Visiting the Barossa and Clare Valleys

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Examining wine at Penfolds

I spent two days touring the wine country near Adelaide with Barossa Epicurean Tours. What a great time! It was just me and Tom, my driver and guide, whose knowledge of wine, local history, geology, botany and current events made the trip exceptional.

The first day we spent in the Barossa driving around to cellar doors and trying local produce. At Penfolds I had a tour of the enormous operation (they are owned by Fosters) and then played at blending my own wine. Tasting wine before lunch made me tipsy, so we stopped at a well-known purveyor of dried fruit and nuts, Angas Park, and the Barossa Valley Cheese Company, where I picked up a delicious goat's brie. We had lunch at Kaesler, and did a bit of tasting and shopping at Rockford and the gorgeous cellar door cum gallery, Kabminye. We ended with a coffee and chocolate at Maggie Beer's Farm Shop and then I went to my B&B, the beautiful Marble Lodge in Angaston.

The next morning, Tom toured me through the Clare Valley. At Annie's Lane, I tasted the striking difference between grapes grown in clay and those grown in slate soils. Same grapes, completely different wines. They tasted like like farming and mining. We stopped in at the oldest winery in the area, Sevenhill Cellars, founded by Jesuits in 1851. More cellar door tastings at Pikes Wines and Tim Adams, a superb coffee at Wild Safron in Clare, then a delicious ploughman's platter lunch complete with homemade pickles and chutney at Penna Lane Wines. We ended with a tour of the local landmark mansion, Martindale Hall, before returning to Adelaide.

I am leaving out all of the fascinating history I learned, the stunning views I saw, and tasty wild plants that I experienced because those are things you will have to do for yourself. Get in touch with Tom; he's an excellent tour guide and when he is doing the driving, you can taste to your heart's content without worry of driving off the road.

2 Comments

I love the wine-coloured shades in the background!

Those *are* very appropriate shades. There appears to be a typo in your mention of Kaesler, unless you meant for the URL to appear in the entry.

I'm very curious about the comparison between the clay and slate-grown wines, and would like to try them myself. In an NPR podcast I heard some wine expert denying such a thing as "terroir" existed. It seems unlikely the wine industry would be making it all up, but stranger things have happened.

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