This year’s Taste Great Southern puts on a spread of amazing things our local producers have to offer
Organic, nitrate-free BBQ pork chops, local Denmark avocados, Great Southern wines and Celebrity Chef’s… what more could you want in a weekend away?
Often when we talk about going down south we think of Margaret River, Yallingup, or Dunsborough. But what about those real southern gems like Denmark, Walpole, Albany and Mount Barker? The Great Southern region of WA has so much to offer and this year’s Taste Great Southern was a perfect example of its richness.
Our weekend kicked off at The Lake House where we lunched with the local Blue Wren’s over a Taste Great Southern tasting platter of local marron, olives, brioche, pickled prawns and locally-made chutneys. We downed this with a couple glasses of The Lake House Reserve Chardonnay, a perfect accompaniment.
Somehow we were talked into putting our pajamas on mid-afternoon and stomping some grapes – as you do. Our friends at Express Winemakers convinced us we’d get a free bottle of booze in exchange for free labour. Ok, so I was jumping at the opportunity… not just for the free booze but what a great experience! We saw first-hand how grueling the hand-picking and hand sorting process is for a boutique winemaker whose living is a labour of love. It was a feel-good moment knowing we were part of creating a unique product from Denmark that will be shared with the rest of the nation.
We were hungry at this stage…
Rockcliffe Winery hosts the Rockcliffe Night Harvest Market for the duration of the festival. Locals, tourists, small business owners, farmers, and food and wine enthusiasts gather to taste local produce and watch Chefs Colin Fassnidge and Anna Gare cook up their favourite recipes on stage.
The scene is alive with blue marron crawling out of their tubs, farmers with their avocados from just down the road, and fresh local cheese and dairy products.
The local butchers’ stall constantly had a stream of people lined up to get barbecued pork chops, kebabs and hot lamb and gravy rolls. We sampled the hot lamb and gravy rolls first. Peeling ourselves off our grassy seats, we lined up again to sample more meaty goodness. The BBQ pork chops had our mouths watering for days afterwards. So much so, we dropped in to the local Denmark Butcher to buy some more which we threw on the barbie when we got home.
The Junkyard Feast, Denmark Arts Market, and Steamboat at Liberte are just a couple of the many events happening in the Great Southern over the three week festival. For those serious about adventure and food, Fervor and Skyhook’s Helicopter Picnic on Breaksea Island is a must. The event includes a 15 minute scenic helicopter flight to Breaksea Island where you can learn more about the mysterious island while you sample local nibbles, wine and brews.
The festival spreads over several Great Southern appellations including Kojonup and the Porongorups, all hosting events unique to their region and local delicacy. Planning your time down there can mean touring some incredible wineries, bakeries and farms… so do your research!
Keep an eye out for the 2017 Taste Great Southern line-up. Event tickets go on sale around January, so get in early to secure a spot and show your support for our southern regions.
Taste Great Southern, Perth Events, Denmark WA, local produce, local farmers, Great Southern