Enjoy a grape escape at Harvest Stomp

HUNTER region vineyards

are a hive of activity at this time of year and James Estate Wines is no exception.

It has been a busy 12 months for winemaker Alex Finnie and his team, in fact.

Not only have they intro- duced four new varietals and refreshed their bottles with new-look labels, James Es- tate Wines was o cial wine sponsor of Sydney Festival 2017, has opened a cellar door in the Upper Hunter region of Baerami and re-

vamped its James Estate Guest House at Pokolbin.

James Estate also has a cel- lar door and cafe at Pokolbin which, among other things, o ers Twilight Tastings on Fridays and Saturdays. Just last week it was renamed Bis- tro on Hermitage.

Mr Finnie’s wine portfolio has expanded to include the James Estate 2016 Estate Se- millon, 2016 Estate Verdelho, 2016 Estate Sweet Surrender and 2016 Estate Rosé.

“We are blessed with a great variety of red grapes on the James Estate vineyard

including shiraz, merlot, ca- bernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, petit verdot and pinot noir,” he told Food & Wine.

“We are seeing a great resurgence of the Bordeaux and Burgundy style of blends that the Hunter Valley used to produce in the 1960s and ’70s and we have the perfect tools at hand to put a mod- ern twist on these wines.

“Moving forward, we plan to make wines that match well with food and to give ad- vice on food that will match well with our wines.”

is Saturday, February

18, all are invited to James Estate’s Baerami vineyard to take part in Harvest Stomp. From 10am to 4.30pm there will be grape stomping, live entertainment, a chance to hand-pick grapes, a Harvest Feast Lunch and a winery tour.

Executive chef Melissa Dixon is in charge of the kitchen at Bistro on Hermit- age and will be preparing the Harvest Feast Lunch.

“My love of food and cook- ing started at an early age watching my dad whip up all sorts of wonderful things on

his days o work,” she told Food & Wine.

“I have learnt something from each and every chef I’ve worked with over the years. You never stop learning and you have to take each dish you work on as a lesson. My passion is creating deli- cious fresh food that brings people together. Each time I see someone take a bite and then smile I feel like I’ve done my job.”

Tickets to Harvest Stomp cost $100 per person. Phone 6547 5168 or email baerami@jameses- tatewines.com.au.