An education in wine

The view from the CSU Winery in Wagga Wagga, NSW, Australia.

Last month during Wagga Wagga’s annual food and wine festival, Adam and I ran into our old friend DJ, a sommelier we’d gotten to know before moving to England.

She made us promise that we’d come out and visit her at her new job, at the winery at our local university -living in Australia’s food bowl has its perks ;).

So one afternoon a few weeks back we went back to school for an education in wine…

The cellar door sits on a hill to the north of the city, and it has beautiful views looking eastward over the rolling countryside.

There are huge olive trees planted around a little courtyard full of seats and wooden barrels and this little nook of the university doesn’t really feel like a ‘place of learning’, rather a tucked away villa somewhere in the Mediterranean.

Olives growing on a tree in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.

The CSU Winery, Wagga Wagga, New South Wales, Australia.

Both Adam and I love a good glass of wine.  We know what we like, but often struggle to articulate the flavours we’re savouring. DJ took us through a tasting, explaining how to work out what you can taste by simply knowing where your wine is from and working out other things that are grown nearby.  For example- lots of cool climate whites are grown in areas where there are apples and hence many of those wines have a sweet, crisp flavour about them.

We had a wonderful hour or so, sipping the university’s offerings which are a combination of wines made by former students (who studied viticulture) and by a professional on site winemaker sourcing grapes from commercial wine regions.

The winery’s labels have had several make-overs in the time I’ve lived in Wagga, but I was super chuffed to spot the artwork of former local resident and good friend of mine, Tony Curran, who I got to know while he and his wife Sonya lived in the city.

Bottle of CSU wine featuring a label by Australian artist, Tony Curran.

DJ made us feel so welcome and really took the time to teach us a thing or two about appreciating wine.   Needless to say we ended up buying a few of our favourites to take home with us! If you’re ever in the area, I’d recommend taking a visit – you’ll definitely leave the cellar door a little more knowledgeable on wine than you were when you arrived.

Have a wonderful week. x

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