Day 15 – Barossa Valley

19 Aug

It was 2 degrees outside last night so we opted to test out the car sleeping arrangements at a nearby campground around Mylor in the Adelaide Hills – worked out wonderfully and we got a warm and good night’s sleep after lounging around the fire at the pub after dinner.

Scrag waking up in the car
Scrag waking up in the car
Awesome spot
Awesome spot

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Chasing kookaburras
Chasing kookaburras

We had a travel itinerary from Ivan Trundle to get around to so we headed off back to Handorf to see it in the daylight, and stopped in at the Beerenberg Farm to get some delicious jams and sauces before pushing on to Woodside to try some cheeses and have a look at Melba’s chocolate factory. We sampled and tested and tasted and then drove on to Kersbrook, looking for koalas in the trees the whole way without any luck. There was a great winery cellar door that we spent a while at chatting to the vintners’ partner as she gave us a huge range of tasters from their range of shiraz, reisling, rosé (her specialty) and   voignier, as well as some really interesting basket-pressed apple cider that they had recently started making after remodelling their wine press to suit apples as well. We learnt a lot about wine and grapes and ciders and all the equipment and methods. I also thought it was great to chat to a family-run, small scale winery that was doing really well and buying all the gear so others with small scale vineyards could come and use their set up as well for small runs of wines. Definitely part of the lifestyle up here and it’s something both of us really enjoy I reckon.

Anyhow we had wine and cheese and bread and all sorts of things for lunch so we drove through some parks and forests at Mount Crawford nearby and found a great spot to stop at with some mammoth gum trees (still trying to find koalas.. none appeared).

Stopping for lunch in the Warren Conservation Park near the Barossa Valley
Stopping for lunch in the Warren Conservation Park near the Barossa Valley
Vegging out after bread and cheese
Vegging out after bread and cheese
Straya
Straya

Continued on north around some beautiful windy back roads in to the Barossa Valley itself. This view was pretty spectacular.

Looking out over the Barossa Valley wine region
Looking out over the Barossa Valley wine region

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More windy driving and we wound up at the unmissable Jacob’s Creek visitor centre and probably what would be under 2 percent of their actual vineyards on display at Jacob’s Creek itself.

Crossing Jacobs Creek
Crossing Jacobs Creek
Jacobs Creek winery visitors centre
Jacobs Creek winery visitors centre
Smasha checking out the endless vineyards at Jacobs Creek
Smasha checking out the endless vineyards at Jacobs Creek

Pretty awesome to see rows and rows of endless grape vines and the scale of the larger operations in the flesh. Hunted down some more views of the valley from one of the lookouts nearby and got some more spectacular scenery.

View out west over the Barossa Valley
View out west over the Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley
The Barossa Valley

Even though we were still really full of lavish food and wine from lunch we had to stop at the Maggie Beer farm shop in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Tasters galore.

Maggie Beer's Farm Shop - heaven
Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop – heaven
Getting our second lunch from tasters
Getting our second lunch from tasters

Mum their apricot jam was the closest I’ve come to tasting your and Anne’s recipe but still sub par – and their lemon curd didn’t even make it close to yours. We did at least 3 rounds around the shop and got an ice cream and left feeling food and wined out, but we wanted to stop in at a couple of other wineries on Ivan’s list to see the sights. Yalumba was hard to miss with its huge entrance and was beautiful to have a walk around.

Yalumba wines - huge old winery in Barossa
Yalumba wines – huge old winery in Barossa
Wine barrels galore
Wine barrels galore
Sneaking around Yaluma's processing plant areas
Sneaking around Yaluma’s processing plant areas

Then Wolf Blass – the cellar door was closed by the time we made it but it was still fascinating to see the scale of the place and the offices and the factory and the huge amount of land it actually takes up in the valley.

Wolf Blass
Wolf Blass
The cellar door at Wolf Blass
The cellar door at Wolf Blass

We’re camping at a community park slash camp site at the nearby town of Greenock before heading north for real this time, up to the Flinders Ranges and beyond. South Australia, you have been full of surprises and we’ve definitely discovered a lot more about it that we had anticipated – and we like it. Love, scrags.