Mummy’s Wine Club has been running in McLaren Vale since mid-2014. I originally started it as a monthly get-together of local Mums to learn from a different featured winemaker each month, developing their knowledge and confidence in wine.
The monthly Club ‘meets’ have become some of the most talked about events in town and tickets are always in great demand. Each month, 40 local women leave the babysitter to deal with the kids bath and bedtime, get their glad rags on and head to the Salopian Inn for an evening of catching up with old and new friends, having a giggle, oh and learning about wine.
Since it’s inception, the majority of Club get togethers have been held at the Salopian Inn – a truly beautiful location right in the heart of the Vale. But with demand for events so high, and the fact there’s a whole region out there to explore, I’ve started to run occasional ‘extra-curricular’ activities.
You can only imagine my delight when Corrina Wright suggested we hold a Mummy’s Wine Club at the Oliver’s Taranga cellar door. Not only was Corrina suggesting some wine tasting, education and nibbles (woodfired pizza, no less) but she suggested we ran the event a couple of weeks prior to vintage so that we could taste various berry varieties – straight off the vine!
So it happened. In early February, a group of super-excited local Mums combined their glad-rags with shoes suitable for a walk amongst the vines and congregated at Oliver’s Taranga.
Corrina had been ‘berry testing’ during the day so the evening started with a delicious non-alcoholic grape juice on arrival. Despite the initial ‘oh, it’s not alcoholic yet?’ reaction, there was something especially delicious about drinking something so fresh. A rare opportunity to try so many varieties of berry thrown in together too!
And then we were off. As the sun was beginning to set, we wandered out in to the vineyards, all following Corrina in anticipation for what we were about to learn. Corrina told us all about many different aspects of the vineyard – everything from her family connection to the site to the growing process. But I think for all of us it was the ‘bullet hole’ analogy of a Cabernet vine leaf that we all readily absorbed, ready to one day impress someone!
We returned to the cellar door as the sun was setting but not before we had a whilststop tour of a Harvester. Being local, we were all familiar with the sight of Harvesters moving up and down the vines during vintage, or slowing down our journey to school drop-off in those late summer, early Autumn mornings, but most of us had never had the opportunity to actually learn what they do, and how they do it.
Back at the cellar door, we took our places to be guided through a berry and wine tasting process. Again, such a rare and amazing opportunity to taste wine directly alongside the variety of berry it is made from. All this while Don Oliver took to the wood-fired oven to provide us with some delicious pizza and breads.
Corrina and Don finished the evening by opening up a general discussion about everything Oliver’s Taranga. The Mums (and did I mention gatecrasher Dads?) were captivated by their passion for the grape-growing and winemaking process. We learned so much – everything from how Don watches the weather in immense detail through to the soil types and layers in their vineyards.
All in all this was an amazing Mummy’s Wine Club experience. We learnt so much, felt so well hosted and enjoyed the opportunity to be shown around at such a critical time on the grape-grower and winemakers calendar.
Thank you to the team at Oliver’s Taranga! The only shame is that we have to wait a whole year to do it all again!
To learn more about Mummy’s Wine Club, visit http://www.wineykids.com.au