Friday, August 29, 2008

Sunday Sojourn to Barossa

My first weekend back from my interstate trip I made my third trip down to Barossa Valley with my friend Andrea who also lives at KLC and her colleague Susannah.
The trip was inspired by the Food & Wine Festival in the Barossa Valley that took place last weekend. (Personally speaking this is about the 100th such foodie festival I have heard about in my last seven months here Down Under so I don't get how 'special' these events are.) Although, keeping this in mind I have never actually attended a food & wine festival in Oz, so the trip was long overdue.

We started off early Sunday morning leaving North Adelaide after a pitstop for some hot coffee from Cibo at around 10.30 a.m. St. Hallet's was the first winery we visited after making the hour long drive to the Germanic wine region.

Andrea jokes about how she "just had one bottle of wine!" Did she forget to mention it was a supersized bottle though?! Andrea from Frankfurt is our resident German expert. (She is working and doing research at the Royal Adelaide Women and Children's Hospital, in case your wondering) On our trip she pointed out that the so -called Germanic architecture is not really typical of Deutcheland! Strange...

The St. Hallet's Cellar Door is sleek with a sense of modern edginess, in terms of design their interestingly displayed, using wide windows and natural lighting to their optimum. We sampled a couple of their wines, although nothing really captivated us here.

Below is a snapshot of the Jacobs Creek arch - this is an interesting point as it is a point which the Tour Down Under cyclists pass on their route! Bet you didn't know that!
Next stop: Vine Crest. Again we popped in swished wine around in our glasses, what stood out for me was a Tempranillo made from black grape varieties. The charachteristic full-body was evident although the mouthfeel and consistency seemed rather watery and flabby too me.
(I am trying my new wine vocab - so please bear with me if I don't seem to be making too much sense, I have to start somewhere right?!)

Maggie Beer's Farm Shop ~ This was truly the best part of the day! Maggie Beer is to Australia what Martha Stuart is to the United States. And Beer is very proudly South Australian. She has her own television show, several cookbooks and a range of products. The Beer Bros. Shop features a restaurant cum cafe` that overlooks a picturesque blue lake and all the produce from pate to pickles and verjuice to icecream.

We sampled the wines, a limited range with nothing spectaular. The Dessert Bubbles which is non-alcoholic is delightful and a must try!

At 2 p.m. everyday there is a cooking demonstration that we were too early for unfortunately. But a good idea to plan around if you intend on making the trip.

And there is a pheasant farm in the back that I assume are used for her fabulously delicious Pheasant Farm Pate. There are also a couple of handsome peacocks!

Seppeltsfield vineyard is one of the largest and most historic in the Barossa Valley, having been initially planted in the 1850s. A sprawling 100 hectares of Barossa valley is planted with Seppelts traditional grapes varieties Shiraz and Grenache, with Cabernet Sauvignon as well as traditional European fortified varieties of Touriga (for VP –‘vintage port” style) and Palomino (for the “sherry” styles). The Palomino is simply gorgeous. It is extremely crisp and dry with a sublte nuttiness and great finesse. I bought a bottle to go with the Lobster Bisque that will feature on my birthday menu!!!

The atmosphere at Seppelts was lively. Susannah and Andrea decided it was time to chow down after all the exhausting wine tasting!
Grilled Salmon Fillet with Squid Ink Pasta and Baby Rocket

Something sweet of course ... Brownie Mud Cake with cream
The final stop for the day was Sieber Wines, their estate situated on the red soils of Western Barossa. We chanced upon this place mainly because of Andrea's interest in the menu featured on the festival brochure that read Bratwurst, Sauerkraut, Potato Salad and Pickles... she was craving a taste of home that we just had to indulge. However the sausages were dissapointing - supermarket sourced, probably Coles and the rest not worth talking about.

Australian Lamb... mmmmmmm!!!
Armed with coffee Susanah and Andrea are ready for the drive back into the city. Lil ol' me on the otherhand gulped down the latte and snuggled into the back seat for a comfy snooze!

1 comment:

Cari said...

Hey, looks like a fun day! Check out my blog when you get a sec and if you're interested put the Omnivore's 100 on your blog, would love to see what you have/haven't eaten, then we can make it our mission to eat all the things we're missing from the list!