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Here you’ll find travel reports about Light. Discover travel destinations in Australia of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

17 travelers at this place:

  • Day37

    The Barossa

    November 26, 2017 in Australia

    It is wall to wall vines here and more cellar doors than you can shake a stick at! Lots we have not heard of, but others like, Penfolds, Jacobs Creek, Wolf Blass and Peter Leman are well known to us in the UK. As I hinted in yesterday's episode, this is an area with strong German influence. The names are a curious mix of English and German, such as Truro and Pewsey Vale and Tanunda. Some names were even more distinctly German prior the the 1st World War when the government enforced a change. Barossa's history stems from the arrival in the early 1840s of first English and then German settlers who established settlements and created a unique interwoven culture that still exists today. Entire Lutheran villages moved from Silesia and Prussia to escape religious persecution. They were a God fearing and hard working people and German and English Anglican communities thrived side by side. Various agricultural practices were tried until vines proved to be perfect in the soils and climate of the valley. The success of these early pioneers led to the development of a commercial wine industry from the 1880s onwards. This is predominantly red wine and particularly Shiraz country, although one should not run away with the idea that that is all there is. The platters of regional fare offered everywhere are of the highest quality and each small village or town has its own very distinctive character.
    We have driven all over the the area today, visiting a huge and magnificent rose garden in Lyndoch, Rockfords Winery for a tasting session, which was very fine. It is the home of the Sparkling Black Shiraz I mentioned earlier, so we had to give it a look. Some of their other wines were equally exceptional and we will certainly try to track some down on our return home. Sadly, they had sold out of the 2016 sparkler and the 2017 will not be released for another week. Shame!!. Bethany was the first German settlement in the Barossa. In 1842 a group of 28 Silesian families came with their pastor to settle here and form a 'hufendorf' or village of farmlets. The village is still very much as it was with many of the original buildings still standing if adapted. There is a beautiful scenic drive that we followed to Angaston, which is of Scottish descent and this has retained lots of bluestone buildings of the time with intricately worked wrought ironwork. Tanunda is larger but equally historic, if relatively recent in European terms.
    We returned to the Louise late afternoon having had a thoroughly agreeable day and prepared to sample their tasting menu with its 'flight' of local wines. It was all very fine and the food and wine pairings quite different, even to the point of a red with fish.

    Our second day here dawned sunny and hot and we had mapped out a calmer day. We began with a visit to Seppeltsfield, a large Winery with history! Joseph Seppelt arrived here from Germany In 1840, with his wife Johanna and three young children. He intended to farm and in particular tobacco, which sadly proved not to be suited to the ground and so he turned to vines, about which he knew nothing. It was a steep learning curve, but the enterprise was up and running by the time he was succeeded by his son 'Benno'. Here was the true innovator and Benno expanded the business enormously, building huge cellars, wineries and a distillery, as he diversified into fortified wines and Brandy. Until 1960 the company had the monopoly of supplying 'medicinal' Brandy to every Australian hospital! By the 1920s Seppeltsfield employed over 150 people. They housed and fed their workers one good meal a day, on the basis that looking after their workers was the way forward to better productivity. (A lesson to be learnt here?). Feeding this vast workforce was the job of Sophie, Benno's wife. They married when she was sixteen and she went on to have 13 children, whilst masterminding all this. I sincerely hope she had help. The washing and feeding of her family would be enough for most!
    When the Depression hit in the 1930s, Benno continued this practice in an effort to keep his workers alive and the company going. The wine trade had bottomed out and he had the men plant huge stands of palms either side of the roads leading to Seppeltsfield. They are magnificent now.
    Typically, he of the 2nd generation expanded, his father of the 1st generation founded and his children of the 3rd generation lost it! The company is now, after various corporate buyers, in the hands of a single passionate owner once more, albeit not of the family. The estate is something to behold and something of a national treasure. There is an award winning cellar door, first class restaurant, the jam factory which house contemporary Art and
    Design studios. The original buildings are in great shape and used regularly, even if not for their original purpose. In the 1878 Centennial Cellar, Beeno started the legacy of maturing single vintage Tawney for 100 years before release. As a result the estate has an unbroken lineage of Tawney barrels of every vintage to the current year. This was certainly a Winery with a difference and we thoroughly enjoyed our morning there. There are wonderful rooms for private parties, some small, others seating up to 450. How about it wine group for the next Christmas Dinner?
    We moved on to Maggie Beer's Farmshop this afternoon. She is a television cook rather like Delia I gather. We had a fabulous light lunch of chicken and tarragon fritters and remoularde sauce with a of drink fennel cola. It was delicious and the cordial is made in the kitchens and topped up with mineral water. We wandered through to the farm shop in time for a cookery demonstration using some of her products. She uses by products of the wine industry to great effect. Things such as Verjuice, Vino Cotto, Sangiovese Verjuice to name but three. No, I'd never heard of any of this either, but would certainly use it if I could buy it in the U.K. Amazon could be the saviour here as they have just moved into Australia and I guess things they will be a-changing!
    We have thoroughly enjoyed our time spent here in the Barossa and move on tomorrow with the thought that we have covered it pretty well and can still walk to the car in a straight line!
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  • Day37

