On a wonderfully sunny, but still rather chilly morning in the South West, we set out from Harvey to visit the St Aidan Winery, located in the Ferguson valley. The drive this time of year is wonderfully scenic, the natural world being full of life, and lush green everywhere you look.
Arriving at the winery you’ll find a red rock driveway, with vines to one side, a lovely old church on the other and the winery sitting atop a hill directly in front. It’s always a great start to a meal when the environment is so inviting!
Inside the winery is full of natural light and accented with wood and earthy tones. It’s homely, but sophisticated. We headed straight to the tasting table and were greeted by a warm and incredibly knowledgeable staff member. She was quick to ensure that non wine tasters, in this case myself, were provided with chilled water.
St Aidans Winery have a large selection of whites, reds, sparkling and dessert wines and we walked away with a number of them before settling down for our meal.
Our table had a wonderful view of the valley below. We were quickly served and placed our orders. Throughout we found the service to be knowledgeable and friendly, and the staff went out of their way to be of assistance, even as the restaurant filled up with people.
The menu was appetising with a selection of light meals at around $14, and more substantial ones at around $28, which change on a regular basis depending on what produce is available. We went for a little of both.
Our lighter dish was a veal chorizo tortilla. It was a really Australian take on quesadillas, the flavours were all well-balanced. The chorizo, corn and cheese were highlights, and with a side of avocado and tomato it was a combination of hot, light and fresh. The only let down was the tortillas were just a bit too firm, and had probably been over toasted.
The dish we were most excited about was the Cabernet pot pie. Two of us had it both absolutely loved it. The meat was so succulent and the Cabernet flavour just shone through. The pastry on top was well crisped, and nice and flaky. It was served with a salad as garnish and herbed roast potatoes with a wonderful tangy relish. This was definitely the pick of the day.
We also tried the blue cheese, pear and leek tart. Blue cheese is a strong flavour, but if you’re going to use it you really want to taste it! In this case it was just a bit too subtle, and besides on the very top, got lost in the pear and leek. However the rest of the tart was great, good caramelisation on the pear, and the pastry was lovely. This also came with a side salad and roast potatos, the potatos could have been crisper and again the relish was the absolute star.
We couldn’t resist the dessert menu, and at $6 a serve the price was no object!
Our first dish was scones with jam and cream. The scones themselves were just a bit too heavy and dense for our liking, and we were a little baffled by the tiny serve of cream that came with them. That being said, the berry jam and the apple marmalade, which tasted just like cider, were delicious. They really stole the show!
Another perennial favourite is a sticky date pudding. We were impressed by the generous serving size and ample sauce. It was just moist and sticky and wonderful. Our only suggestion is that it be served a little hotter!
You can pick up all your favourite relishes, jams as well as the wine on your way out!
We left St Aidans Winery contented and full with plenty of produce, and we think you will too!
Oh and we made a furry friend too…