Anyone familiar with wines from Australia is familiar with Barossa wines. If you aren’t familiar with Barossa as a name, anyone who has seen Australian wines has seen both Penfold’s and Jacob’s Creek which are based in this area. With our one day in Adelaide we decided to take a tour of the region with one of the guide services. Initially we had looked at a hop on/hop off tour because it seemed so cheap, but eventually arranged with a real guide to take a real tour so we would hopefully get more information on the valley and not have to waste time deciding what to do or where to eat.
Our guide arrived right on time outside our hotel and we began our drive to the valley. Our guide talked about things we were seeing along the way and explained the geography of the area with its different terroirs and wine regions. One interesting sight was the large salt pan from which they get industrial salts. Several years ago, a developer was enticed to purchase that land for a housing development, but evidently he found the economy or location too daunting because it has now reverted back to salt pans. Our guide told us that another developer has explained how he would have dealt with the salt buildup. He would cover it with plastic and assume that by the time the plastic failed and the salt began to cause problems he would be dead. No problem.
He also told us about a flier who had completed a powered flight before the Wright Brothers inaugural flight at Kitty Hawk. It was longer and earlier, but not recorded and shared until later. Having a publicist matters, I guess.
|An unpretentious entry to Basedow's|
|These doors were cut into what used to be wine vats|
|No longer a wine vat, now a meeting room|
Our second winery, Chateau Tanunda, was equally interesting historically and a magnificent building to boot. Another early winery in the area, it also fell on hard times and was sold to Foster’s who gutted the beautiful chateau, sold off the pieces, and left the building to decay. Just about the time the city decided to bulldoze it away, the man who became rich by inventing Tetlow’s circular tea bag rode by on his bicycle and decided to buy it. Today it is an excellent small winery and the building is used for weddings and meetings as well as making wine. It even has its own cricket pitch which has been used for some international matches. Our server here showed us a new way to aerate wine using a decanter we happen to own given to Linda by her team as a birthday present after a wine auction. It is blown in such a way that it is easy to roll around on the counter, a fun activity while entertaining guests or even while cooking as long as you don’t roll it onto the floor.
|Our lunch platters|
Following our tasting at Chateau Tanunda, we moved on to Z winery for lunch. Z is more of a restaurant on the main street of town and we had a platter of meats and cheeses while the barkeep poured our tastings. By now the focus was more on food so our tasting was less rigorous. I think they were good wines, but can’t be sure it wasn’t just the timing.
|Bethany Winery in a quarry|
Our last stop was at Bethany where our guide promised us some bigger reds. The winery was interesting as it had been built on the quarry that had supplied the stone for much of the town including Chateau Tanunda. It is a beautiful setting, but we found the wines to be just good, not really very exciting although that could be because we had already consumed quite a bit and out taste buds weren’t as discerning as they had been earlier.
|First home in the area|
|The original Presbyterian Church|