Day 12: ANZAC Day in Coonawarra/Penola

Lest we forget, today is ANZAC Day, one of my favorite days on the Aussie calendar. Normally, I am hosting a brunch on this day for about 20 people, followed by an afternoon of Two-Up at the Kirribilli Club.

Toto, we are not in Kirribilli anymore. We are staying in the Coonawarra region another day, but we moved to the small town of Penola at the south end of the region. I called the one pub in Penola to see whether they’d be playing Two-Up. The answer: “What? No. You could try the RSL [Returned Services League] club.” But the RSL is so small in Penola, it had no phone number. I found a phone number online that I thought was the RSL club, but it was a neighbour of the RSL club. She said, “I doubt it, but you could just show up there.” So we did, and it was locked up tight. There would be no Two-Up for me this year. Though I did joke with Adam that we could play just the two of us in Sherwood and as a couple, we’d be sure to break even. Suffice it to say, I missed my Sydney peeps today.

To assuage my homesickness for Kirribilli, I went to another two wineries (I know; you’re shocked) while Adam went for a run: Katnook Estate and DiGiorgio Family Wines. I had a lovely quiet tasting at Katnook with Kathy in the cellar door, where I enjoyed more elegant Shiraz. Then I walked to DiGiorgio – the walk was short, and the weather lovely – for an outdoor tasting. I joined two couples, one of which it turned out were from Naremburn, a couple of suburbs away from Adam and me in Kirribilli. Funnily enough, I have just taken on the role as editor of Naremburn Matters, a thrice-annual newsletter for the Naremburn, Willoughby, and other Lower North Shore communities. I had a lovely and funny time with Wayne, Brian, Roma, and Louise – and tasted some more great wine, loving the rosé and scooping up a bottle of bubbles.

Adam and I then met up to do a tasting together, this time at The Blok, a winery our fellow campers had told us about that specializes in ageing their wines. So they don’t offer them for tasting till they’re about 10 years old. We had a lovely tasting there with Bec, one of the owners, and came away with a 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon and a 2014 Shiraz.

Leaving wine tasting behind (for now, mind you), we headed to Penola for the non-Two-Up night. Fortunately, a colleague had given me a tip to check out Petticoat Lane, which was incredibly quaint and historic.

And though they were maybe a week or so past their prime, and they weren’t poppies for ANZAC Day, I loved the roses of Penola:

And we still had to toast the ANZACs, so we did (twist our arms) go to the local pub to raise a glass. Lest we forget.

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