On Monday we headed to the Barossa Valley, via Kapunda and Grennock. An hour and a half later we were tasting wines at the Torbreck cellar door. We got to taste the full range including the beautiful Les Amis, 100% grenache, and the well known, Runrig, Shiraz. On recommendation from the guy at Torbreck we visited Murray Street Vineyard and then had a Weighbridge Platter (Cheeses, smoked ham, salami, olives, homemade pear chutney, beetroot relish and bread) lunch at Peter Lehman which we'd been recommended to have. Next was Rockford were we tasted their premium wines including, Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon 2005 and Basket Press Shiraz 2005. Lastly we tasted the wines at Turkey Flat before heading to the local town of Tanunda to visit the butcher, bakery and I bought a great jumper fo 50 cent in the charity shop - I need all the warmth I can get! Had a barbie and slept in a car park in nearby Angaston which is close to Henschke Wines, our first stop the following day. Ended the day with a few beers at the local and went to bed.
Woke up with a nice blond coffee from a local coffee shop and had a great two hour tasting at Henschke, which is in Eden Valley, before heading to Mclaren Vale just south of Adelaide. We drove through the sleepy hamlet of Springton, which has a huge hollowed out red gum tree fenced off in the centre of the town which one of the first European settlers apparently lived in!
We past fields of bare vines with people pruning, fields of cows and their calves, naked sheep with no wool and very cute lambs, goats and alpacas (smaller than llamas - like a short, fury camel). This area has a high risk of fire so all of the houses have a corrugated tin roof. South Australia is also in a drought so the majority of houses have big tanks in their garden, usually under the roof, to collect the rainwater. We drove through a pretty little country town called Mount Pleasant and then from the next town of Birdwood we drove along the Onkaparinga River scenic drive. We followed the beautiful Onkaparinga Valley Road past more vineyards, farmland and historic towns like Mount Torrens, Woodside, Oakbank and Balhannah. It then finishes near Hahndorf and from there we travelled through the town of Littlehampton, Mount Barker, the little farming town of Echunga, the sweet little rural village of Meadows to the quiet town of Willunga. From here we took the Fleurieu Way to McLaren Vale.
Just 40km from Adelaide, McLaren Vale is nestled between Mount Lofty Ranges and the beaches of Gulf Vincent. On arrival to the town we found a lovely park with a BBQ and had our lunch before hitting the cellar doors of Wirra Wirra, Samuel Gorge(virually an unknown but one to look out for - makes great Grenache and Shiraz!) and D'Arenberg. We stayed at McLaren Vale Lakeside Caravan Park ($21) and were surround by lots of cockatoos.