Wednesday, January 5, 2011

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

St Hallett Wines

We continued our winery tour the next day starting with St Hallett. This was not in our original itinerary but was recommended by the friendly people from Charles Melton the day earlier.

The place was under renovation for an expansion and the kids had lots of fun with Stewy the parrot, a well-known local who chats to customers.

Signature wine is the St Hallett Old Block but worth trying is also their Faith Shiraz. We bought back a 2006 trio Shiraz set comprising of the St Hallett Old Block, Black Well and Faith.

You might be interested to find out these words from the Oz Wine (an UK website specializing in Australian wine):

“St Hallett Old Block Shiraz 2006 was named the number 1 wine in Australia (ahead of Penfolds Grange 2004 in second place) on the cover of the prestigious Aussie magazine, Wine 100….


Henschke is a family-owned, 142 year old Australian winery located in Keyneton, Eden Valley South Australia. It produces the 'Hill of Grace', one of Australia's Cult wines and considered Australia's second best wine by James Halliday in 2009.

Cellar door must be one of the smallest we had visited during this trip but it has a rustic appeal with its low doorway, stone walls and early family portraits on the walls. 

I checked out their website and interestingly there is a good list of recipes to match the Henschke wines.


This is a fairly new winery which was setup by Rob Gibson in 1997 after working for Penfolds since 1974. Although not as established as other top premium wine makers in the region, the "underdog" winery and cellar door gave me a very special warm feeling.

My favourite is their Isabelle blend (Named after the owner's grandma according to the friendly mate at the cellar door). It uses the silky tannins from Merlot, the leafiness and earthy notes from Cabernet and the floral lift and colour from Petit Verdot to create a balanced and very food friendly wine. I look forward to the day when Gibson wine is readily available here in Singapore. Hmmm maybe I should initiate a discussion with Gibson on the distributorship here? :)

Feedback from Ashley and David said it all:

Penfolds Barossa Cellar Door

Penfolds has to be one of the most common Aussie wine labels we can find in Singapore. This Penfolds cellar door was the first of the two that we visited during this trip. Personally, I prefer the one at Magill Estate not just because it's the original home of Penfold wines but also for the beautiful surrounding and historical cottages. I will be covering the Magill estate cellar door in another post.

Here you got the chance to taste the famous Penfolds Grange but at a cost of A$150 per person. The price included a A$100 Grange voucher that you could use to offset from your purchase of the wine if you are interested. We gave it a miss though but did sample and brought home some other premium Penfolds wines including the cellar reserve Pinot Noir.

Kaesler Wines

Kaesler Wines was located just 200m down the Barossa Valley Way from Penfolds cellar door and was
our last stop for the day.

This is a privately owned wine company that produces estate grown wines from vineyards located in Nuriootpa in the Barossa Valley. The Kaesler family were pioneers who settled in the Barossa Valley in the 1840's. Today Kaesler wines are made from these ancient, dry grown vineyards, by the third owners of this magnificent property.

Their signature wine has an interesting name -  the Old Bastard Shiraz.

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