The inaugural “Island Jaunt” which is usually held in September was held over the weekend of January 28th and 29th. This was Island Jaunt No 2 after a brief hiatus due to Covid. This magnificent trip which is short and sweet is organised by two of our favourite wine producers being The Stoke and Moorak wines.
We started our trip with swags on shoulders and endless enthusiasm at Cape Jervis. After a quick trip with wind in our hair on the ferry we arrived at Penneshaw, Kangaroo Island. Our transport for our jaunt was a large and comfortable KI Ferries bus with our knowledgeable tour guide Jo to explain the devastation of the 2020 bushfires. We enjoyed a relaxing bus ride to the Cassini Vineyard operated by Nick and Rebecca of The Stoke. After disembarking from the bus we followed our fearless hike leader Jordan to our lunch spot for paella courtesy of Comida Catering of Hahndorf and new release wines from The Stoke and Moorak. For me my standout was the Moorak Chardonnay. Have you seen an Eagles Nest before? We did! At lunch Nick showed us a stick laden nest that a beaver could be proud of (if it could climb a tree).
All aboard!! Back on the bus to what had just been awarded “Best Beach in Australia” by the Australian Tourist Commission. When you arrive into Stokes Bay carpark you may be left wondering, ummm what, where is the sand?? Then with eskies and portable tables under arms we weaved our way through the rocks tunnels until we found “The Beach”. With a natural wading pool, waves for the surfers and a crescent shaped beach it is easy to see how this beach is highly awarded. Is being there enough? No it is not. Our gracious host Jordan of Moorak Wines then shucked the freshest of KI Oysters in the surf. There was not a single oyster left and thanks to Bec for her special oyster sauce. Following indulgent Oysters and the award winning Moorak Pet Nat we were ready for some highly competitive beach soccer. A fierce game was fought on the beach that beach on that day and the victors won in a golden goal moment.
Stoked with our afternoon (pardon the pun) we boarded the bus to head to The Shearing Shed in the middle of the island at Eleanor Downs. Our dinner venue was a converted shearing shed repurposed into a events venue with all the rustic charm you could desire. Swags were hauled off the bus and swiftly erected to get our evenings activities underway.
Our evenings beverages were beers from Grasshopper Brewing which is an up and coming brewery from KI to look out for in the future and some of our favourite wines from The Stoke and Moorak. Our dinner was held on several long tables included us city slickers from the mainland and locals alike. Comida catering treated us as to a degustation with no empty plates at the end. The music from the live band, Nicks brother Sam and Dom of Slow Lane Wines kept the party pumping into the night. You can make as much noise as you want in the middle of the island!!
The next morning was a bit rough on some (including myself), but is that not the sign of a good time? We boarded the ferry, dragged off our swags and parted ways. From Michelle & I and friends we want to say a big Thank You to Nick and Rebecca of The Stoke and Jordan of Moorak. If you hear of the “Island Jaunt No 3” next year and this sounds like it floats your boat (or ferry) we suggest you get involved.
As a side note, we applaud The Stoke for their Guroo wine project. The Guroo wine project is an initiative whereby The Stoke gifts 3 winemakers per year grapes from Kangaroo Island to make wines to promote Kangaroo Island wine. The most recent “Guroo” winemakers are Charlotte Hardy of Charlotte Dalton Wines, Sue Bell of Bellwether Wines and Stephen George of Ashton Hills.
If you are unfamiliar with The Stoke and Moorak wines we suggest picking up a bottle and tasting what we best describe as the next generation of South Australian winemakers.