December's Crafty Vino Bus Trip and Wreath-Making Workshop
HAPPY NEW YEAR my Happy Crafters! I hope you've all has a relaxing, creative break and are excited for a year full of fun workshops in 2016.
After all my galivanting around this Xmas I've finally sat down to basque in the memories of that glorious afternoon in December, when some of My Crafternoons biggest fans boarded a minibus for a day of cheese, wine, shopping and crafting.
Our handsome bus driver (my other half) ferried us from Hamilton town centre through fine Western District scenery to two local vineyards and a beautiful vintage emporium.
Our first stop was the highly acclaimed Pierrepoint winery and cellar door in Tarrington, owned by the lovely Jennifer Lacey and her family.
We tried 5 or 6 of their own lovely wines, including their 2011 Pinot Noir which was awarded 94 out of 100 by wine connosoir James Halliday, so it must be pretty execellent! They also stock a range of local produce we were able to sample including chutneys, preserves, vinegars and oils, and even local photography books like Tracy Kruger's Shearing In Victoria's Western District. Jennifer is also only too happy to act as something of a tourist information centre too, giving information and advice on all the local attractions. Call in for a cheese platter and some vino or some homemade cake and a cuppa sometime!
With a case or two of wine safely stored in the bus, we set off towards our next mystery stop- The Byaduk Store! The quaint old shop stocks vintage finds, new homewares, gifts and even plants and local produce. Our lovely host, Robyn, greeted us with ice-cold water, fresh cherries and fruit cake to fuel our retail therapy. We had a little trouble fitting a lovely vintage meat safe into the bus but with an engineer and a farmer on the case we finally got it in! We were even given a box of chocolates for the journey home as a parting gift- this is not your average shop! Go and see Robyn for a cuppa and a browse if you’re near Byaduk, you won’t regret it!
Our third and final stop was the Suffoir Winery and Cellar Door in Macarthur, owned by South African couple Pieter and Michelle Badenhorst. Their rustic cellar door was promptly filled with platter upon platter of yummy cheeses and meats, strawberries, caramelised figs, homemade quince paste, dried fruits, bread, crackers and breadsticks- far too much to finish!
We washed our nibbles down with their own red wines and some selected whites, ciders and beers while we received a demonstration of how to make a grapevine wreath from the lovely Michelle. Michelle showed us how to braid or plait three soaked grape vines together and bend it into a circle. They need to be soaked at least overnight to be pliable enough to work with without snapping. You then weave more vines in and around the circle to pad out the wreath- easier said than done considering all the little curly tendrils that cling to each other!
A good tip if you’d like to try making one at home is to grip the vines with your knees, using a towel to keep your legs clean, and braid in front of you. As you can see below, it does look a little like you’re riding a broomstick!