A stop for lunch by a pleasant lake in Benalla was followed by the final few kms up to Rutherglen.
To keep the day simple it was four wineries in the morning, lunch and another four wineries in the afternoon. We found some decent wines and pretty wineries and the region certainly lived up to its reputation with a series of very good ports, muscats and other fortified wines.
In more detail it was Andersons (decent sparklling), Jones (very good varied selection, jolly man doing the tasting, couple of bottles bought), Scion (vineyard was also sold photos by one of the winemakers - very cool nature shots), Cofield (winery ok - but bought some salad dressings), St Leonards (pretty expensive but tasty and live music), All Saints (cheese shop, took a bit of a tasting break), Pfeiffer (turtles in the river, unusual selection of wines and a pink port bought), Stanton and Killeen (very tasty fortifieds - went back the following day to finish the tasting).
An enjoyable day saw us flagging by the end but with a few bottles of wine in hand to take home we returned to the B&B to get ready for dinner. Heading to the Terrace restaurant was made easy by the restaurant sending a car to pick us up which also took us home at the end. Dinner was fine but not remarkable with most courses having something that was not quite right - still an enjoyable evening however.
Five ports were on tasting going back to 1983 and all tasted slightly different and had their merits but it was actually the non-vintage 12 year old tawny port and muscat that impressed the most so a two bottle purchase was made.
Dinner was at a relatively new restaurant in Rutherglen and was again made interesting by the fact that there was a live band playing for Easter Sunday in the courtyard of the restaurant. The funny thing was that they were effectively playing to themselves as all of the guests were eating inside.
The weekend away was followed by an interesting surprise. Minda managed to secure two tickets to be in the audience at the Footy Show through her well connected manager. The show is a live TV show about the AFL that has something of a cult folllowing in Melbourne.
It is something like a cross between Football Focus and Fantasy Football where serious discussion of football is interspersed with comedy sketches. Despite me offering, Minda was not that keen on going so I invited Demery from the office and and along we went. Turning up at 8.00 for a 9.30 show made for a pretty slow start with us having to go through scanners and check in mobile phones.nWhen we gave our names we were handed Post-it notes not knowing what that meant.
It didn't take long to find out as we were shown to seats in the front row of seats in the audience. A few special guests sit at tables on the floor but we were the next best thing. So the question - did we make it onto live TV - the answer - yes......................just. The panning shot at the start of the show shows us both clapping and welcoming the hosts and we also make it into shot for a couple of seconds later on - not exactly stardom but it will do us.
It was quite an interesting experience really having never been to a live TV show before. We were encouraged to clap and cheers teams, even if we didn't support them, to make sure there was always some support and whilst nobody held up a board with 'APPLAUSE' on it there was a floor manager telling us when to start and stop clapping. What was also interesting was that depending on the segment of the show and what camera was being used for the live show there was always something happening on the set, whether it be touching up the make up of the (male, ex-footballer) presenters or changing props etc.
After the show the presenters stayed behind off-air to answer questions and it became clear that some people had been on waiting lists for 5 and 7 years to get in the audience - we didn't do too badly then - and certainly enjoyed our TV 'appearance'.