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Posts Tagged ‘South Australia’

1.  Visit during low-season/winter.  Even though the vines weren’t lush with grapes and greenery, we got a true sense of the valley since we weren’t dodging other tourists.  It was beautiful and peaceful.  It’s what I imagined Napa would’ve been like 50 years ago.

2.  Pick only a few wineries to visit and spend ample time at them.  There are a lot of wineries to choose from in the Barossa Valley but we picked only a few to visit (based on recommendations from the Barossa House B&B where we stayed).  Choosing only a few made it easier for us to chat with the winemakers and to really understand the vines and the wines.  Each was unique.  Whistler Wines had a low-key and welcoming atmosphere.  We talked and tasted and then spent some time in the kangaroo reserve where they nurse back to health injured kangaroos and wildlife.  We spent a fair amount of time at Jacob’s Creek.  Their nature/history walk around the grounds is a great way to break up the wine tasting.

3.  Enjoy the food in the Barossa.  We spent half a day at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop.  We enjoyed a fabulous lunch, sat in on a free cooking demonstration in Maggie’s Studio kitchen, picked up a few foodie ingredients, and toured her vast orchards and farmland.  It was a great experience and unexpectedly the highlight of the trip.

We also had a fabulous dinner at 1918 in Tanunda.  All the meals are cooked with local ingredients and served with local wines, naturally.  My Braised Braised Beef cheek, soft white polenta, roasted shallots, frisee, and chimmi churri was very memorable.

4. Make time to visit some of the local stores in towns.  The three triangle towns in the Barossa Valley; Angaston, Nuriootpa, and Tanunda all have cute main streets with cafes and boutiques.  Outside of Nuriootpa at an antique shop we found one of our favorite souvenirs to date; an old wrench that is forged with the word “MELBOURNE”.  We have some creative ideas for how we’ll make this into art when we return home.

5. Visit the Barossa Valley Farmer’s Market.  Don’t expect to be blown away by the size of the market.  It’s definitely a small-town market.  But DO expect to be blown away by the friendliness of the producers and stallholders, by the vibrant color of the plants and produce, and by the breadth of natural and organic products.  We went early so we could grab a coffee and a sandwich at the market and enjoy the experience.  I snagged a picture with Saskia Beer, Maggie’s daughter which pretty much capped off a fabulous weekend.  On our way out of the barn where the market is held I found this sign propped up against the wall and it kind of summed up our Barossa experience.

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Less than thirty minutes outside of Adelaide is quaint little McLaren Vale.  The wife of one of Ryan’s co-workers graciously offered to take me around and show me what the valley had to offer.

We made our first stop at the visitor centre.  As far as visitors centres go, this one was pretty nice.  The volunteers were very friendly and gave us a ton of helpful suggestions.

We sipped on wine at d’Arenberg…

We sipped some more at Coriole and I bought the Chenin Blanc to bring home with us to Melbourne.  Coriole had a wonderful garden and an al fresco dining area.  I loved the feel of cellar door/tasting room – doesn’t it just look like Jane Austen could come strolling out at any minute?

We did a bit of browsing at Serafino and Woodstock and made our last stop at the Almond Train to sample some candied nuts, chocolates, and extra virgin olive oils.  I purchased a yummy garlic dukkah.  I’m a sucka’ for dukkah.  🙂

It was a lovely day: gorgeous weather, great wines, and fabulous company with which to take it all in.  All this and only 30 minutes outside of Adelaide.  It reminded me a lot of the Yarra Valley, right outside of Melbourne, and I made a mental note that we need to make more time to get up there more often.  Sometimes it takes “getting away” to see where you live more clearly.

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We were in Adelaide, South Australia, last week and if you’ve been keeping track that means we’ve now been to EVERY state in Australia!  Nice one (they would say here in Oz).  We’ve done the Northern Territory (Darwin), Queensland (Noosa, Brisbane, Cairns, Port D, Cape Trib, The Sunshine Coast), Tasmania, Western Australia (Perth), New South Wales (Sydney), and Victoria, our host state!  It’s no wonder we are worn out.

On our week-long trip to Adelaide we didn’t ever actually enter the proper city of Adelaide.  We stayed in Glenelg which is a cute little coastal city about 15 minutes outside of Adelaide proper.

Glenelg: Think cafes, boutiques, and cute lil ol’ ladies pushing their trollies on their regular visit to the market.  It was truly charming.  From our hotel room we had a beautiful view of Adelaide, known as the city of churches.

My favorite brekkie/lunch cafe – Zest Cafe Gallery: Great food and coffee, top-notch service.  What more could I ask for?  It also felt like a place where the “locals” hang out so I knew I was in for a treat.

My favorite lil hangout – Cibo Espresso:  I plugged in my laptop, grabbed a capo or mocha, and worked for hours on end at this happening joint.  It’s a wonder they didn’t need to roll me out of there with all the wonderful little sweets I consumed.

My favorite boutique – Little Bird:  I went to this shop half of the days that we were in Glenelg.  Beautiful fabrics, skincare products, stationary, clothes, kitchenware, yes please.  Let’s just say my husband was more than happy when we left.

My favorite meal – Tomiko on the Marina Pier – Great Japanese Food.  Teppanyaki.  Period.

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