Friday, December 17, 2010

Cellar Door & Vineyard Hopping - The South Australia Experience (Part One)

According to Wikipedia, the Australian wine industry is the fourth largest exporter of wine around the world, with 760 million litres a year to a large international export market and contributes $5.5 billion per annum to the nation's economy.  Wine is produced in every state, with more than 60 designated wine regions totaling approximately 160,000 hectares; however Australia’s wine regions are mainly in the southern, cooler parts of the country, with vineyards located in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria, and Western Australia.

We had so far explored the Margaret River Region in Western Australia twice and Yarra Valley, Victoria. Being a great fan of the full bodied Barossa Shiraz, we decided to head for South Australia during the June school holiday this year. Joining us this time were CJ, Jazz and their two kids. 

Adelaide City

We spent the first two days touring the City of Adelaide and Hahndorf, an old German Town.

Within Adelaide City, we immersed ourselves in the culture of Adelaide's North Terrace, with its museums and city cafes. Other highlights include shopping at Rundle Mall, sampling the tastes on offer at the famed Adelaide Central Market, and sip award-winning wines at the National Wine Centre, which is located within the Adelaide Botanic Garden.

Harndorf is the oldest German community in Australia. It is now a a tourist attraction with old buildings reflecting the early architecture of the community.  You will like the quiet, serene atmosphere of this place. Enjoy walking along the interesting shops lined along the street.

South Australian Museum

The Art Gallery of South Australia

The University of Adelaide

North Terrace

Botanic Garden

National Wine Centre

Wine Storage inside the Wine Centre

Adelaide City Central Market

Quaint Hahndorf German Town

One Planet - Cellar Door in Hahndorf
Have you seen wine stored in paper packaging like milk?

Barossa Valley

Home to big, rich reds, the Barossa is Australia's most famous wine region. Ancient, ancestoral vines yield robust and opulent shiraz and grenache, with great lightening giants ruling the north and north west. Succulent cabernet sauvignon, semillon and chardonnay also thrive along the valley floor and emerging new varieties - tempranillo, vermentino and savagin - are suited to a changing climate.

Charles Melton
This was the first cellar door that we visited at Barossa. Charles Melton Wines is known for quality reds, which it has made since 1984. The two families had spinach and pumpkin tarts, lamb pies (real hot and yummy) and cheese platters for lunch and paired with their signature wine - Nine Popes. 

Charles Melton Tasting Room

Nice Tart for lunch

Rockford has a loyal following and a strong word-of-mouth appeal. Established in 1984, it is known for traditional Australian wine styles. It's worth seeking out the rustic cellar door for these iconic Barossa wines. Signature wine - Basket Press Shiraz.

Grant Burge
This is a fifth-generation Barossa vigneron. Their iconic Meshach Shiraz is produced from vines nearing 100 years of age. One thing that left a deep impression on me is the interesting swirling design of their Moscato bottles.

Ross Estate
This was the last cellar door that we visited on our first day at Barossa. It was family owned and known for hosting small tour groups. 

Before tasting, the lady poured the wine through a wine aerator that supposed to draw in and mix the proper amount of air for the right amount of time, allowing the wine to breathe instantly. Very interesting. Found the product website -

Can I have this for Christmas? :)

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