    McClaren Vale

    November 26, 2017 in Australia

    We have had a great day out with a lady called Jeanne, a local tour guide. She has taken us to places we would never have found and was great company. She had carefully planned the day to incorporate some gardens and art, plus wines that we could source in the UK. The McClaren Vale is north of the Fleurieu Peninsula, abutting southern Adelaide. It is renowned for red wines predominately, but we actually tasted some very palatable whites also. The wineries are mainly small and boutiquey and prepared to experiment with their blending. The countryside is simply beautiful, mixed agriculture, or grassed and rolling hills
    Fox Creek was our first stop, where we sampled the full range. Again, the sparkling Shiraz was a star. It is something we have not come across before coming to South Australia and it is eminently drinkable. The Winery is set in a pretty English cottage garden and we are continually amazed at the English flowers that can be grown here. The roses are stupendous, despite the lack of water, but no problem with an open sunny aspect of course!
    We had coffee and scones at a lovely garden cafe whose name escapes us. Minor birds serenaded us from the trees and the blue fairy wrens were everywhere. Lunch was taken at Gemtree. Another lovely Winery with a view to die for. The wines were pretty good too; organic and biodynamic, which means the work in the vineyard is organised according to the phases of the moon. This is of course a growing system as old as the hills and largely forgotten in these days of inorganic methods, but boy does it work. We finished the wine tastings at Coriole and had a really interesting encounter with a lady called Dorinda Hafner. Here we met an engaging and ebullient character. She is originally from Ghana and married to an English Psychiatrist. She is something of a television personality, has written twenty books, mainly cookery and raised her family here in Australia, although they were born in London. She proudly showed me a picture of her two grandsons (well you know Grandmas!). "Look at that"she said "white as a sheet - when I take them out I'm mistaken for the hired help!" I produced a photo of Rafe, explaining his lineage. "Well, at least he looks as if there is a touch of Africa in him". She was delightful and it was one of those meetings where you felt as if you had known one another for ever.
    The day was drawing to a close and Jeanne drove us across to the coast and the famous Aldinga beach. It was warm, sunny and the sea true blue, dotted with surfers and a real sight to behold. Dinner was taken at The Victory close by, accompanied by a glass of Rockford's Black Sparkling Shiraz - the best yet. We drove back across the Hindmarsh Valley and to my delight there were Kangaroos everywhere. It was a superb day to complete our stay on the Fleurieu Peninsula.
    Thank you Jeanne!
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  • Day37

    On the road to the Barossa

    November 26, 2017 in Australia

    We are moving on today and heading north to the Barossa Valley and yet more wines. It's tough out here you know! The journey is very picturesque through the Adelaide Hills and then on to the Barossa. It is a beautiful morning and the gums and grasses glisten in the sunlight. The cattle and sheep doze under the trees and it is a straightforward journey to Hahndorf which is the halfway point. As you may have guessed from the name, this is a small town with strong German antecedents and from here on this is a continued theme. We stopped for a couple of hoùrs and had lunch at the aptly named Udder Delights! A local cheese platter was the order of the day. Here in Hahndorf are all things German, from Cow Bells to Chippendale Lederhosen aprons!
    It was busy being a Saturday and within easy shouting distance of Adelaide. The town was a charming stop and we eventually pushed on north, again through beautifully scenic country. Our final stop 'The Louise' is just out of the town of Tanunda and 'a passionate vintners retreat' to quote the blurb. It is pretty special I must say and we are staying in a Vineyard suite with lovely views over the countryside. It boasts two showers, indoor and out! The outer version is in a secluded walled courtyard. It was a very warm late afternoon, so I felt I must take advantage of possibly the only chance I may ever have to use an outdoor shower. (in comfort I might add) There was just me and two sparrows perched on the top of the wall. They didn't stay long!
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  • Day47

