The Perth Royal Show is a national show so wineries from all over Australia, with hugely varying climates and growing conditions enter their top wine.
Whereas the Swan Valley Wine Show is a regional show, which enables the judges to look at one region and to get a real feel for the wine styles coming from that climate
In 1996, 24 years ago when we bought Upper Reach we were amazed to find that Captain Stirling camped opposite, on his first exploration of the Swan River.
On reading Stirling's diary & accounts from the time, it was clear that the Government in England, decided to establish a settlement in Western Australia, pretty much solely on the basis of Stirling's observations from that expedition!
Captain James Stirling left his ship in the natural harbour that we call Fremantle and explored the Swan River on a sailing dingy, the type of boat known as a 'gig'.
They camped on the opposite riverbank to Upper Reach, but explored from the river to the foothills.
"On a high bank we pitched our tent; the richness of the soil...the shrubs, the majesty of the surrounding trees, the abrupt banks of the river...the view of the blue mountains, from which we were not far distant, made the scenery around this spot as beautiful as anything of this kind I had ever witnessed." Stirling 1829
We wanted to celebrate the contribution that the soil here at Upper Reach made to the settlement of WA, and of course the soil is fundamental to our wines.
Making a pair of approachable, easy drinking wines called The Gig, after the small sailing dingy that Stirling used, seemed appropriate.
As we're coming into colder weather, it's time to get the fire blazing & dive into our stickies & fortified.
Upper Reach will be doing this Tasting Class exploring Fortified Wine and all its warming deliciousness.
We will take a look at our:
- Liqueur Muscat
We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, and in particular ageing fortified, the fortification process & how the Swan Valley is unique for its dessert wines.
By popular demand from our last Livestream, Upper Reach will be doing this weeks FREE Live Tasting Class that will explore Sparkling Wine in all its GLORY.
We will take a look at:
- 2014 Sparkling Chardonnay
- 2018 Sparking Chardonnay (Pre-Release)
We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, and in particular the process of making our sparkling, disgorging & riddling and how we make a rich creamy mousse.
By popular demand from our last Livestream, Upper Reach will be doing this Tasting Class that will explore our exceptional Reserve Shiraz & how it's unique micro-climate influences it's character.
We will take a look at:
- 2016 Reserve Shiraz
- 2009 Reserve Shiraz
We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, and in particular age-ability & how age influences flavour. We will talk about cellaring conditions and how long to keep a Shiraz.
So get your Shiraz ready to drink so we can make your Saturday in isolation a little less boring :D
To host your own tasting at home, you will need these shiraz. Enjoy!
To start us off, Derek the winemaker here at Upper Reach, has been having great fun making his own sourdough starter that he can re-use over & over again by feeding it. It is absolutely delicious and perfect for pizza dough as well!
Step 1. Mix 3 ½ tbs. whole wheat flour with ¼ cup unsweetened pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for 48 hours at room temperature. Stir vigorously 2-3 times a day. (“Unsweetened” in this case simply means no extra sugar added).
Step 2. Add to the above 2 tbs. whole wheat flour and 2 tbs. pineapple juice. Cover and set aside for a day or two. Stir vigorously 2-3 times a day. You should see some activity of fermentation within 48 hours. If you don’t, you may want to toss this and start over (or go buy some!)
Step 3. Add to the above 5 ¼ tbs. whole wheat flour and 3 tbs. purified water. Cover and set aside for 24 hours.
Step 4. Add ½ cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 to 1/3 cup purified water. You should have a very healthy sourdough starter by now.
We have been hearing great recipes from our wonderful Cellar Club Members.
One of which came from Jeremy & Tilly for Slow Roasted Duck.
This had us salivating as soon as we strated reading the email.. Thank you so much guys!
Step 1. Defrost the ducks and cut them in half. Trim off neck,spine, parsons nose etc. & Pre-heat oven to 140°C.
Step 2. Sprinkle the skin side generously with Chinese 5 Spice.
Step 3. Foil a large oven tray, place ducks on tray & pop in the oven for 4.5 Hours.
