Take the turn off Maroondah Hwy onto Hill Rd and wind your way to a little place with a big view called Soumah. This boutique winery planted its first vines 20 years ago on the undulating 50 acres that expand beyond the old wine shed. In 2005 Brett Butcher bought the property and has worked diligently with his team to turn what was essentially a grape wholesaler into the Soumah we see today.
Soumah wine tastings are essentially an education in family history – and we all know how much Yarra Valley Life love’s family! Brett will introduce you to the Mother of all wines Savarro. Not only is she getting on in age (born in the first millennia) but she has many children and many more grandchildren. She has been able to adapt to modern times quite well – with the help of her offspring and now, in her old age, is enjoying semi-retirement with only two Australian properties to call home – Soumah being one of them. You see Savarro enjoys a climate similar to that of her origin, Northern Italy, and has found the weather in Gruyere to remind her of her homeland. The cool wet winters and hot summer days followed by mild evenings take her straight back to a time she was busy looking after her children Chenin Blancm, Gruner Verthner and Savignon Blanc. So Brett and his team realising that Savarro loves to be surrounded by her family have been diligently planting crops of Northern Italian heritage such as – Pinot Grigio, Ai Fiori (Rosata), Brachetto and Nebbiolo.
You will continue to enjoying the influence of Northern Italy when you sit down for a bite to eat. Brett made the very smart move of establishing the menu around his grape offerings. What cuisine pairs best with Italian wine varieties? Why, Italian food of course! Ordering Brett’s suggestions of Bruschetta to start followed by Lamb with sides, was a good move. Not only is Bruschetta one of my favourite ways to enjoy bread – this one changes with the season. In winter it is topped with perfectly seasoned mushrooms and a crumbling of fetta, in summer a more traditional topping of tomato and basil is served. As a starter one serve is better shared as the portions are quite generous. The LAMB – well this is one tasty dish. Slow cooked for 14+ hours and served in a pool of jus, it is tender and the flavour explodes in your mouth. You will need to order sides to really enjoy this meal. The garlic roasted potatoes and salad that accompanied my meal rounded out the meal perfectly. The menu comes complete with Brett’s wine match suggestions and the trophied Pinot Noir was the perfect side kick for both courses - Its earthy tones enhancing the flavours of the meal.
Soumah is an experience that educates and entices. The view of the property from the dining area is STUNNING. If you enjoy a landscape that rolls, completely covered in vines and continuously changing, each season bringing its own beauty - then this is the property for you. The repurposed shed is rustic and homely, with accents of Soumah’s trademark Turquoise you will want to purchase a bottle of wine relax in the country chic furniture and sip the day away.
Guest Blogger - Tennille of Yarra Valley Life - pop over and check out her great Yarra Valley stories.