Hundred Acres at Ghost Rock Vineyard
Publishedon 15/09/2015 - 04:50 am
Something exciting has been bubbling on the North-West Coast of Tasmania, and if you follow the aromas, your nose will lead you to the brilliant new cooking school at Ghost Rock Vineyard.
Far from just a cooking school, Ghost Rock has never been ‘just’ a winery either.
The vineyard has become an icon within the region; establishing itself as a premier entertainment venue for the North-West Coast with it’s popular Concert In The Vines. The annual event held each summer on the grass amongst the grapes allows the vineyard to attract rock legends to the North West Coast of Tasmania; having previously played host to the likes of Ross Wilson, James Reyne and Joe Camilleri.
Ghost Rock Vineyard sits in Northdown, about a 15 minute drive from Devonport and not far from Port Sorell. The Arnold family have been farming the area surrounding the property since 1854, and Cate and Colin Arnold planted the first vines in 1985 as a hobby, more than anything else. They probably could not have imagined at the time what would later become of the hugely successful business to which they had planted the first seeds.
Just recently, the Arnolds have invested in a sparkling new million dollar winemaking facility, and as of this year have completed their first vintage onsite. This significant milestone is one part of the latest development on the Ghost Rock Premises, Hundred Acres.
Hundred Acres, the new Winery and Food Interpretation Centre that opened only in June, is stealing the show. The building itself is a work of art; Colin and Cate scoured Europe looking to find ideas for the most elegant wooden doors to grace the entrance. From the moment you walk into the building, you can smell the freshly polished timber. Beautifully stylised, there are bowls of lemons, vases of flowers and rustic homewares. Centred are four neatly presented matching workstations. Far from the cold, clinical feeling you would expect from a commercial kitchen, this place is warm and inviting, and has the sensation of walking into a country home.
What happens in a kitchen, however, is only part of the cooking process. The food workshops held at Hundred Acres aim to provide a “soil to bottle, paddock to plate” experience, allowing participants to connect the source of their food with the end result. Classes will include trips to meet local food producers to collect produce and gain insights into the animal rearing and fruit and vegetable growing process.
And what would cooking be without wine? Well there could certainly not be a more fitting venue to host a cooking class than a vineyard. Each workshop will focus on the matching of seasonal produce with one of Ghost Rock’s excellent wines. Cate and Colin’s son Justin will introduce participants to the winemaking experience, and together with his wife Alicia will assist with running the workshops.
Alicia’s creativity is reflected throughout the beautifully decorated kitchen. “She’s even used the rolling pin I gave her for Christmas” smiles Cate. Alicia also brings valuable experience to the business with her previous role as the Program Director for Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food Australia.
Cate speaks of her son and daughter-in-law with immense pride, and what really shines through is a family with a shared passion and love for food and wine, who have been able to join together and co-create a wonderfully rewarding business that truly offers something different for Tasmania.
In addition to classes, the facility will also be used to cater for other functions such as business and corporate events. A sumptuous French inspired degustation was held last month, and many similar events are planned for the coming months.
Unsurprisingly, Ghost Rock is a winner of this year’s Cradle Coast Regional Tourism Awards, claiming the category of Wineries, Distilleries and Breweries. If you have not yet visited Ghost Rock, our recommendation is to start with a wine tasting, followed by a glass and a delicious platter in the outdoor seating area. On a nice day you might be lucky enough to experience an ocean view of Bass Strait.
If you are looking for more of a unique food and wine experience and are interested in learning about the behind the scenes side of food and wine production, then why not join one of the Hundred Acres Food Workshops? The blackboard on the wall lists 'Pinot Noir and Venison' as an upcoming workshop. Did somebody say Pinot? We might see you there.
Ghost Rock is open from 11am-5pm Wednesday-Sunday, and daily during summer. For more information, please visit their website http://www.ghostrock.com.au.