Day 82 & 83 - Rootstock Festival, Sydney, NSW, Australia & Breakfast with the Neighbours

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February 8th 2014
Published: February 18th 2014
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Saturday 8th and Sunday 9th February, 2014. Rootstock Festival, Sydney, NSW, Australia and a Day Off!

We didn't do much during the morning and went and had a Thai lunch at our favourite place in Rozelle. Then we made our way down to the Carriageworks where we were booked on the 4pm to 8 pm wine tasting session at the Rootstock Sydney 2014 Festival. We had deliberately booked on this session so we could hook up with D's son, Will, who is coming to Sydney for this festival with his work. Carriageworks is a contemporary multi-arts centre based in Redfern. Carriageworks engages artists and audiences with contemporary ideas and issues. The program is artist led and emerges from Carriageworks’ commitment to reflecting social and cultural diversity. It receives support from Arts NSW and the Australian Government through the Australia Council for the Arts. It is called the Carriageworks because the buildings used to be the sheds where the railway carriages were maintained.

Rootstock Sydney s a not for profit festival run by Giorgio e Maria (Sommelier 121BC, Vini Import), Mike Bennie (Wine Writer), James Hird (Wine Library, Vincent Pinbone), Matt young (Black Market Lake) and Lina Wiss (Black Market Sake) along with a large network of amazing supporters and friends.

All the wines at the festival are made without commercial additions such as enzymes, acids, sugars and tannins. They are made with naturally occurring yeasts without the addition of commercial or harvested yeasts. They are made without technology, have no or very low levels of sulphur added are made without chemicals or machines to concentrate the fruit, raise the alcohol levels or enhance the aromatics or viscosity of the wine. The use of wood is be kept to a minimum.

The vines used to make the wine are organically grown and the vineyards must focus on creating sustainable productivity with healthy soil an vines by treating the vineyard as a unique living eco-system. The grapes must be 100% hand harvested with quality being the priority over quantity. So, in summary, it was a festival of naturally produced wine.

When we arrived we met up with Will, presented our tickets and were given a snazzy yellow wrist band to wear. This allowed the exhibitors to know that we had paid for a tasting. M was introduced to Ashley and we both were introduced to some of Will's work mates. We chatted for about half an hour before making our way to the tasting part of the exhibition. On the way in we were given a glass and a Rootstock Sydney 2014 book. This listed all the growers, with details about their Country, Region, the Estate etc. There was a space after each one for us to make notes. We wandered around tasting mainly white and sparkling wine for an hour and then went and watched a talk on how food waste is collected and re-distributed in Sydney. We returned to the festival and continued tasting until 8 pm. M entered a competition at the Blind Corner stand. The wines varied from amazing to really weird tasting, but it was interesting.

We met up with Will and Ashley about 10.15. There were several other things happening at the festival including FoodMaster Classes, and International Guests. The Night Festival ran from 5 pm to 11 pm. This was where some top chefs were cooking dishes based around their favourite wine. It was good fun. We left for the bus when it closed.

The next day we went round to Rach's neighbours, Howard and Brenda, who had very kindly invited us for breakfast. It was really lovely, our first cooked breakfast since we left the UK, washed down with bucks fizz too. We spent a lovely morning and part of the afternoon sitting in their lovely garden chatting. Will and Ash went to Manly for the day and will return to Rootstock this evening. We will meet up with them tomorrow before they return to Hobart.

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