Tuesday, May 24, 2011

#83: Barossa Valley Wineries!

South Australia contains the greatest number of Australia’s wine regions – and premier wine regions.  In fact, roughly 60% of all wine in Australia is produced here.  And the most famous of all of South Australia’s wine regions is the Barossa Valley.  Even though the Barossa is known for its Shiraz – and I prefer whites – the area is so famous that it just had to make my list of 103 Things.  Located a mere 60 kilometers from Adelaide, it’s an easy day trip from the city.  So of course, the Barossa was one of our top destinations for the trip.

We were picked up by our guide – Dallas (he would’ve scored more points if his name was Houston!)

We were quickly shuttled off to our first winery:   McGuigan Wines at Chateau Yaldara!  We were greeted with big barrels of wine:

And many bottles of wine:

And then we actually got to have some wine!

For a region that’s known best for its Shiraz, McGuigan had some pretty incredible whites.  I bought two bottles.  McGuigan also had some delicious reds (as expected) and I would’ve bought some, but I knew there would be more to come.  So we were shuttled off to one of the more commercial wineries – Peter Lehmann – where we had a very exciting find:

That, my friends, is a sparking Shiraz, and we bought a bottle to enjoy with our lunch.  Happiness.  We also made a few new friends on the tour, all of whom conveniently live in Sydney!

Even the girl from Arkansas (far right) lives in Sydney.  I didn’t know she was from Arkansas until AFTER I yelled out “Everyone in Arkansas is stupid!”  My bad.  It didn’t matter – a few more wine tastings and she soon forgot about my insolence.

Then it was off to Longmeil – home of the oldest vineyard in Australia, planted in 1843 and pictured here:

I do believe I’ll be going to the right…

Longmeil’s cellar door was quite an attractive building:

And their wines were great as well.  Again, I bought two bottles.  After Longmeil, we had a brief stop at a park overlooking the valley:

By the time we reached our fourth and final winery – Murray Street Vineyards – we were all a little bit toasted.  I think Murray Street must be the last stop on a lot of wine tours because they had this sign clearly posted in their tasting room:

Ooops.  They let us taste anyway.  Without fail, I bought a bottle of their wine.  Drunks will buy anything.  Overall, the Barossa trumped the Hunter Valley wine region in New South Wales and the Margaret River wine region in Western Australia.  I’m going to have to plan a trip back again to check out some of the other wine regions in South Australia.  In the meantime, I’ll sip on my delicious purchases from the day:

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