Saturday, June 11, 2005

The McLaren Vale

Today Steph, and Ian took me to the McLaren Vale winerys. It took us 1 ½ hrs to get there. The scenery tho brown was still very peaceful

We got to the visitors centre and obtained ourselves a map and begain to plan…

Sitting down in a lovely café for a spot of lunch and a boardroom for our stragetic manouverings, Steph and Ian had Soup of the Day with Crusty Bread, and I had butter chicken. After feeding our stomachs (I had been feeding mine all day with these yummy Paradise Soy and Lindseed crackers) we planned, Ian knew most of the wineries around so we were able to go to all the good ones.

The First one we drove to was Fox Creek
Here the Verdelho (Steph) was very yummy and so was the Shiraz Grenache (Eva) We bought a bottle of each. The shiraz was very fresh. With a clean crisp finish.

But the show was stolen by the dogs that greeted us. There was one called Pip who ran out to meet us. Now she was a mixed bag. She had coffee brown legs and face and a top coat of spotty black and white! The other was Shadow a beautiful Boarder Collie.

But leaving there was such a dilemma! After storing our purchases in the boot and getting in the car Pip stood by watching us, escorting us out. As soon as we hit the road Steph stepped on it and to our surprise the Pip followed us down the road!

We were about 200m from the arterial road when we worried but a car heading the opposite direction distracted her and lead her back home! Phew!

The second winery we went to was Tyrells but they didn’t do cellar sales so we ignored that.

The third was called Wirra Wirra. Now this had a gorgeous house thingy that would be perfect for catering a big party. We didn’t like the wine as much, but the surroundings were pretty imressive!!! We bought a bottle of the Sexton’s Acre Unwooded Chardonnay. The Shiraz was their signature wine and that was very nice!!! So smooth and very flavoursome. But at $46 bucks a bottle, it was a taster not a taker! :)

At this point Steph and Ian found out that if Eva liked the wine she was tasting she was going to drink the lot! After leaving Wirra Wirra, I was feeling a bit tipsy. Very happy and somewhat comical. But Wirra Wirra had this amazing fence, made from big tree trunks and big branches bored into them! Considering the size of Pip and Shadow I have to say that if you live in the McLaren Vale you must grow big!

The fourth winery was Pirramimma, It was a converted old stable that smelt rather dank, but it was a working winery... Here the wine wasn’t so crash hot. But Steph and Ian bought themselves a bottle of 12 yo liquer Port and I got hooked on their olives!

The olives in SA are sooo much better than anything in Sydney!

I freaked out the old lady there with my diagonal logic, Steph hushed me up and shooed me to the car. And off to the next vineyard!!!

Winery number 5 was d’Arenburgs. Man was this busy! Pep and Ray had given Steph a bottle of D’arenburg wine, and we tried to remember what it was called but after 4 wineries our memories were quite fuzzy!

Ian was correcting my pronunciation. (It goes down hill after a few wine tastings. I would have said De Arn-burgs but they all say Darrenburgs. Oh well I say Tomatoe they say Tomarto its still bloody good stuff!

Here we purchase the Hermit Crab and the Noble Riesling. The wines had very cool names for their wine. There was a Peppermint Paddock Sparkling Shiraz that was very Yum too! It was quite busy but we had fun tasting!

Then the final winery! Kays Brothers (be careful! this link is full of noisy man talk) Here we met the other big doggie! Sam a very big and old kelpie.
and to my joy i found the Frontignac! i bought 2 bottles of this crisp, refreshing sweet wine, and very nearly bought another 2 when i found out that they didnt make it every year! Steph bought the liqueur Muscat, "a small bottle of liquid gold!" as Ian would describe it. And we had a taste of it on saturday night... ooh was it divine!

I had so much fun with Steph and Ian and glad I went, im not much of a wine drinker but the flavours that they could get from the same type of grape or grapes was amazing!


as we drove home, the sun was setting to our left, Steph wanted to show me the glorious sunset view over the valley as we drove away, but as he turned around to mention the beautiful sight, Eva was in the back seat, head up, sound asleep. (steph said i was snoring but i wasnt!... and thats my story!)

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