Tallagandra Hill Winery Lunch

26 April 2020 / Words and photos by Rod Nicholas

Tallagandra Hill Winery Lunch - 26 April 2020 (not)

My calendar reminded me that today we were going on a run to Tallagandra Hill Winery. ‘Traffic is light. It will take 30 minutes to arrive’ it told me.

Ordinarily, that would have been a fib. Our run leader, Ken, was not going to take us on a 30-minute commute down the Barton Highway and Nanima Road, not that I know what he really had in mind. But Ken is not one of those guys who likes to take the easy way. You just have to look at how carefully he plans his long runs (the unfortunately cancelled Terrific Tassie Tour 2020, for example) to pretty much know that the short way there was not the Ken Way There.

‘Oh well’, the sad little fellow perched on my right shoulder whispered in my ear. ‘It’s a crappy day; raining, windy, cold. Everyone would have cancelled.’

‘Rubbish’ I told him. ‘A spot of rain doesn’t put anybody off. We can drive with the lid on. The heater in the MX works well, and don’t forget the heated seats. And I bet the Winery has a beaut open fire that we can all stand around and warm our little tootsies, while we sample their wine and pizza. Anyway, the sun will come out—it always does when we’re with the mob from the Club!’

‘You’re not allowed in NSW under these COVID restrictions’ he snapped back. ‘The boys in blue will slap a fine on you’.

‘You’re probably right, ya little devil’ I mumbled back. ‘But I’m gonna do it. Not now, so don’t go sulking again. When it's safe, next year probably. And I'm gonna take the long way. I’ve got this route planned already—280 km from home to Tarago, Bungonia, Crookwell, Gunning. Dunno if that’s the way Ken would take us, but it’ll be a ripper. You don’t have to come—I only want happy people in the MX.’

With that, the sad little devil slipped away.

‘And don’t come back!’ I yelled as I watched him go. ‘I'm off to Hops & Vines in Hall to grab a bottle of Tallagandra Hill’s tempranillo. If I can’t get to the winery in person, at least I can drink their wine.’




[Rod Nicholas was once a normal (???) MX-5 owner/driver who didn’t often see ‘little devils’ perched on his right shoulder. Since late March, though, he’s started to twitch and wriggle every time his calendar reminds him of another run with the Club that isn’t happening. He has been seen to go into the garage with a coffee on Thursday mornings and sit in his ND, mumbling to himself. He has said to his poor suffering wife that ‘when this isolation is over, he is just gonna jump into the ND and drive—doesn’t matter where, but it will be all day. And another. And maybe another’.]