Gentle Annie – Caravaners Forum UWE – Part 1

The Unofficial Weekend Escape (UWE) of the Caravanersforum at Gentle Annie in Whitfield is mainly a social event. As such there is plenty of sitting around camp fires, discussing the world and the caravanning world in particular. Blogging takes second priority. We had a great time and enjoyed it all. Now it is time to put up a blog entry that summarises the time at Gentle Annie’s.

We met many friends that we had previously met at UWEs – but also made new friends. When travelling the way we are, we mostly are in a particular place for a short period only. While we are meeting interesting people, we don’t make close friends. At a gathering such as this one, we spend a lot of time with a group of people and tie much closer links. These are people with very similar views of caravanning and it is easy to exchange ideas and discuss issues that matter to us. If you are interested in caravanning I suggest you join a forum such as and participate. If you get a chance, meaning if you are in the area or can get to the area where a meeting is being organised – go for it. I am sure it will be a worthwhile experience.

Too many days have passed without a blog entry. I will not attempt to report individual days. The following photos are around Gentle Annie and Whitfield.

One day we drove up to Powers Lookout – a 20km drive from Whitfield. This is quite a winding road up the mountain. But the drive is well worth the vista presented at the lookout.

The walk down to the second lookout was over some steep sections of steps. At times these can be quite a challenge.

The view down into the King Valley rewards for the effort.

This is Harry Power and Ned Kelly country.

The mountains around here offer plenty of hiding places and Ned Kelly learned most of his bushman skills from Harry Power in these mountains. This is the entry to the cave in which Harry Power was holed up and caught by the police.

We watched eagles soar above the area.

There were many different plants along the path.

Of course a visit to King Valley must include some of the wineries we could see from the lookout.

Gentle Annie’s organised a tour with the school bus around the area visiting some of the wineries. We stopped at King River Estate to start our wine tasting tour. While some of the wines were interesting, they did not meet our tastes. But the stop was well worthwhile as it gave me an opportunity to walk around the estate and see some interesting aspects of a wine producing estate.

Young olive trees already were producing olives.

Our next winery was at La Cantina.

They were in the middle of harvest and we saw the grapes after the juice had been extracted.

The cellar tasting was more to my liking – I especially enjoyed Nebbiolo – produced from a grape variety originating in Northern Italy. The word Nebbiolo is related to Nebbia, ‘Fog’ in the Po delta of Italy. According to the owner of La Cantina, this grape was considered ready for harvesting after the third fog of autumn hit the area.

I hope that Pinoccio, the wooden puppet that is displayed above the counter, is not symbolic of the lies that made Pinoccio’s nose grow… It would be a shame if the wines sold here were not genuine.

We couldn’t resist the temptation of these wines and purchased a couple of bottles. In hindsight, we enjoyed these wines the most during our wine tasting. We should have bought more here.

Next stop was Gracebrook Wineyards. This vineyard offers great wines as well as ‘home cooked’ meals. It is in a great location and the views are spectacular.

I enjoyed being able to explore the area.

Next stop was Dalz Otto.

I especially enjoyed their Pro Secco wine. My sister is a fan of Pro Secco and I am sure she would enjoy the Australian Variety as well.

We stopped at the pub in Whitfield for lunch.

They served a variety of food and the choice was not an easy one. In the end I chose Slow cooked Bundarra rare breed pork shoulder, braised
celery heart, apple and radish
. The braised celery heart was quite unusual – never had Celery as a hot vegetable. Check out their menu. I think it is fair to say that we all enjoyed the meal.

Next stop was at Paul Bettio

I especially enjoyed their port and bought a bottle. I also enjoyed the setting and took a number of photos.

I especially enjoyed our stop at Francesco Wines.

We were told a lot of the history of the winery and the region. This made it a different type of visit. Unfortunately by this time of the tour, we had tasted too many wines and we could not really appreciate the wines here.

This is one of the gas guns that woke us up at Gentle Annie’s. They explode at irregular intervals to scare the birds in an attempt to keep the birds from eating the harvest.

Tobacco drying sheds.

The last stop at Pizzini probably was the most commercialised – all the same I enjoyed the stop and the scenery.

Like many of the wineries in this region, Pizzini has it’s history in tobacco growing. These type of buildings were used to dry the tobacco.

Beautiful roses are in the garden beds at Pizzini.

We had enough of wine tasting and just wanted to have a rest.

There are vegetable and herbal beds that are being used in the cooking at Pizzini – probably also in their cooking classes.

Check out my second blog entry about the UWE.

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