Waking up in our little cottage on the dunes at Barnbougle, I discovered that I hadn’t made it up in time for sunrise (hint: I wasn’t trying), but the early low-slanting light that I did catch was incredible, making the grasses glow a fierce gold and giving the golf course green the look of having been processed through an Instagram filter. We packed up and took a quick spin 4km down the road to Barnbougle’s sister resort, Lost Farm. We had a sticky beak in their restaurant just to ogle the spectacularly dramatic view through the floor to ceiling windows, and then drove into Bridport for brunch.
Before brunch though, we detoured down to the beach so I could see the old jetty: a must-be-photographed attraction for all visitors to Bridport. Again we had stuck gold with the weather – the sky perfectly blue and the sun sparkling on the water – no long sleeves required. I even took my shoes off and had a paddle at the water’s edge, and was amazed to discover that it was not anywhere near as cold as I had expected.
After partaking of the sunshine on the front deck of the Bridport Cafe and fortifying ourselves with brunchy things, we were back on the wine route, this time the west Tamar. First on the agenda was Three Wishes, a small, family-run rustic operation producing small parcels of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling. Set on a stunning site, high on a hill looking down to the Tamar River, the homestead and cellar door look as though they’ve seen better days but are charmingly endearing.
At Moores Hill, the winemaker had driven over to the east coast to pick up a swag of oysters to serve up to their cellar door visitors over Easter, but they were the big, fat Pacific variety which are not my favourite, so I opted for just a bottle of Riesling to take home. The verandah that opens out from the cellar door at Moores Hill has tables and chairs where visitors can enjoy a tasting plate while taking in the gorgeous vista of vineyard and rolling green hills, and there were plenty of people doing just that the day we were there.
We pressed on to Goaty Hill Wines, where their annual Easter Saturday festival was in full swing. Live music, food trucks, and plenty of cool climate wines to go around while basking under the shady trees made for an excellent way for some time to go by that afternoon. I even tried blue cheese chocolate for the first time. Let me say that again. Blue cheese chocolate. It’s surprisingly good! No strangers to putting on a good show, Goaty Hill also hosts an annual Jazz festival in November and boy, do they have the parking sorted. Hundreds of cars were directed by volunteers in high-vis vests to a large grassed area cannily situated just a hop, skip and a jump from the cellar door, and opposite all the festival action.
At Holm Oak, after making our way through their cellar door offerings we availed ourselves of some terrific, locally made rillettes and cheese to go with a glass of Pinot Noir on the deck. I liked it so much that I bought a bottle to add to my ever-growing collection. Most of the wineries on the Tamar Valley Wine Route participate in a most hospitably enabling practice, whereby visitors can purchase wines as they go from cellar door to cellar door, and the last one that you buy from will send your wines home for just the cost of the freight. Fantastic!
After one final stop at Stoney Rise Wine Company our palates were sated, my 12-bottle box pretty full, and we had seen some very special scenery over the last two days. If you like cool climate wines, and Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir are your thing, then get yourself to Tassie’s Tamar Valley at the earliest opportunity, is all I can say.
* Catch up on part one or part two