07/02/2006 - 21:00

A midsummer’s valley feast

07/02/2006 - 21:00

Bookmark

Save articles for future reference.

It’s a little hard to believe but Perth is half way through summer. And while the comparatively cool weather may have caught some venues unaware, the timing and temperature are perfect for the Swan Valley’s Midsummer Feast.

A midsummer’s valley feast

It’s a little hard to believe but Perth is half way through summer. And while the comparatively cool weather may have caught some venues unaware, the timing and temperature are perfect for the Swan Valley’s Midsummer Feast.

A mixture of fine foods, wine and arts, the production is on a scale so large it is second only to the Spring in the Valley.

The second annual Midsummer Feast will be held from February 17 to 19, building on the ‘foodie pilgrimage’ status the event is cultivating in what is known to some as Perth’s ‘valley of taste’.

A brief glance at the prospective line-up of events suggests that nearly every major Swan Valley restaurant, winery or market gardener is involved. The City of Swan has, in recent years, excelled in its ability to garner the support of local businesses for major tourist events, such as last year’s Taste in the Valley and the Swan Valley Wine Show.

Many of the Swan Valley’s 50 or so wineries are hosting wine events, be they winemaking demonstrations or special varietal tastings. And, joining these businesses, many of the restaurants that made last year’s event so successful have returned. In fact, the size of the event has almost doubled from 2005.

This year the Swan Valley’s claim as the most dynamic local tourist destination is again being strengthened with a breadth and depth of food and wine events staged across 17 different settings throughout the valley.

As the region’s most expansive wine producer, Houghton Wines will be lending its space for an outdoor performance of Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The less poetic but equally dramatic art of winemaking will be on show at nearby Sittella winery. On February 18, winemaker Matt Bowness will guide a select few through a hands-on demonstration of wine production and offer a sneak peek at tank samples from the 2006 vintage.

Chef Mike Price of Sittella’s Restaurant is also promising to prepare a winemaker’s lunch.

Not to be outdone, Lamonts is preparing a mid summer feast dinner no doubt drenched in the slow-food methods that have fuelled its passionate following.

But if you’re after something a little more salty, local oyster aficionado Jerry Fraser will be shucking fresh oysters at Hanson’s in the Valley. He will be shucking all weekend, accompanied by some of the region’s best sparkling wines and a jazz band.

Even Swan Valley newcomer Whites Vineyard has jumped on the Midsummer bandwagon. The new family-run boutique winery located at Lamonts is presenting an exhibition of the history of wine, as seen in a variety of different media.

The exhibition, which includes original prints, art works and wine, will be open all weekend.

And if Australia Day left something of a traditional taste in your mouth, then perhaps the Bunuru is your answer.

A traditional hot season feast at the River Retreat and Maalinup Gallery, the event highlights the traditional cooking methods and ingredients of Aboriginal food. A three-course feast including native herbs, spices, fruits and nuts will complement the presentation.

And, in a similar vein, everything from venison, emu, camel, kangaroo, and crocodile will be grilled up as part of the Black Swan Winery And Restaurant’s Bar.B.Q event.

And this is just a smattering of the events to be featured with many more scheduled.

For example, Chesters Restaurant is preparing a seven-course Shakespearean degustation, Feral’s Brewery has created a unique beer-friendly Swan Valley grazing plate, Elmar’s will be holding a Beer and Bratwurst extravaganza, and Knight’s Winery is hosting a cocktail party.

Also getting involved are Ledaswan Winery, Edgecombe Brothers, Stocks Country Retreat, Riverbank Estate, Panache House, and Little River Winery.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

Subscription Options