The vineyard of the Barossa Valley is like a heart pumping blood to the body’s organs, and setting off to the region felt like searching for sand at the beach. Where the oldest soil in the world shares the street with school drop off and the hubbub of barista made coffee.
Home to the commercial giant of Australian wine: Jacob’s Creek and the sweet heart that is Maggie Beer, the Barossa Valley has something for all and truly is the ultimate place to indulge.
On arrival from the Yorke Peninsula we take a stroll through the main street to find dinner at Musque. With a bi-weekly menu their produce is always of the current season. Our dinner consisted of: salmon, mussels and duck with a chocolate pudding. We paired that with a 2018 Hewitson Eden Valley Riesling. Simply mouth watering.
Another highly recommended restaurant in town was Fermentasian, we didn’t get the chance to eat here, just note their opening hours as most dining options in the Valley were closed on Mondays, including this one. Also – try to avoid BYO’ing as it incurs a seriously hefty $20 corkage – we noticed this throughout South Australia.
The next morning, eager for a day of adventure – but first – breakfast. We head to Darlings Cafe for a glorious coffee and some house made toasted granola.
It can be hard to start thinking about wine straight after breakfast, but thankfully I am gifted with the ability #blessed. But where to start? A list of wineries can be daunting – which one first? I’d done my thorough research and narrowed it down to three. That seemed enough to sample before the hour long drive back to Adelaide.
Our pick of the crop were:
Elderton Cellar Door
First up was Elderton Cellar Door. Elderton is among a group of Barossa Valley wineries whose philosophy has not changed significantly since its inception – in short – they grow a high quality, low yield grape. The Cellar Door is set in their stunning 1918 built homestead that feels rather like a country club, offering an annual tennis tournament that brings in big crowds. The best from the Estate family vineyards for me were the 2018 Reisling and 2017 GSM.
Murray Street Vineyards
Next up was Murray Street Vineyards, a family owned estate set on the western ridge of the Barossa Valley. For me the white’s weren’t the best here, but my favourite of the reds were the 2016 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon and the 2017 MSV ‘The Barossa’ GSM. This places oozes a poetry worthy backdrop, even their tasting notes provoked deeper thought.
“The western Barossa ridge – the oldest soil in the world – where wines are grown, not made. The patchwork soils, the long silence of the warm growing season, and the occasional, faster-moving air of an afternoon breeze, all play their part in helping to shape flavour, structure and style.”
The third and final Cellar Door was Kellermeister. Another family run estate and owner’s of century old vines. My favourite drops were the 2018 Rambling Ruins Pinot Gris and the 2014 Wild Witch Shiraz from an 80 year old vine and – as we soon find out – was ranked Best in the World (won in 2012 at the International Wine Challenge). Kellermeister is rated in the top 7% of wineries in Australia.
Here we had a cheese platter – to be honest- it wasn’t the best (could have used something fresh to accompany). But the cheeses were utterly delicious and all locally grown. We sampled the Nietschke Farm Cheddar, Barossa Triple Cream and la Dame Goats cheese (cheddar style).
I should note – we only chose the Barossa over the other wine regions due to it’s proximity to Adelaide before flying out. Given the season, I would have preferred the Clare Valley for its crisp whites over the deep, dark reds of the Barossa. None the less, the glasses were rarely empty and our stomachs were always full.
Hopefully before too long I will get back to South Australia to visit the remaining wine regions, Flinders Ranges, Port Lincoln and beyond. South Australia in my opinion is grossly underrated, there is just too much to see, do and consume. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy!
Seems to be the month of all things wine! Join me next week as I devour the grape yet again in the wine region of Orange.
Until then xo