There are many great reasons to visit Chateau Montelena, first of which is the wine. But for me, it’s about the history and experience. Everyday, we get to learn something new, some uncovered bit of history, some tribal knowledge handed down from our winemakers, managers or salty local.
We also get to experience the majesty of Jade Lake, which lies beneath the Chateau, and all that it attracts…namely a family of river otters that have been gorging themselves on the aquatic life. My first encounters were of what they left behind…bright orange droppings all along the shores of Jade Lake. But the last two weeks, they have been very active in the water, playing and diving and swimming right up to curious visitors. I walk my dog, Bruno, twice a day along Jade Lake and these little guys frolic in the water and stop long enough to peer at you as you pass on by or take their picture. It’s great to see some extra wildlife along with the Australian Black Swans, Mallards, Herons and crawfish.
So, as you come by to taste the wines and take pictures in front of the castle, keep in mind that there is also lots of history and wildlife to indulge in as well. Who knows, you may even spot the river otters sunning themselves on a catamaran yourself.