Calais Estate Wines Review
In a time where it seems that many of the wineries and cellar-doors in the vineyards are now owned either by large consortiums or overseas buyers, it is always nice to find those that are still family owned and operated where their passion and pride in everything they do is very much on show. Calais Estate Wines on Palmers Lane Pokolbin is one such winery.
Owned and operated by the Bradley family for 16 years, Calais Estate is nestled amongst 160 acres of picturesque rolling hills and rows of grape vines. Wine tasting takes place in a convict-carved sandstone cellar-door, and Calais' collection offers one of the largest ranges of boutique wines in the Valley, including a range of hand produced Methode Traditional wines. The range consists of both traditional wines as well as more rare varieties. Known for hand crafted sparkling and boutique wines, their specialty is Chambourcin.
Calais Estate is also home to the renowned Verandah Restaurant. The charming colonial building and sweeping verandahs provide an idyllic setting to enjoy the views of the beautifully landscaped grounds.
On the day of our visit we were fortunate to be hosted by Katrina, one of the daughters of the Bradley family, who's enthusiasm and passion is typical of the staff at Calais Estate. Her warm hospitality, knowledge of wines and the history of the estate, made the experience a very memorable one.
The Calais Estate wine tasting experience was exhilarating. While it was 42 degrees outside, the charismatic tasting room of the sandstone cellar-door provided a refreshing and most enjoyable wine tasting. From the sparkling wines handmade by the French tradition, to vanilla spice of the Verdelho, the lively and fresh Semillon, then a surprising Semillon Sauvigon Blac, followed by the smooth creamy Chardonny, all are a must!
Another delight to sample was a wine simply labeled 'M', most exquisite and moorish.
To commence the Reds by tasting Sangiovese Dolce, an Italian grape wine, created a true ambiance of traditional wine making. The Merlot provided a silky tannin while the Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz have fuller flavours with an elegant finish. Those looking for wines with an abundance of flavour to sip and enjoy, can select from the Reserve range at reasonable pricing, which are corked and sealed with wax for cellaring.
We decided not to sample the 'sweet finish' range of Botrytis Semillion to the Swagman Port style, though we are confident these too would be outstanding. Our take home selection on the day was a Semillion Sauvigion Blac and the Chadonnay. The reds will be our next purchase when cooler weather arrives.
During your visit we recommend you become a 'club' member for discounts and correspondence on the amazing events held at Calais Estate such as Shakespeare in the Vines and their Winery Long Lunch where you can enjoy canapes's with bubbles, then lend a hand to make your own sparkling wine before you linger over a long lunch of 5 course degustation at the Verandah Restaurant with matching Calais Estate wines. We look forward to doing a review blog on this in the near future.
This year Calais Estate will also host the inaugural Slideapalooza. A three day festival event that will see the worlds longest inflatable water slides grace the rolling hills of the Estate. Certainly is the weather for it!
An added bonus to your visit and wine tasting, is to meander through into a quaint room to find a vast variety of gift items and homewares in the 'Come What May' store. With local hand-made pantry foods to soaps, candles, and chopping boards. Many functional items like beeswax wraps and unique designer pens, to exquisite stone coasters, jewellery, vintage and modern homewares and artworks. Your purchase will make your visit to the Hunter even more memorable as you savour their wonderful wines.
We would have to say that this has been a 10 out of 10 for us. Great venue, great service, and great wines, has made this an exceptional experience. Katrina, our host, was a wonderful ambassador for the family business, and their commitment to excellence was reflected in her passion and pride.
Calais Estate is one of six other boutique wineries along Palmers Lane that have collectively joined forces in promoting 'Explore Palmers Lane'. Where food, wine, and nature combine. A great initiative and one we recommend you check out if you are looking for that more personalised boutique wine experience. www.palmerslane.com.au
We can certainly highly recommend a visit to Calais Estate. We will be adding it to our list of favourites to drop into when in the area and look forwarded to many more visits in the future. We are confident, if you do the same you won't be disapointed.
Cellar Door open: 7 days a week, 9am-5pm