2000 will go down as one of the better red vintages for the Riverland range, according to BRL Hardy winemaker and manager Paul Kassebaum.

“It has also been another record vintage, with an increase in the total crush of 10 per cent on 1999 figures,” Mr Kassebaum said.

The total Riverland 2000 crush for BRL Hardy‘s Berri and Renmark wineries was 123,500 tonnes.

“Premium red varietals showed excellent increases on 1999 tonnages due to new plantings coming into production,” he said.

“Cabernet sauvignon is up 62 per cent compared to 1999, shiraz is up 37 per cent and merlot has been the big improver – increasing in tonnage by 157 per cent.”.

* * *

HOUGHTON Wines has also reported an outstanding year 2000 vintage.

Houghton’s manager and winemaker Larry Cherubino said he was delighted with this year’s developing wines and that yields were on target.

The company crushed 7,705 tonnes this vintage.

“The long Houghton vintage started on 25 January with Swan Valley Chardonnay, finishing with Mt Barker Cabernet Sauvignon on 27 April,” Mr Cherubino said.

“On average, most varietals were picked ten days earlier than normal.

Although early, Mr Cherubino still rates the 2000 vintage as better than 1999 all round.

“Vine health was exceptional throughout our viticultural regions due to prudent vineyard management and good winter and spring rains,” he said.

* * *

THE HOUSE of Blues Café on Lake Street, Northbridge features the sounds of blues greats such as John Lee Hooker, BB King and Ella Fitzgerald.

Entrée highlights include deep fried seasoned crumbed mushrooms with a blue cheese dipping sauce, tomato and basil soup served with crusty French bread and sautéed garlic prawns served on the Blues’ pizza base.

Main menu highlights include grilled salmon fillet steak served with a citrus and ginger glaze, jambalaya pasta and Southern-style slow smoked rack of baby back ribs.

The BB Blues Burger, which is an eight ounce prime beef pattie chargrilled and topped with pepperjack cheese, bacon and sautéed mushrooms on a toasted foccacia bun, served with seasoned wedges, is apparently enormous and could easily be shared by two hungry diners.

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TYING the knot?

Fraser’s Restaurant will hold a preview of its wedding facilities on 9 July from midday to 4:30pm.

The Kings Park Function Centre and Fraser’s private dining room will also be fully appoint-ed for viewings.

Light refreshments, wine tasting, makeovers, cake sampling, flower arrangements and fashion ideas by Hob Nob will be presented.

* * *

GOANNA Gallery and Café is now open seven days a week.

Situated close to the Dunsborough town area on Hayes Road, the Goanna Gallery and Cafe is said to offer “aromatic indulgence in an art atmosphere”.

Café food includes Jillian Edmonds’ famous carrot and walnut praline cake, Mediterra-nean fig and nut caramel tart and Black Angus cookies (from a recipe Ms Edmonds ‘acquired’ from a New York chef).

The Goanna Galley and Café web site at offers an online service for ordering their exclusive products including ‘Sexy with Sausage’ Spicy Tomato Relish and Exotic Mango Chutney.

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