For all my love of Canberra wineries, I’d never been to Mt Majura Vineyard. And, despite enjoying a truffle degustation at Benchmark Wine Bar, I felt I hadn’t quite had my truffle fix. So, you can imagine hearing that Mt Majura was offering truffled brie as part of the Fireside Festival more than piqued my interest!
Mt Majura Vineyard is, I believe, the only Canberra region vineyard actually located within Canberra*. We turn off the roadwork-heavy Majura Road, where the roadworks have actually made their way into the gates of the vineyard – I’ve heard this will make it easier to turn off from what is a very busy road. The vineyard stretches up the side of the hill.
The car park is full, but the cellar door is empty when we walk in. We’re soon informed that in the next room is a Tempranillo tasting – it’s one of Mt Majura’s most popular wines, and the new version has just been released.
We haven’t made a booking, but after a quick check we’re told they can fit us in. I’m a little surprised seeing as the room is empty, but after 45 minutes the room is packed. We take a seat in the corner of the room and I think it’s the best seat – the sun is shining through and we’ve got lovely views of the vineyard and, yes, the roadworks.
The truffled brie comes with three glasses of wine and the experience is a reasonable $25 each. Everything comes out together – including all three glasses of wine. There are plenty of biscuits (and a variety of different ones – this suits us perfectly as Boyfriend and I have very different biscuit tastes!), as well as a plate of walnuts and figs.
Most importantly, $25 each means we get our own plate of truffled brie. The brie is a Small Cow Farm petit vache and comes as a very generous serving; the sides where it’s been cut are already oozing onto the plate – gorgeous. The truffle is local (as if you’d expect anything less), from French Black Truffles of Canberra.
You can see in the photo that the plate and wine glasses are actually lined up on the laminated placemat. The placemat states what should be sitting on top of it – handy for both the tasters and the servers, I imagine!
While the wines are served all together, we’re offered the spiel on each as we work through them. The first is the 2008 Silurian sparkling chardonnay/pinot noir. It’s an excellent accompaniment. The second is the 2011 chardonnay. Neither of us is a fan of chardonnay, but for haters, this is passable (a compliment).
The final glass is a 2002 Mt Majura merlot – no longer sold by the winery. They’re using it because their other red wines weren’t quite as good a complement with the truffled brie (and it’s a lovely wine).
As for the brie? Well, it’s excellent, too. Small Cow Farm is a Robertson (NSW) farm, and the Petit Vache won Gold at the 2013 Sydney Royal. (Small Cow Farm appears at the Capital Region Farmers Markets in EPIC every first and third Saturday.)
At risk of being accused of playing with my food, I’m curious as to just how much truffle has been used.
While our degustation last month was superb, I found it difficult to really distinguish the truffle taste in the dishes. Fellow blogger and foodie Jas mentioned to me that one of the best dishes which has ‘showcased’ truffle for her was truffled scrambled eggs, and it’s this generous serving of brie – rather than a range of dishes – which really drives home to me what truffles (and their taste and texture!) are all about.
We finish our experience with a few tastings of their other wines.
All in all, it’s an afternoon well spent.
Date: Saturday, 3 August
Cost: $25 each for three glasses of Mt Majura wine (~80ml each), crackers/biscuits, a large plate of truffled brie and a plate of walnuts and figs
Worthwhile factor: Highly worthwhile
Want more? The next tasting of truffled brie at Mt Majura is sold out! That said, there are plenty of other Fireside Festival events on in the month of August – but get in quick!
* I realise there’s Kamberra wines, but I don’t think their vineyard is within Canberra?
Bonus fun fact to impress your friends and win at trivia: Mt Majura is the highest mountain in Canberra, but not the ACT (that’s Bimberi). It’s 888 metres – an easy(ish!) way to remember this is that the Mt Majura vines were first planted in ’88. You can thank me later
- Truffle Degustation at Benchmark Wine Bar (inthetaratory.wordpress.com)
- Mt Majura VK1/AC-034 – 2 March 2013 (vk1nam.wordpress.com)
- 2011 Mount Majura Tempranillo, Canberra, Australia (vinsiders.net)
- Everybody’s truffling – Canberra Truffle Festival (boyeatsworld.com.au)
- Treasures Gallery and Bookplate (inthetaratory.wordpress.com)
- Adventures in Griffith | Griffith Vietnamese Restaurant and Aubergine (yummylummy.com)