One of the main attractions of Adelaide is that it is Australia’s wine capital, with many of the countries main wine regions nearby and over 200 cellar doors on its doorstep. Big name producers such as Penfolds are located here. We were able to go to the Barossa Valley and McLaren Vale, but have yet to explore the wine regions of Adelaide Hills, Clare Valley (great Rieslings), the rest of the Fleurieu Peninsular, Riverland (on the Murray River, think Banrock Station), and the Limestone Coast, home of Coonwarra wines among others. Many hardworking German immigrants came to Australia in the mid 1800’s, settled in these areas. Their influence is widely seen.
We went on a very enjoyable tour of the Barossa Valley, home of the big Shiraz. We visited the cellar doors of 4 wineries: Chateau Yaldara, Peter Lehmann, Langmeil, and Murray Street Vineyards. Our easy going tour guide provided us with a lot of interesting information about the region and the winemakers, and made sure that we were well treated at each place. Most times we had private tasting rooms.
I think that Ed was more interested in the fancy cars in front of the winery than the tasting room inside. Nonetheless we did get inside and enjoyed some delicious wine. Our next stop was Peter Lehmann wines. Peter Lehmann had a significant impact in the development of wines in the Barossa region. Our tour group enjoyed a delicious lunch here before continuing on to the next winery.
We went to Langmeil wines, which was Ed’s and my favorite, but we didn’t take any pictures there. Too busy buying wine, I guess. One final wine stop was Murray Street Vineyards. This was one of the most attractive tasting rooms that we had the pleasure of. As we were driving, I found it fascinating to see Palm trees growing alongside grape vines. The climate here is very hot and dry. In fact, the real threat here is fire, much like the California hills. Water reservoirs are carefully protected for irrigation and fire fighting. Fines are very heavy for any violation (such as swimming in a reservoir). We were blessed with a lovely sunny day that was not excessively hot. The day after we left Adelaide, the temperatures soared into the high 30’s, and maybe even into the low 40’s as they did last year. Sure enough, that weekend, we heard about fires in the region and the loss of over 27 homes, and many more businesses and livestock. Insurance claims were closing in on 25 million dollars.
We enjoyed getting to know the other 18 people on the tour with us, in addition to tasting some great wine.
On our final day in Adelaide we did rent a car and did a quick tour of the McLaren Vale wine region. (We really have to go back in order to do it justice.) We also did a quick run south to explore Victor Harbor, with a stop at Goolwa along the way. At Victor Harbor, we had just enough time to walk out to Granite Island, before we needed to return to Adelaide.
One of the premier wine regions around Adelaide. We visited on New Year’s Day, and therefore, encountered restricted visiting hours. Never mind, we only had time for one or two stops, anyway. This looks like a place that you might want to spend more time at. Do you notice the blue ocean in the background?
Ed and I enjoyed Adelaide very much and would like to return to this area again.