Celebrating ten years of Noosa International Food and Wine Festival was not something I was going to miss this year. The festival is a showcase of local, regional, Australian and International foods. Producers, growers and artisan masters showcase their goods to sample and purchase. I met some amazing people and my focus this year was looking at organic & sustainable products to line up more farmer interviews here in Queensland. You will have to stay tuned to the blog to see who I have found as I am not giving it all away in this post. This post is about the food, smells and tastes that happen once a year in the heart of Noosa.
To start my festivities I joined up for an organic and biodynamic wine tasting with my good friend Lena.
As you know I don’t usually talk about wine yet I am always looking out for good quality organic wines to try at home to drink along side my dinners. The wine tasting hosted by Max Allen who writes about wine for numerous publications around Australia was very informative – who better to introduce me to the world of wine, right. The panel of wine makers were Brian Kent from Frankland Estate WA, David Carlei of Carlei Estate Wines VIC (pic left), Micheal Paxton of Paxton Vineyards SA (second from left), David Ritchie from Delatite Wines VIC (thrid from left), Mark Richardson of Tyrrells Wines SA (far right) and Huon Hooke.
During the tasting the discussion was around different methods of farming the difference between organic and biodynamic. The whole panel agreed that if the soil is healthy than their grapevines would be healthy and produce better grapes to make their wines. Many of the wine producers at the table now are composting, fetalising using 500 (biodynamic compound) or fish & kelp liquid, mulching and the weeds are just extra decoration in the vineyard. David of Delatite Winesstarted practicing biodynamcs many years ago when he noticed his soil was dying and the grapevines have been healthier since. He now uses the weeds as an indicator to deficiencies that the vine or soil may have. Daniel from Carlei Estate also farms biodynamically along with the moon calendar for picking, pruning and mulching. Our sampling involved two wines picked 24 hours apart one during the fruit & root phase which is perfect for picking and the other just after this phase. They were both produced in the same manner just different picking days and the difference in taste was amazing. The wine picked on the fruit day was rich and full of flavour while the other was more watery and lacked flavour.
My eyes have really been opened to organic and biodynamic wines and I would love to visit a few of the wineries to see their processes from a farming perspective In the mean time I am going to work my way through more of the great organic and biodynamic wines here in Australia
Smoked salmon with toasted buckwheat and taro puree by Wasabi
The food area – choose carefully as there is so many delicious choices to eat. I could not eat them all.
Inside the Grande Marquee
Clockwise: Artisan honey from J Friend & Co grown on the South Island of New Zealand, Jason from Spanner Crabs Noosa and Pepe Saya who makes unbelievably good butter & Micheal from Fino Food and Wine.
Andrew French with his Samphire from Snowy River Station Samphire is grown in salt water it recently won the Delicious Award for best new product. It is also called sea asparagus. Andrew told me that even Henry the 8th ate it and Shakespeare wrote about it.
Cheese display by Black Pear Epicure – The truffle cheese was a big standout!
Cajan Chicken by Cafe Le Monde
Another great debate food bloggers verse professional food writers. I think that bloggers are changing the way people research food venues. What do you think?