Winemakers Alex Schulkin and Galit Shachaf of The Other Right have just been mushroom picking when Broadsheet arrives at their Ashton wine shed. The bright orange ‘shrooms, known as the saffron milk cap, are found alongside their driveway. Some are as big as dinner plates, but those don’t taste so good. Walk a little further into the surrounding hills and valleys and you’ll find apples, fennel, watercress and raspberries.
This abundance of local produce and wild edibles will be celebrated at an upcoming long table lunch at Schulkin and Shachaf’s property. The event begins with a 90-minute forage with event organiser Tiffany Schultz (Conscious Lifestyles) and botanist Bev Lane, who will educate guests on responsible foraging of edible weeds and mushrooms. Fifty guests will then sit down to a vegetarian feast prepared by Tze Khaw (former executive chef of the National Wine Centre) using the foraged food.
Last year, Schultz teamed up with winemaker Charlotte Dalton to celebrate the emergence of spring. Now, she’s preparing for the winter solstice. Traditionally that means picking and preserving produce for the colder months. Here that means a feast of fermented foods such as sauerkraut; seasonal veggies cooked over coals; lentil stew and wild greens.
Schulkin and Shachaf are vegetarian, and want the meal to reflect their values. Schultz was also vegetarian for 20 years. “It’s a different style of creating food that can be equally delicious and nourishing and arguably more interesting,” she says. Four courses will be matched to wines from The Other Right; starting with a pet nat from this year’s vintage before moving onto orange viognier (named Moonshine) and “juicy” 2016 shiraz (Unfurl).
“We don’t do a lot of events,” says Shachaf. “We don’t enter competitions. We’re much more into a personal experience with people. Alex shows the shed and wine here to people almost on a weekly basis … one on one … and what Tiff is doing is very much the same idea.
“We love the experience of having a few hours with people who can experience, not just the wines, but the food and foraging. Everything that Tiff is [organising] is what we would love to participate in and it’s all the food we would love to eat, so it’s the best way to present our wine.”
“It’s not about a celebrity chef and it’s not about a big-name winemaker,” adds Schultz. “It’s about the whole experience; a rustic experience that’s also high quality. We’re not about fancy plating – you won’t find foams on our dishes – but it’ll be damn good food.”
Preparation: Foraging, Ferments & Feasting with The Other Right Wines is on Sunday June 18. Buses depart from Victoria Square at 10.15am and return by 4pm. Tickets are $146.25 and are available online.