Day 1. Barossa Valley South Australia.
Adelaide South Australia. Wine Capitol of the world! Yes you read that correctly. We can hear the cries of 'bloody tossers, wankers, no way, you blokes got a few roo's loose in the upper paddock'. You may have a point, but South Australia none the less has one of the most spectacular wine industries of anywhere in the world. Having spent many hours sampling, and lots of drinking South Australian wine, as well as wines from all over the world, South Australia really pretty much has it all.
To refresh you may want to read - Worlds top ten cities to visit. #9
On this particular WineWalkabout Adventure, the destination in South Australia was to be the famous Barossa Valley. You Me Barossa. There are a number of great regions to visit in South Australia and some even have wine. Why did we choose the Barossa Valley and not some where else. With much consternation and using the latest scientific methods it came down to a contact who had helped on a previous visit to the Coonawarra area and happens to work in the Barossa. On our next visit we will focus on one of the other amazing South Australian areas like Clare Valley, McLaren Vale, the Adelaide Hills, the Riverland or perhaps Langhorne Creek. For now we will focus on The Barossa, With more than 80 cellar doors and 150 wineries, where do you start?
On a spectacular spring day of 30deg C with only some scattered decorator clouds in the sky, it was off on what was hoped, would be a fabulous Adventure!
We (left Kiwi at home and replaced with brother) left the eastern suburbs of Adelaide and headed north on National Highway A20 the Sturt Highway and took the Nuriootpa turn off. As we pulled into Nuriootpa it was decided that some nourishment was in order before we got stuck into some wines, and as luck would have it as we made that decision we saw Linke's Bakery and Tea Room and purchased a toaster sandwich and a pasty with sauce. Delicious!
Chateau Tanunda. This is one heck of a majestic facility with a ton of history, and is considered the birthplace of the Barossa wine industry. This is Australia's largest (37,674 square feet) and oldest wine Château. By the mid 1990's this magnificent facility was abandoned and forlorn until in 1998, John Geber chanced upon it, and bought it and embraced the challenge of restoring this magnificent property to its iconic status. The grounds are spectacular as some of the inside displays of people and things gone by. Château Tanunda has a great series of wines to taste, with diverse styles and a good selection of variety, enough for all types of tastes. We had a wonderful tasting of this nice range of wines with the lovely Brigitte. She filled our heads with interesting facts about each and every wine and was always ready to go to the next taste when we were.
recommend" and well worth a stop! Tours can be had daily at about 11am.
Coonawarra facility last year. This year it was the Barossa facility of Yalumba. Yalumba is Australia's oldest family owned winery and the Barossa tasting room, or cellar door as they are known in Australia, is in one of the most beautiful facilities you can experience. A lot of time and energy (money to) has gone into beautifying this historic place. For over 160 years and 5 generations the story of Yalumba has been unfolding. With such a nice environment and a lovely roomy tasting area (used to be the brandy bond store) the wine is really the icing on the cake. Good icing! The staff were generous with their time, and just like in Coonawarra, made a wonderful experience even better (thanks Steve).
With a very nice selection by range and style, a wine tasting here is bound to please almost everyone (always one wanker in a group). Can "recommend" without reservation a stop at this fabulous Cellar Door and enjoy some great wine and hospitality in a stunning facility.
Villa Tinto. Albert Di Palma, owner and winemaker, has successfully combined the vigneron background of his mother’s family originating in Rioja, Spain and later in Mendoza, Argentina into some fabulous wine of top quality. Full bodied Mediterranean style reds that engage the drinker are the norm. Had a nice chat with Albert and his wife and would definitely say "good, would go back" for an interesting and unique Barossa experience.
Feeling particularly accomplished with our stops for the day it was time to find our accommodation.
Elderton Lodge in Nuriootpa. This fabulous fully self contained facility is located just a short walk from the cellar door, and very close to shopping and restaurants. Really a perfectly located place to base a trip to the Barossa from or for that matter just a great place for a holiday. With two good sized bedrooms with queen beds and two single beds in a third bedroom this is perfect for some couples or a family.
As we sat back and relaxed, with a lovely glass of Elderton, Greenock one Shiraz, that was provided for us in the lodge, we discussed our dinner options.
Elderton Lodge and settled in for the night, watching telly and finishing that lovely Greenock one Shiraz before retiring to our respective rooms and comfortable beds and to dream of the Adventures to come.
That was a perfect end to a great day exploring the Barossa, seeing some amazing facilities, meeting some wonderful people, and tasting and consuming some inspiring wines. We were consumed. Till tomorrow Barossa!