It all started at 4.00 a.m. when I had the alarm on to catch a Pelican Airlines flight to Mudgee! I was part of a contingent of eight bloggers/influencers who were about to embark on a tour of Gooree Park in Mudgee; a property that combines a vineyard, wagyu farm and horse stud!
Once we arrived at this magnificent property we were driven to an exquisite venue for breakfast that had a 360 degree view of beautiful countryside and overlooked the property's racetrack.
Breakfast was set out with beautiful china tea cups, on a long table with white linen and we enjoyed ham & cheese croissants, toast, fruit, yogurt, coffee, tea and of course....sparkling wine! What a way to start! I could have spent the whole day in this tranquil setting, however more beautiful experiences were waiting for us.
We looked down at the racetrack where the thoroughbreds practice their skills. The property's Stud Mistress Vikki Cannon, asked us if we noticed which direction the horses were running? Then she told us the reason why; it's clockwise for NSW races and anti clockwise is for the Victorian races so as to condition the horses for the particular track they will be racing on.
Vikki has spent 33 years on the property and she truly is the Horse Whisperer. She's a walking horse breeding encyclopedia and I enjoyed every moment with her. She's also the Equine Midwife.
If you are wondering about this beauty, his name is Ruling Dynasty.
We then headed to the Gooree Park vegetable garden that is lovingly cared for by Mrs Cojuangco who owns the property along with her husband. She is a keen gardener, and I'm told grows the best garlic ever!
The photo below is one I took of some of the beautiful tomatoes; I just loved their colour. Some of us took produce from the garden as we were all heading towards a Wagyu Burger Challenge! The eight of us had already sent our recipes to The Wog With the Grog in advance, so our challenge was to make an awesome Wagyu burger, but more on that later.
We had a funny incident here when Rob threw a rubber snake at Adriana and myself which resulted in some very unladylike language!
After playing in the hay at the stables It was now time to head off to the Burger Challenge!
Each of us had our own table set up like a mini Master Chef series! We were supplied with the ingredients that we had requested prior to flying down to Mudgee, a Wagyu patty and a bun, the rest was up to us. As the burgers were cooking we had a little bit of white wine tasting, and then it was time to assemble our creations. We each made two burgers; one for us and one for the judges to cut up and share!
The wines by the way were going down well!
My burger was made of:
Cooked leek and banana chilli
I'm here to tell you it was delicious if I do say so myself and I'll be making more of those! The winner went to @chic_traveller who to his credit, painfully layered his burger with beetroot relish and a plethora of goodies he had picked out of the property's vegetable garden.
After our burger extravaganza we set off to explore some more of the property.
Gooree's pastoral interests also include the highly sought after Wagyu cattle breed and cropping enterprises. As one of Mudgee’s historic properties, Gooree Park is renowned both as a world class thoroughbred horse stud and as the largest vineyard in the district, also responsible for crafting ‘the thoroughbred of wines’, with the range of high quality Gooree Park wine varietals increasingly earning their own acclaim, having been successfully shown and commended by vignerons around the Nation. Gooree also oversees the management of 400 hectares under vine, the production of premium wines as well as onsite Cellar Door operations, events and tours.
Following our tour of the property it was back to the Cellar Door for some more wine tasting (well actually we were outside next to the paddock) where we sipped on tantalising reds and enjoyed one of the best cheese platters I have ever seen! The atmosphere here at sunset was tranquil and perfect.
Of course, as anyone who hangs out with food bloggers will tell you, nothing can be eaten until the perfect photo has been taken by all.....
......But it's all worth the effort!
And that was nearly the end of the perfect day. We bundled into the bus and headed back to Sydney via Pelican Airlines.
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