A group of Swedish and Danish medicos working at Flinders MC, along with members of their visiting families, sought out a high standard tour of the Barossa Valley, finally selecting the gold tour option from Adelaide Minibus.
Apart from the greenery of the vines and local flora, the region was dry, being the early autumn and having much lower rainfall than an average summer. This is Australia, the land of droughts and flooding rains.
They knew they were going to be in for a treat, as Adelaide Minibus had assigned the tour leader role to Wayne, a local of the Barossa, and himself a vigneron. The day began at Kellermeister Wines where they were able to taste a wide range of this multi award winning wines, including the phenomenal Wild Witch Shiraz. Then it was on to Langmeil Wines and Penfolds before enjoying a gourmet lunch with a wine tasting of a couple of boutique wines, matched with starters….at Angaston’s Company Kitchen, all for just $28pp. The food order was phoned through an hour prior which meant the meals were served immediately upon arrival.
A quick stopover at Yalumba, then Elderton Wines (the tasting of Eldertons internationally renowned Command Shiraz proved Australian wines are amongst the best in the world) led to the day being capped off with a tasting of the fabulous fortifieds and new table wines of historic Seppeltsfield. One of the guests commented that he had almost forgotten what it was like to enjoy an old tawny, and reminisced of the days when it was the norm to light up a cigar and sip it by a fireside in winter. “And to be able to buy a 100 year old tawny, and taste wines of your birth year, is just incredible” he said.
Before heading back to Adelaide though, Wayne showed them the 100 year old bush vines of Seppeltsfield where photos were taken. The now heritage listed vines were once targeted to be removed when the industry faced oversupply in the 80s, the guests in awe of the character of the the twisted trunks. The Barossa is free from the dreaded Phylloxera disease and is able to boast having some of the oldest commercial vines in the world, due to Phylloxera wiping out many of the old vine regions of Europe back in the 40s and 50s.
Several wines were purchased during the day at the cellar doors. “Its great when tourists and visitors to the wine regions buy wines to take with them as this helps the industry to be able to keep offering the fabulous cellar door experiences. It also helps to keep tasting fees to a minimum. The cost of running a cellar door today, particularly on weekends, is very high and wine sales are essential to making it afforded” said Wayne
Historic Seppeltsfield has been successful in attracting a $110,000 (one for one) Federal Govt grant to bring the artwork of Adelaide’s internationally renowned Jam Factory, to the Barossa . The old stage coach house of Seppeltsfield is to be converted into an exquisite gallery, making it an even greater must-do stopover for Barossa tourists. Other grant recipients are the Geber family’s equally historic Chateau Tanunda, and Jacob’s Creek.
Seppeltsfield has long been a favourite place to visit in the Barossa, with its iconic date palm lined roads and grounds. It is the only place in the world where visitors can taste wines of their birth year from the barrel.
Along with on-site beer making, a cooper, a chocolateer and now the Jam Factory’s art, it fits nicely with the drive of Tourism SA to showcase what is new about the Barossa and its push to boost state tourism.
The Leader Newspaper (Wed 15th August) reported that Chateau Tanunda’s fabulous facility will soon boast a new bar area and a phone app which will be able to help non-English speaking tourists with information about the wines, winery and cellar door.