Wednesday, 16 June 2010

The Long Wineing Weekend

As a university worker, we do not get many of the public holidays offered to other Victorian workers, in lieu of time off between Christmas and New Year. If we do want to take the public holiday, we need to dip into annual leave to do so.

This year, my birthday coincided with this month's public holiday, a long weekend, and an invite to Raid Pop's Cellar, an annual event at Sam Miranda Winery as part of the Fit for a King  wine festival weekend in the King Valley. So what's a girl to do, but take annual leave and go!

We got to Milawa early Saturday afternoon, in time for a quick 40km hit out (I'd forgotten how boring road riding can be: flat, straight country roads), before heading to Sam's for some of this:

A fantastic night of beautiful food, wine, and an eclectic mix of people. Brilliant! Thank you Pop for sharing your wines, and for the opportunity to learn a few things.

Sunday was meant to be another morning on the bikes, then head out to a few wineries to check out what else King Valley has to offer. Somehow, the bikes ended up here for the day

while we went here

I became very proficient at sniffing, swirling, sipping and spitting. But honestly, there is only so much alcohol the mouth can take! So when it came to a glass of red with a scrummy dinner of slow cooked pork belly, I really did think twice. Then I had one. My first glass of swallowed wine all day. Believe it or not.

Next morning, we had even more of this (yep, that's frost at 10 am, from a -4 degree overnight temp)

So I rugged up in my winter euro bike gear (first time ever I didn't get too hot in it!) and we rode to Sam's for a morning coffee (best coffee in Oxley and Milawa), and to cut a few laps of the crit circuit,  before heading out to Whitfield, to ride up what had been reconned the day before.

It's been 6 months since I climbed a serious hill and it's been even longer since riding up one that was more than 7km long. Of course, I had to stop a couple of times to admire the view ;-) but I did it. And I also did the climb the hard way ie in reverse, although, driving home via Mansfield, I did note that that side of the hill has about 30km of uphill to the KOM. There's something to be said for being a support vehicle sometimes.

The reward for making it up and over the top was a late lunch at Whitty's Cafe

Note also the table number. Very appropriate. The guy serving had no idea of its significance.

A huge thank you to Nancy for a brilliant weekend. You're the best!

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