You generally have a purpose for a trip, right? It may be a pure relaxation and day spa kind of trip, a sightseeing or touristy trip, a holiday with the kids kinda trip, you get the picture…
Well a trip to the Barossa Valley in South Australia is a trip like no other. The purpose of this trip is none other than pure and utter indulgence. A cellar door hopping, wine tasting, culinary delight as you meander through the prettiest of countrysides. This world renowned wine region is a picturesque landscape lined with rows of beautiful, established vineyards, farm houses and stone cottages. The afternoon sunsets are majestic and there’s an abundance of warm, cozy places to stay which make you feel like you’re in a winter wonderland.
We sat in these beautiful old world stone cellars and tasted copious amounts of white, red and dessert wines over cheese platters and good company. I have always been intrigued by the art of wine making and loved hearing “wine talk” – insert words like “complex textures, fruity characteristics, hints of french oak” etc. – but there’s just so much more to it than meets the eye. What an amazing journey the grapes make to result in a superior product that stands up to the winery and its philosophy.
We were lucky enough to have a special tour of St Hallet’s where we discovered the process the grapes go through to reach the table from picking, to pressing, blending and then being stored in the cellar. From here they’re aged until ready to drink and this process is exciting in itself. I also loved the fact I could taste the wines, without actually drinking them all – hence a relatively clear head in the morning!
The main town Tanunda is only hour out of Adelaide and there is lots to do there. You can go for beautiful walks or explore nearby quaint country towns. Hire a bicycle and ride between wineries, they are quite close with literally minutes between many of them. With famous brand names like Henschke, Penfolds, Kellermeister, Grant Burge and St Hugo’s you will definitely have plenty to visit. Even play a game of golf, chess or be pampered at one of the many day spas in the valley.
The produce is so magnificent and supplies many beautiful restaurants in the area. Even Maggie Beer’s flagship store Maggie’s Farm House is located in the nearby town of Nurioopta. Clare Valley is another popular region adjoining the Barossa which is popular for it’s white wines, galleries, museums and beautiful landscapes.
Heritage buildings, cottages and farm houses are reminiscent of European townships which is a pleasant change from the usual Australian outback. Handmade stone walls are prevalent and gives a real old world feeling transporting you to another place. The choice of accommodation is vast with everything from a fully serviced hotel to quaint little B & B’s and five star apartments with all the trimmings.
We had a four course dinner at Apellation at the Louise which is an award winning restaurant with three chef hats. The food was next level with a selection of wines from the region complimenting the menu.
On Sunday we were scheduled to visit four wineries before lunch, however ended up having a full tasting at the Stonewall Cellar experiencing the magnificent Rockford Wine selection which was quite a treat. My in laws are serious wine connoisseurs so we just went along for the ride and enjoyed all the perks you get from purchasing lots of wine every year. That afternoon we had the 7 course Discovery Degustation menu at Hentley Farm. What a beautiful afternoon with lots of tantalizing theatrics. We all got our “foodie” on to entertain each other and talked about each course and it’s wine pairing like we were on the set of My Kitchen Rules.
The Rockford Basket Press Shiraz is something pretty special and I am slowly being converted to appreciate the big reds. I’ve always been a Champagne, Semillon, Sauvignon Blanc kind of girl however Reislings are becoming really popular again among an array of different grape varieties coming through.
All in all, it was a truly divine experience and I definitely recommend a visit for anyone who loves their food and wine as much as we do. A super decadent getaway and or weekender, I can’t wait to go back next year! Check out the website here for more information on where to stay, eat and indulge!
Lots of love xx