2019 Wine of the Year and Hunter Valley Trip

Category: Wines

The weekend started well with beautiful weather predicted and gorgeous drive up to Thistlehill guest house. 32° weather greeted us as did the effervescent Donna, our hostess at Thistle Hill Guesthouse ( Our chat and event tracking on the Member Jungle app also made it a bit hi-tech and super useful.

The cheese platters set up in the rooms came in very useful as we took them to the poolside with the  supplied bottle of Thistle Hill Semillon. As the TCOP crew started to come in throughout the afternoon we sampled these beautiful snacks and wine and had a dip in the fresh pool.

Local Models


Friday night consisted of a walk then down to Ironbark Hill brewhouse where some local beers were sampled,  some nice wines and the viewing of a massive garage door being blown in by the windy conditions. The food there was excellent!.

There was some conjecture regarding the concept of retro shirts,  half the phalanx assumed that was retro wine club shirts and the other half assumed very cool retro outfits. Either way, the crew looked goooood!

Saturday morning surfaced and we all attended breakfast in Airline PJs supplied by Pete. Gorgeous food was supplied by Donna with some special treats by Stuart, her husband, and we all gathered approximately on time to walk down to Wombat Crossing Wines (

Simon, our host at Wombat Crossing, took us through a special tasting with the whole vineyard was closed down just for us. We sampled a number of their fantastic wines and some gorgeous cheese platters put together by Rolene.

After Simon showed us some of his vines,  Chardonnay, Shiraz and some Semillon, we headed off back down the road on a walk to Piggs Peake.
The less we say about the quality of both the staff and the wines at Piggs Peake, the better -  it was pathetic.

Rolene - Impressed!

Rolene .... Impressed!


Fortunately we had enough snacks between us to gather around the courtyard at Thistle Hill, sampling wines and beers and gorgeous snacks in preparation for our long tea and awards dinner. 


A lot of preparation had been put into our meals for the night;  slow cooked meats, beautiful soup, Eton Mess and a variety of other dishes people put together to great effort. Special mention should be given to the awesome veggies done by Campbell especially since he had to leave  at about 1:30 am.  

But we were here for the Throsby Creek Wine Awards and slowly Michael released the winners.

Sparkling of the year award went to Lee-Anne with the Chandon sparkling. The white of the year also went to Lee-Anne serving a classic Throsby Creek winner,  the Scarborough Chardonnay.

The prestigious Host of the Year award was highly contested and the winner is a very effervescent Sheila.

Rolene had organised awesome celebrity head (or celebrity on your back game) which through the evening we all enjoyed -  not only determining your character but also helping others to determine theirs. The props that Rolene put together were awesome and indicative the amount of effort that she put into this fantastic weekend!

The Red Wine of the Year was won by Adrian and Sonia with the Wild Duck Creek Springflat Shiraz which was absolutely beautiful.

The Wine of the Year, the big award,  who would it go to ?

It was a close-run thing and the high-quality Shiraz from Château Pato was up against the Wild Duck Shiraz but it was the Pato which was served by Peter and his keen pricing which saw him take out the award and the big trophy.

Another awesome breakfast was served on Sunday morning at Thistle Hill. This place is gorgeous and we will definitely be back.

Upon Donna's recommendation we headed off to try more wines at Thélème wines at Black Creek Farm ( It was outstanding. We were hosted by Jean and Nadine, the French owners and wine makers. We were treated so well and looked after - we felt like absolute houseguests at their winery and had a really nice visit. This was probably reflected in most of us joining their wine club.


The weekend was absolutely brilliant. Thanks so, so much to Rolene, who had sorted out most amazing accommodation and all activities. We were hosted beautifully by Donna and Stuart at Thistle Hill Guesthouse, thank you. Wombat Crossing was outstanding as was Thélème Wines and it was absolutely great to spend time again with this awesome bunch of Phalanxers. 



Full list of the wines of the year.

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