Friday, December 24, 2010

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

The families stayed at the "Barossa Country Cottages" during our 4 days at Barossa. It was located at Lyndoch and few minutes drive from Ross Estate Cellar door. It was made up of two self contained modern cottages - Geranium and Jacaranda in an Australian bush garden setting.

Other than the first night, when we had a forgettable dinner at "The Lord Lyndoch", we cooked and had our dinners at the BBQ area between the two cottages.

For the next couple of days, vineyard and cellar doors that we visited include Barossa Valley Estate, Torbreck, Peter Lehman, Turkey Flat, St Hallett, Henschke, Gibson, Penfolds, Kaesler, Saltram and Yalumba.

Barossa Valley Estate
Barossa Valley Estate Cellar Door and Function Centre is a contemporary new building amongst the rolling hills of Marananga. With its local stone walls, jarrah floors and bar, open fire and panoramic views, it is certainly an inviting place to enjoy and stay a while. 

I told wifey and the others that if we were to build our own house later, it would be this kind of concept.

Here is a little interesting history about the estate extracted from their website:

In 1984, the consumption of red wine was declining. Offering handsome subsidies, the federal government urged growers to pull out their ancient Shiraz vines and replace them with Chardonnay. 

But there were eighty 3rd and 4th generation Barossa Valley grape growers who refused. Stubbornness became their strength. Instead of trying to sell the grapes to winemakers for little reward, they decided to take control of their own destiny by forming a cooperative and making their own wine. 

Happily, Barossa Valley Estate (BVE) was formed.

The kids enjoyed the surrounding and happily snapped away with the cameras while we were doing the wine tasting.

They are famous for their E&E Black Pepper Shiraz, which has been awarded 90+ points in Wine Spectator 10 years in a row plus named in the top 25 Benchmark wines from Australia by Wine Spectator. The wine can be found in local wine store too if you are interested. Pacific Wine is the importer and the RRP is S$113.

This winery grew in the early '90s nurturing dying dry-grown old vines back to health. The name comes from a forest in Scotland where the founder, David Powell, once worked as a lumberjack.

Torbreck is based around some classics of the Barossa - shiraz, grenache and mataro, and also takes on French inspiration. This is a pretty wine stop - picturesque countryside around a cellar door based in a restored settlers hut.

The winery is known for mixing the best of both worlds, combining the winemaking heritage of Barossa and the Rhone valleys.

Signature wine - RunRig Shiraz Viognier. This is not your everyday drinking wine, RRP is S$292, but could be a cheaper alternative to the Penfolds Grange?

Maggie Beer's Farm Shop
The group stopped by Maggie Beer's Farm shop for lunch and some shopping. There was also a cooking demonstration class which the kids enjoyed.

Here, you have the opportunity to pick your own collection of goodies from Maggie’s famous delectables; pates, Pheasant and Porcini Terrine, cheeses, olives, woodfired bread and quince paste galore.

Peter Lehmann
Peter Lehmann Wines Cellar Door won the Australia National Tourism Award for Best Cellar Door. The art piece display in the cellar door left a deep impression on me. It was like visiting an art exhibition and a wine cellar together.

Art work on display are also printed on the labels of their Barossa Art series wine bottles.

Signature Wine - Stonewell Shiraz.

Turkey Flat
The sky was turning dark when we reached the last cellar door of our Day 2 itinerary at Barossa. The cellar door was housed in a restored bluestone butcher's shop and nestled among native Barossa Valley flora and century-old vineyards.

I supposed we were the last visitors of the day as the lady was seen packing up when we stepped in. Nevertheless, she was very friendly and guided us through the tasting session. I like their fortified Pedro Ximénez which is a sweet dessert wine. It has this intense marmalade aromas with some sweet spice and dried figs. The palate is lusciously rich with some pure marmalade and dried figs characters, very long, sweet and rich finish but with a good freshness.

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