alcohol from lunch (maybe all three? I have no idea), but like our last visit here, we kind of ran amok doing silly things at the microbrewery and on the way home (way too many to put on here).
It was fantastic fun… and somewhat liberating.
For the record, the pony’s mouth did not make contact with my friend’s, but it was a close one!! Hehe.
If you head to the microbrewery from Barry Way, you’ll find yourself crossing the famous Snowy River just before you enter Dalgety’s town centre. We didn’t have much rainfall that week, but I can imagine how spectacular it would look in its roaring glory.
So, if you’re down for a snow trip and the weather is poor, the Snowy Winery and Microbrewery is your answer. That’s how we found it in the first place actually! The blizzard-y condition made it near impossible to drive do the snow fields despite our 4WD capabilities, let alone board or ski.
It was definitely a blessing in disguise.
The staff are wonderfully laid-back and easy-going in that unmistakeable rural way, the food fresh and delicious, and the views are absolutely unbeatable.
You won’t be sorry that you made the trek.
Snowy Vineyard and Microbrewery
255 Werralong Rd
Dalgety, NSW, 2628
Ph: 1300 766 608