Noosa attracts more than its fair share of visiting winemakers and most recently Margaret River winemaker, Vanya Cullen presented her wines to the locals. The occasion was a degustation dinner at Sails Restaurant, where I was able to chat to Vanya before guests arrived.
Vanya Cullen in Noosa
Cullen Wines not only has a reputation for superb, long-lived wines but also for its “green” credentials. Since its establishment over 40 years ago the company’s winery and vineyards have achieved certification as being organic, biodynamic and carbon neutral. A trifecta perhaps unique in Australian winemaking. Continue reading
Not so crazy
Ipazzi Ristorante is a tiny new eatery in Noosa Junction, a couple of minutes over Noosa Hill from the Hastings Street resort strip. It is fast gaining a reputation as the best Italian restaurant in town.
Ipazzi, Ruby explains, means something like “We’re crazy!” Ruby runs everything front of house and Fabio, her husband, is chef.
The narrow room features well-separated small tables and is all red and white checked tablecloths with candles burning in old bottles. It looks like a full house would max out at 25 covers.
Fabio, I learn, prepares house-made pasta each afternoon and the choices on our menu are fettuccine, spaghetti and maltagliati. Continue reading
iS Tapas Bar (249 Gympie Terrace, Noosaville, Queensland, 07 5447 1818). In usually sunny Noosaville it was gusty and alternately raining and shining, looking for a light lunch we stopped at the open-fronted iS Tapas Bar and were given a table with views of the Noosa River.
iS is fully licensed but allows patrons to bring their own wine ($4 corkage fee per bottle) and we took along a 2003 Petaluma Hanlin Hill Riesling. Despite its rather warm cellaring in our house it was in excellent condition – sprightly and lemony with just an occasional hint of that aged riesling character that we all know and love yet find hard to describe without annoying winemakers.
From the longish menu we chose Chili mushrooms – in a light sauce/marinade of butter, lemon juice, chili, garlic and finely chopped herebs; Parmesan crumbed artichokes – these were served with the stems (quite edible) attached and looked a little like chicken drumsticks – served with a truffle and lime mayonnaise; Manchego cheese croquettes – crumbed, about the size of pool balls – with a quince paste sauce, and Tempura vegetables on skewers -tiny morsels of crisp veg in the lightest of batter.
The food presentaion was attractive, the waiter was hip and we really enjoyed each dish. The bill for two, including corkage, totalled $42.