IF YOU HAVE discerning taste when it comes to food and wine, or if, like me, you just love the stuff, chances are you’ve visited a few cellar doors in your time.
You know the drill. You show up, learn a bit of history about the winemaker, traverse the vast pastures of the vineyard if the weather’s fine. The whole time, you’re quietly itching to tipple a few different drops from polished glasses, and pass judgement vocally, with varying degrees of actual knowledge.
If you’re after something a bit different this year, consider Mayura Station, on SA’s Limestone Coast, where meat, not wine, is on the tasting menu.
Opened late last year, the cattle station’s cellar door-style tasting room showcases Mayura’s award-winning, meticulously bred Wagyu beef. Visitors try various incarnations of Wagyu, indulging in the rich marbling and melting texture that this Japanese breed is famous for.
The 5000-acre station is home to a herd of around 1130 cattle, all full-blood Wagyu specimens. It’s a coveted cattle bloodline.
If you or your travel companion find animal production lines a bit confronting, it might of comfort to note that the station prides itself on the treatment of its cattle in life, as well as in the kitchen. A you-beaut grain-feeding facility, relaxing music and a soft floor to sleep on are a few of the luxuries afforded the pre-slaughter populace.
Yes, you're right: it certainly does benefit the beef if the cattle live relaxed lives. But the living conditions in such a revered establishment do set an example for Australia’s dairy and farming industries, and that is, to my mind, a step in the right direction.
You’ll need to book in advance to visit the tasting room. It’s open for lunch and dinner and entry starts at $45 for a taster plate. There are also interactive sessions on offer, in which you learn to prepare Wagyu dishes with the station’s resident chef, and presumably eat the results. Yum.
Call (08) 8721 3000 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for bookings and info. Millicent Caravan Park is a 10 minute drive from Mayura Station, or a little further west along the Bight is Beachport Caravan Park.
If you’re still stuck on the wine idea and you can get yourself to Victoria next weekend, Mornington Peninsula is hosting an international pinot noir event. The festival, this year on January 28 and 29, sees the region’s local wineries get in a frenzy over pinot. Visit their website for more info.
If you're heading west, grab tickets for the Maragret River wine region festival for five days of wine, food, music and art from March 17 – 21. This year, the focus is on the northern part of the Margs area. The region looks its best that time of year and the array of events is looking pretty spectacular. Visit their website for info.
Keep an eye on all our events in the trekabout section of this month’s Caravan World.