“My father is now 99 and we were in his biodynamic garden picking for the restaurant this morning,” explains winemaker Sue Carpenter. She’s just taken me through arguably the best tasting I’ve had in the Canberra Wine District, and has moved on to selling the restaurant. I don’t take much convincing to enjoy their stellar range – particularly the beautiful off-dry 2013 ‘Eliza’ Riesling ($12/glass) and the 2013 ‘Mr V’ Marsanne, Roussanne, Viognier ($14/glass) blend – in the restaurant they built themselves, overlooking the vineyards. The short menu is available as Two ($50/head) or Three-Courses ($65/head); though if you’re having trouble committing, I will say the Jersey cream crème brûlée was the best thing I tasted. Araluen peaches with pistachios and condensed milk ice cream aren’t anything to be sniffed at either; they reflect a lovely simplicity that allows the produce to speak. It’s also evident in the Angus rump, where three cheeks of beef, charred on one side and pink on the other, drip black garlic butter beside a mound of rocket and Parmesan. The short ingredient list carries through to entrees like blow-torched scallops with finger lime and nam jim. Between the luscious wines, scenic views and lazy jazz drifting in from musicians sitting right on the balcony, it was just the relaxed, uncomplicated meal I’d been craving.
Lark Hill Winery Restaurant
521 Bungendore Road, Bungendore
Ph: (02) 6238 0266 larkhillwinery.com
Modern Australian, Wine $$$