Step 4. Let's make the sauce! Combine & reduce the following in a large saucepan until thickened: 1 Jar of Hoisin, 1/2 Bottle of Upper Reach Gig Grenache, 1/2 bottle sweet soy sauce, 2 Star anise, Large table spoon marmalade, Juice of one orange and shave a little rind, Large table spoon of butter.
Step 5. Serve with rice and Bok Choy plus the rest of the Gig Grenache (assuming you didn’t drink it already). You’ll probably need another couple of bottles though ;-)
Absolutely delicious guys! Thank you so much again!
This recipe is one of Laura's FAVOURITES when we head into Autumn.
Lemon & Thyme Pork Belly
(Image Credit kitchen.nine.com.au)
Step 1. Place salt, fennel and garlic in a mortar and pulverise with the pestle until garlic has broken up.
Step 2. Add lemon zest and juice, and thyme leaves and lightly pulverise. Stir in oil. Rub marinade all over both sides of pork and set aside to marinate for at least 1hr, preferably overnight.
Step 3. Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan).
Step 4. Rub pork skin with paper towels until dry. Place pork in a shallow roasting tray, skin-side up, and cook for 1½ hrs.
Step 5. Increase temperature to 200°C (180°C fan) and cook a further 30mins or until skin is crisp. If crackling is not crisp enough, place pork under a grill until crackling is done to your liking (watch very closely).
Step 6. Place pork on a board, tent loosely with foil and stand 15mins. Cut into bite-size pieces and serve.
Super yummy! Plus, that Crackling is to die for :)
Please share your recipes with us by sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org We would love pictures of your creations as well!
Thank you very much.
Stay Safe, Stay Happy!
By popular demand from our last Livestream, Upper Reach will be doing this weeks FREE Live Tasting Class that will explore Chardonnay & the use of Oak Barrels.
We will take a look at:
- 2019 Unwooded Chardonnay
- 2019 Reserve Chardonnay
- 2013 Museum Reserve Chardonnay
We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, age-ability & how Oak Barrels influence the flavour profile of White Wines.
So get your Upper Reach Chardonnays ready to drink so we can make your Saturday in isolation a little less boring.
If you are unable to collect our wines or have them shipped to you in time, for the purpose of this class you can substitute our wines with an Unwooded Chardonnay, an Oaked Chardonnay and aged Oaked Chardonnay.
After how much fun our last Live stream was, we're very excited for our subsequent Virtual Wine Tasting, we hope you are too! We hope these are interactive classes , so you will be able to type your questions and comments through out the class with other like minded wine enthusiasts.
Back by popular demand from our last Livestream, we have decided to explore Red wines ranging from Light - medium-Full Bodied and explain the difference.
We will take a look at:
- 2018 Grenache
- 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot
- 2016 Petit Verdot (NEW CLUB MEMBER RELEASE)
We'll be talking about tasting notes, food pairing, age-ability & the wine making processes make for a light/full bodied Red Wine.
Join us next session for Chardonnay MasterClass. We will be looking at Good, Better, Best....(in our opinion) of the Chardonnay varitey. Unoaked vs Oaked.... winemaking secrets, food and wine matching and tasting notes.
Well that’s our first virtual tasting!
Ideally you'll be watching this with at least one of the Verdelhos in your glass to taste with us.
If you would like to try the wines in this video you can get them here.
If you are needing a top up of wine, please support local & family owned first before going to the bottle shop.
Next class On Saturday 18 April will be for all the red wine lovers, with a trio of reds.
We'll taste Upper Reach's 2018 Gig Grenache, our 2017 Cabernet Merlot and the just released 2016 Petit Verdot
We'll focus on the different weight and body of these wines, and so have choosen a light, medium and full bodied red to contrast and compare.
You'll explore their differences, we want your food reccommendations and let's discuss how to navigate a resturant's red wine list.
Of course it would be best to taste the three featured wines, so just pause this and buy them now. 😜
If that's not possible, grab a red from your wine stockpile and have some fun with us while you work out how much body your wine has!
Let's keep doing the things we love! 🥂 🍷