BY KACEY JOHNSTON
There was no hesitation when the HUNTERhunter team were invited to attend the annual Olive Long Table Lunch, only lots of excited hands raised in the air.
The annual lunch which is set in the beautiful Olive Grove at Whispering Brook Vineyard is a much sought-after event to cover and one of the highlights
of the Hunter Valley Wine & Food Festival.
Now in its tenth year, the lunch lived up to and on many counts, surpassed expectations. The conversation and laughter flowing as easily as the delicious
wines on offer, in particular Whispering Brook’s popular Sparkling Shiraz.
Susan Frazier and Adam Bell have owned this gorgeous property for nearly 20 years now. Passionate about wine, this formidable husband and wife winemaking
team, searched for some time to find the perfect spot to practice their craft before calling the beautiful land at Broke home. And we’re so glad they
After a brief tour of the vineyard and olive grove we’re treated to some very tasty canapés and wine before taking our place at the long table. This
year, guests are being treated to a delicious meal by Frank Fawkner, Owner and Head Chef of EXP Restaurant
. Frank who is also passionate about cultivating and utilising local produce put together a divine menu featuring
Whispering Brook’s own olive oils in each of the courses.
The afternoon rolls on and after a fun game of wine options featuring the 2017 Whispering Brook Single Vineyard Shiraz (an elegant 97-pointer just recently
named in Halliday’s ‘50 Winter Warmers’) EXP’s pièce de résistance is served - Lamb belly cooked in olive juice served with roasted beetroot, goats’
cheese and marinated olives. Halliday’s spot on by the way, this wine is exceptional and in everyone’s opinion at the lunch, the perfect accompaniment
to our delicious winter feast.
A perfect ending to what has been a really lovely and lively day, we’re treated to a lemon and olive oil sponge pudding with honeycomb and creme fraiche
for dessert, which Frank suggests might just appear on his own menu in the near future.
If you’re contemplating visiting the Hunter next year for a winter escape, the Olive Long Table Lunch at Whispering Brook is a must-do experience, one
we can definitely recommend.