Saturday, 12 April 2014

2013 Trip to Tasmania - Laurel Cottage and Frogmore Creek Winery

Port Arthur was our last destination in South-East of Tasmania after which we moved inland. That day we didn't have any more time for sightseeing, so we went straight to our next one-night accommodation, Laurel Cottage in Richmond. We came there ten minutes before the declared arrival time and were gently chastised by the cottage owner for not warning her by phone. Having been overwhelmed by such welcome, we silently grabbed the keys, dropped our bags, and rushed to take a sunset photo of the historical Richmond Bridge, which was found only 50 metres away.

After taking mandatory shots of the oldest operating bridge in Australia we returned to the cottage. The house had all modern facilities and equipment but was very old. I was surprised to find an information booklet which contained copies of deeds since its construction in 19th century. Walking around the cottage we found two bedrooms, a lounge room and dine-in kitchen. The lounge had a functional fireplace, which we didn't use since it was pretty warm, and complimentary port and chocolates, which we did use despite it being pretty warm. One bedroom was apparently reserved for kids, as there were teddy bears on beds. I wonder how many children didn't want to let go of a teddy bear when they left the cottage. Laurel Cottage would be just right for a family with kids but was an overkill for a couple; it felt a bit desolate with the empty second bedroom.

Next morning we headed towards Launceston, and of course, we had to go through another Tasmanian wine region, Coal River Valley. One of the wineries I wanted to visit there was Frogmore Creek. In 2012 I bought a wonderful 2008 Frogmore Creek 42°S Pinot Noir and hoped to discover other great wines at the source. And discover we did, although, unfortunately, it was not a dry wine. Olga, who was responsible for tasting sweets and bubblies, was much impressed by their Iced Riesling. Unlike its counterpart in Canada, where climate hardly leaves winemakers any choice, Tasmanian Iced Riesling was frozen in fridges, not on vines. But frost is frost, whether it is provided by Mother Nature, or by a refrigerant, and the result was terrific, as I inferred from the fact that it was one the first bottle from the Tasmanian wine haul uncorked by Olga.

Come to think of it, I have visited 43 Degrees Apartments, drunk 42°S wine, but still haven't had any experience named after 41 Degrees South. This gap has to be closed, and my bucket list of places to visit during my next trip to Tasmania has just acquired a new entry: 41° South Tasmania Salmon and Ginseng Farm.

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