    Barossa Valley

    April 6, 2017 in Australia

    Wein, Wein, Wein

    Ich bin ganz froh, dass ich jetzt doch Zeit für das Barossa Valley habe, eines der wichtigsten Weinanbaugebiete Australiens.
    Zunächst geht es aber nach Hahndorf, ein Dorf, das von deutschen Siedlern gegründet wurde und das Ganze gut vermarktet ;-) die ganze Gegend war früher in deutscher Hand, was man an manchen Namen noch sieht - die Deutschen waren es auch die den Wein in das Gebiet brachten.
    Hahndorf ist ganz schnuckelig, es macht Spaß die Hauptstraße entlang zu laufen und die vielen kleinen Läden zu durchstöbern. Natürlich darf der deutsche Kitsch nicht fehlen, zur passenden Blasmusik gibt es passende bayrischen Souvenirs. Etwas absurd, da Hahndorf von preußischen Alt-Lutheranern gegründet wurde. Aber gut, das darf schon sein.
    Ich setze mich ins Café und genieße die Sonne und das Ambiente. Dann finde ich noch einen Shop, der deutsche Produkte verkauft (ca 60%, sonst auch österreichisch, Holländisch und belgisch). Es gibt also echte deutsche Milka, Haribo und Biergläser. Alles nicht günstig natürlich, aber den größten Preisunterschied finde ich bei den 6$ Knorr-Päckchen!

    Anschließend geht es über schöne Landstraßen ins Weinbaugebiet. Die Straßen sind meist von Alleen gesäumt und es wird absolut nicht langweilig.
    Bei der Fülle an Weinkellern kann ich mich zunächst gar nicht entscheiden wo ich anhalten soll. Ich kann ja keine Verkostung machen und mich hinterher ans Steuer setzen. Aber dann finde ich Jacobs Creek, zwar ein großer Anbieter, aber den kannte ich wenigstens schon und wusste, dass mir deren Wein schmeckt. Für abends gab's also eine Mini-Flasche Chardonnay und ein paar Erklärungen zur Geschichte und Weinherstellung.
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  • Day99

    Barossa Valley, le vignoble australien

    February 12, 2016 in Australia

    Changement total d'environnement en quelques heures! Après des jours et des jours de ces paysages plats et ocres, pour ne pas dire monotones, enfin des virages! Nous sortons soudainement de notre torpeur à la vue des collines boisées, des vignobles, des petits villages et des caves à vin! Comme une grande bouffée d'oxygène. On est arrivé dans les collines d'Adelaïde, réputées pour ses très bons vins, exportés dans le monde entier. Une petite dégustation s'impose.Read more

  • Day139

    Barossa Valley

    April 25, 2017 in Australia

    Loved the Barossa! Stayed 5 nights at Greenock Centenary Park $5 pn. Top spot adjacent to a beaut cricket ground under huge pine trees. Had to get the Genny out eventually as the trees provided so much shade the solar panels couldn't catch any sun.

    Checked out the Whispering Wall, a 140m arch dam that has incredible acoustic properties. Marg and I could have normal volume conversations from one end to the other which we captured on video to great effect. Called in to Maggie Beer's Farm Shop where Marg stocked up on Quince paste, Cabernet paste and Dukkah which proved to be a great accompaniment to the many bottles of Barossa Shiraz we sampled in the region.

    Visited heaps of wineries in the area and thankfully the liver survived the onslaught! Chateau Tanunda is known as the biggest and oldest in the Barossa and it didn't disappoint...although the wine itself was a bit ordinary. Loved Seppeltsfield, Rockford, Murray Street, Peter Lehmann, Jacobs Creek and a small wine producer called JB Winery.

    Bloody cold! 5-18°
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