Over the long weekend, we ticked off yet another Australian state with a visit to South Australia’s capital of Adelaide. We barely made it to the airport in time Saturday morning due to an alarm clock mishap, but luckily Ben saved the day and woke up just in time!
Saturday we walked around the entire city, headed down to the beach at Glenelg for lunch and explored that area for the afternoon. That evening we dressed up for a night on the town with our first stop at Mesa Lunga – a trendy wine and tapas bar. We had a few glasses of Adelaide Hills/Barossa Valley wines and a bit of banter before dinner at Adelaide’s infamous Ying Chow (a cheap Chinese joint that is legendary with the locals) We then made our way to The Bar and finished the evening at Lotus Bar.
Sunday morning we picked up our rental car and made our way to the hills for a day exploring the famous wine region. We had a delicious breakfast at a tiny little providore cafe (the kind I dream about opening one day!) A couple of ks down the road was our first winery – Petaluma. The cellar door and fine dining restaurant are inside what’s known as the old Bridgewater Mill which is actually still in operation. Their extensive wine selection took nearly an hour to go through before we headed downstairs to check out their champagne room. Some of the bottles had been then for nearly 15 years (with the dust to prove it) and would be there for another twenty! The old German town of Hahndorf was our next stop. We strolled along the main street, had lunch and made our way to the next winery on our list – Shaw and Smith. Michael Hill-Smith is actually a friend of Ian and Siena’s and he’d helped with our initial planning of the trip and set up the special tour at Petaluma.
He met us at his winery to guide us through our tasting which as you can imagine added so much to the experience. Ben and I channelled our inner John Allen 😉 while he explained the intricacies of the wine, the history of the winery, his personal journey as a wine maker/businessman. After nearly two hours there Ben and I headed back to Adelaide with our 6 bottles from Shaw and Smith.
Monday was reserved for the Barossa Valley which is famous for its Shiraz so as you can imagine I’ve been dreaming about since we’d booked our vacay! The drive in itself was a treat. Our first stop was Yalumba which is actually owned by Michael’s cousin. They had a huge cellar door with a gorgeous fire place. We’d decided to take advantage of the sunlight and make ourselves a picnic for lunch so our next stop was the Barossa Valley Cheese Shop to pick up some freshly made Goat’s Brie before heading down the road to Penfolds. We purchased a delicious bottle of Bin 28 to add to our ‘cellar’.
Maggie Beer’s Farm was next on the list to pick up some more essential ingredients for our picnic before heading to the charming boutique winery – Hentley Farms. We’d tasted their Zinfindel at Mesa Lunga the first night and I fell in love with it. So we tracked it down and to our delight it was the perfect setting for our picnic. We purchased a bottle of the Zin and enjoyed a lunch of fresh cheese, wholegrain bread and vegetable pate overlooking the picturesque vineyards.
Our last stop was Jacob’s Creek which was a bit of a disappointment after our special experience at Hentley Farms. The cellar door was actually referred to as the ‘Visitors Centre’ which I’m sure paints the picture perfectly for you.
We flew back the next morning bright and early. Ben rushed straight back to work and I was off to my health retreat in the Hunter.
It was a fabulous trip and we had such a great time. Let us know if you want some tips for wine tasting in Adelaide!
There is much more to report on…but in the interest of keeping these as short as possible we’ll hold off on that…
Lots of love,
Jac and Ben