Monday, January 24, 2011

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



We were treated to a bright sunny welcome on our first day at McLaren Vale. A beautiful Sunday, it really was. We strolled along the main road of Mclaren Vale looking for a breakfast place and ended up at Blessed Cheese Cafe. What a great choice we made -  great breakfast and friendly staff. A fantastic start!










Good thing about cellar door hopping at McLaren Vale is that the cellar doors are located near to one another. If you miss one, the next one is just round the corner. See signboard below to understand what I mean.



No prizes for guessing which was the first cellar door that we visited here - Alpha Box & Dice.

Alpha Box & Dice

The name came from the saying "The whole box and dice" which is an Australianism for "everything or complete". The alpha part makes reference to the alphabetical layout of the range of wines and the fact most of the wines are a little alpha male in size but with just the right amount of femine qualities.


A for Apostle
B for Blood of Jupiter

C for Changing Lanes
D for Dead Winemakers Society
E for Enigma
F for Fog
T for Tarot


Found a video on Alpha Box & Dice on the web that will give you a better understanding of this interesting winery and its wine maker - Justin Lane.

Like the wine, the cellar door was full of character - hand painted alphabets on the exterior wall, interesting collection of furniture, painting and accessories indoor.  A "Must Visit" destination at McLaren Vale!
















 Samuel's Gorge

Before we tasted the wine here, we asked and were delighted that we could have our lunch at the table outside the cellar door which offered a gorgeous view. We could not get a table at the restaurant where we planned to have lunch and had grabbed a take-away chicken and some fries from Vale's Pizza at the main road. 

Samuel's Gorge is a relatively new boutique winery located at the northern end of McLaren Vale.  In the rustic cellar door was an ancient olive press. The well-aged cellar door was also blessed with breath-talking views of the Kangaroo Island and conceivably the South Pole.










Chapel Hill

The winery takes its name from the original chapel built in 1865 to serve as Christian Bible Church for the local area., now serving as the quaint cellar door. Exclusive (.. expensive too) modern accommodation (The Retreat @ Chapel Hill) is nestled in the vineyards and there are fantastic views across the Vale to the sea.

Signature wine - The Vicar Shiraz.









Kay Brothers Amery Vineyards

Established by brothers Herbert and Frederick Kay, the heritage-listed winery celebrated its first grape crush in 1895 and is the oldest McLaren Vale winery still in founding family hands. Famous for their Block 6 Shiraz which they only sell to their members at the cellar door. This is being retailed at $118 in Singapore but currently there is a great discount at Fairprice Finest at $88 which I find it a good buy.

The planting of Block 6 commenced on the 18th of July 1892 and when finished 5,890 Shiraz vines had been placed in the fertile soil of the Kay’s Amery Vineyard. Of the original 12 acres only 4 remain today with approximately 2,000 vines.

We brought home their Hillside Shiraz of 3 different vintages 2004, 2005 and 2006. CJ bought a 2003 back in Singapore. We agreed to have a vertical tasting with the kakis.


















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