Sunday, 18 January 2009

a country drive...

During our break we took a huge country drive over 2 days, 900 kms we did. Petula managed quite well for an old girl (she's our 1978 V12 Jaguar). On the Sunday we drove from Melbourne to Corop where Samuel's family have had farms for the past 3 generations. We were give a tour by his Dad's cousin, which included a bush graveyard where the earliest grave is 1877. He showed us all the old farms & farm houses, told us stories of droving, machinery & distant relatives from times past. It really was quite interesting. We couldn't resist taking the photo below, because I'll be a speer at the end of march when we marry.
We then drove off into the afternoon heat, on our way to Beechworth. We stayed the night in Stanley which is a 10 minute drive out of town, in this little cottage. It's on a chestnut farm & is just lovely.
Below is their immaculate english style garden, where cute little fairy wrens danced about in the morning sun. The smell of the chestnut flowers were so strong. Quite yeasty, almost like bread proving in a warm kitchen, with a sweet tinge to it.On the monday morning we pottered about beechworth, before setting off for the King Valley. Our first stop was the winery Gracebrook, which our host at the cottage had recommended. We had cups of tea out on the lawn & chatted to the owner/winemaker, before going into the barn to try some wine. Isn't the barn just awesome. They rebuilt it from the original foundations, all the timber was handmilled to look as it would have in the day.
This is on the lawn looking the opposite direction out over the vines & valley. The history of the King Valley is quite interesting too. Because Beechworth was quite popular during the gold rush, the valley was used for the chinese market gardens & the italians grew tobacco.

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