M rating, 91 min, Drama, Thriller, Action, 8 Oct 2013 (AUS)
Undercover agent Thanh Do is a bright and capable agent and has been sent to infiltrate a group of food lover on a trip to the King Valley. There has been a tip off that a mafia run counterfeit ring has been set up in the King Valley to sell cheaper Prosecco in place of the quality product made in the area. The whistleblower has indicated that an upcoming trip with an group of food lovers touring the area is actually a scouting mission to find new locations to sell the fake goods. Agent Do has been tasked with flushing out the criminals and breaking up this crime syndicate. Agent Do must realistically embed himself into the world of food and wine in order to not be found out. As Agent Do gets closer to others in the group, the developing relationships start to impede his judgement, which may ultimately result in his demise.
Read part 1 of the King Valley Love saga about Brown Brothers Winery and Jessie's Creek B&B here.
Read part 2 of the King Valley Love saga about Pizzini Wines, King Valley Premium Beef and Mountain View Hotel here.
Read part 3 of the King Valley Love saga about Politini Wines, Gracebrook Vineyards and Dal Zotto Wines here.
We started to drive home when the rain really started to get harder. However, the short trip to our accommodations was easily achieved and we were safely tucked into our beds to sleep off our Prosecco indulgences.
On the final day, it was time to pack up bags and go to our final destination for this trip, Lindenwarrah at Milawa. This was a short drive away from our accommodation and back towards where Brown Brothers was and where we had all parked our car. We arrived at the Brown Brothers car park and drove our cars over to Lindenwarrah for brunch. We sat down at the outdoors tables in the courtyard of the hotel and looked at the magnificent vineyards. It was such a welcoming place and I felt instantly relaxed, but knew that I still had to investigate Melissa, my final suspect.
We started the brunch with some freshly squeezed juice, porridge, yoghurt and pastries. Everything was delicious and I tried my best not to eat to much. I was watching Melissa the whole time during breakfast and noticed she was making a lot of phone calls all morning. I could overhear occasional words of "I'll see you soon", "yep I'm looking forward to the wines", "Let's find a way to make this happen".
We moved onto the main dishes and they all looked so enticing. I opted for the Big Breakfast, with an extra side of prosciutto. Everything on my plate was executed perfectly and tasted great. Others had varying dishes of pancakes, corn fritters and gluten free options even and it was all excellent.
When we finished brunch, everyone walked away from the table to take a tour of the gardens. I noticed that Melissa left her phone. I picked it up and quickly jotted down the last three numbers she had called. I then quickly ran to catch up with the rest of the group for the hotel tour. We went through the rooms and they were all really nice and big. The balconies on each room overlooking the vineyards were spectacular. The common lounge areas were so comfortable and you could just read your book there all day. Lastly the pool was an oasis of calm. Hopefully the next time will be on a nice relaxing holiday rather than this undercover work.
With the tour of the hotel completed, we all bid our farewells and got into our cars to drive home. It was a great trip but I had failed in my assignment. While I had ruled nearly all of the suspects out, I had not found the Prosecco counterfeiting criminal. My suspicion was still on Melissa and I would need to follow her movements when I got back to headquarters. While I was in Milawa, I decided to head to the Milawa Cheese Company with Ashley to obtain some cheese. I had tasted a number of their cheeses on this trip and been very impressed. When we got to the Cheese Company, we each bought a few cheese to take home. We bid each other farewell and off we went on our separate ways.
I got into my car and started to drive home. I looked at the three mobile numbers I got off Melissa's phone. I dialed the first number. A childcare administrator picked up the phone. She must have been ringing about her children. The next number I rang was answered by a staff at Dal Zotto Wines. She must have been going to pick up some Dal Zotto Prosecco afterwards. They are really good wines. The last number I rang, it continued to ring. I saw that there was a truck that seems to have broken down on the road and had blocked traffic. The driver was about to get out of the truck and I was about to get out of my car to help them get the truck up and running so I could drive home. Suddenly, someone answered the phone. It was Emma our Bus Driver/Farmer/Tourism Representative/ and the person I sat next to and talked to all night at the party at Dal Zotto Wines. Reacting quickly I decided to talk as I liked Emma. I sat back in my car and said
Thanh: "Hi Emma, how are you? I got your number from Melissa".
Emma: "I'm good thanks".
Thanh: "I just wanted to say thank you for driving us around and also have a safe trip on your way to your in-laws house up in the mountains".
Emma: "Thanks. We are already on our way and nearly there. I hope to see you soon".
Thanh: "Same. See you soon".
I hung up the phone and was again about to get out of the car when I started to feel a bit light headed. My vision was starting to blur and the pain in my head was increasing. I was starting to lose consciousness when I saw some bright yellow high heels get out of the truck. My mind was failing to comprehend what I was seeing. My vision was really blurred but I was 100% certain I had seen those high heels before. Suddenly all the pieces were falling into place. How had I been so dumb not to see it. It was the perfect setup. An inside person producing the goods and covering all the tracks at the origin of the product and another person to help with the distribution back in the city. Also I flashed back to the party when my drink was accidentally knocked over and someone went and got me a new drink, which had a slightly funny smell to it but I didn't think too much at the time. My cover had been blown and I have been drugged. The two criminals running out the Prosecco counterfeiting syndicate had got me. While I thought I had been watching them, they had been watching me the whole time. I clearly saw the yellow high heels now and the person was walking towards me. It had been them two working in conjunction all long. With my last grasp of air I yelled out "Melissa and Emmaaaaaaaaaaaaa".
I hope you all enjoyed my summary of the King Valley trip I had the pleasure of attending. Please note, while the facts about the location, wineries, restaurants and the people are real, the whole scenario is not (I sound like Judge Judy). I made up the whole story just to make it a fun read, which I hope it was. So no, Melissa and Emma do not run a Prosecco counterfeiting crime syndicate.
The trip, as you may have seen, was filled with so many wonderful place, people, food and wine. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Much thanks to Melissa and Ewen who looked after all of us and drove us all around. It was the ultimate sacrifice as that meant they couldn't drink too much Prosecco and wines from the region. Also a massive thank you to all the wonderful people and places who hosted us during each day. I found people in the area to be so genuine and really have a passion for what they do. And luckily, what they do tastes freaking fantastic. I urge you to visit the area as I really fell in love with it and have planned a trip back in December already. It is a stunning place and will really help you to relax and unwind. Till the next adventures of Undercover Agent Do, I urge you to keep eating good and drinking good wine.
I attended this wonderful trip courtesy of Squawk Media and the hospitality of the numerous companies of the King Valley.