Page 54 - ESWT18
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                            FOOD & WINE | Winery tours
   DAY TRIPPING + WINE SIPPING
THE SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS BOASTS 60 VINEYARDS, ABOUT 20 CELLAR DOORS AND MANY AWARD WINNING WINES, SO SUMMON YOUR VINO LOVING BUDDIES AND GET TOURING ANWD TASTING.
‘The wine tours with three and four cellar doors are the most popular,’ explains Scott. ‘These are generally a 9.30 am pick up and go to about 2.30pm. Lunch at the Eling Forest Winery cafe is included in the price.’
The Grape Stomping Tour at Eling Forest Winery is a chance for some good old fashioned dirty fun. Or for something completely different, the Wine Body and Soul Tour might suit.
‘We start with a group spiritual reading by medium Gail Withers from Heart and Soul Healing,’ says Scott. ‘Each person gets a chance to hear a message from a loved one from the spiritual world before the cellar door visits.’
Bridal parties and hens groups like the Pamper Time Tour, which starts with a facial or massage at Endota Spa, followed by the cellar door visits. And Scott recently began offering the Shoot the Vines tour: ‘It begins with a clay target shooting session at the Berrima Clay Target Club, supervised by licenced shooters in a safe environment, and is followed by cellar door visits. We order the day that way for safety reasons.’
For groups of eight or more Scott offers made to measure tours taking in any combination of cellar doors from the northern cluster of Artemis, Tertini, Bendooley, Joadja
and Centennial through to the Highway estates of Eling Forest and Cherry Tree Hill, to the Sallys Corner cohort that includes Cuttaway Hill, Sally’s Corner Wines, St Maur Wines (read our review on page 48) out to Mount Ashby near Moss Vale.
Mira and Scott Barton are the new owners of The Grape Escape Wine Tours and, according to Duncan MacDonald of Cherry Tree Hill, they too have a passion for all things wine and are also offering a variety of new experiences to their groups, such as lunch at a high end restaurant.
  ABOVE ( LEFT TO RIGHT)
Bendooley Estate, Centennial Vineyards Cellar Door, Highlands Food & Wine Tours.
hen trying anything new, it pays to go straight to the horse’s mouth. Duncan MacDonald is cellar door manager at Cherry Tree Hill Wines in Sutton
Forest and knows a thing or two about wine. When it comes to tour operators, his pick of the bunch is Highlands Food & Wine Tours.
‘It’s run by John Scott and it’s the pick of the local operators for me,’ says MacDonald. ‘John’s a fantastically professional and knowledgeable guide, and his passion for the Southern Highlands makes his tours stand out.’
John Scott is a longtime Hill Top local and a fireman with Fire & Rescue NSW for nearly 35 years. He started Highlands Food & Wine Tours in 2013 and runs the company between shifts at Narellan Fire Station.
‘I started up five years ago when I realised a lot of locals, and Sydneysiders, didn’t know much about all the good food and wine production that was going on here,’ says Scott. ‘I wanted to do my bit to publicise the sector and give people a great day out.’
Reportedly a font of local knowledge, Scott gives a lively commentary as he drives his guests from cellar door to cellar door (turn to page 66 for details of local wineries, vineyards and cellar doors).
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SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS
    SOUTHERN HIGHLANDS














































































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