This week has been all about the wine, chocolate, flowers and romantic sunsets – what more could a woman want? Adelaide and the surrounding area appears to have so much to offer visitors I just hope we can fit it all into the three weeks we have earmarked!
The 1st October was a public holiday and with schools off for a couple of weeks, we have needed to make reservations at some Caravan Parks and stay longer in some places than we might otherwise. The Barossa Valley was a case in point especially as we still have to visit McLaren Vale and Clare Valley wine regions and our wine cellar is already bursting at the seams! Our palates have become quite discerning as we have sampled our way through various Shiraz, Riesling, Pinot Noir, Granache and Sauvignon Blanc Wines, Prosecco and Tawny Port. Who would have thought we’d be saying “No, I’m not so keen on that” when we’ve been tasting wine costing £75 a bottle!!!
Mike researched which cellar doors we would visit and all of them required us to use our bikes. Our first purchases from Penfolds almost came a cropper when I managed to fall off mine (ouch)!!! Swooping magpies also had it in for me but I managed to stay in the saddle. The general advice regarding magpie attacks is to stay calm and, if cycling, get off and walk. I’m afraid I broke all the rules – I screamed like a banshee, waved my arms around frantically and pedalled like the wind!
Our favourite winery was probably Two Hands which served some really delicious wines with quirky names. We loved one called Sexy Beast, but Gnarly Dude and Holy Grail were also yummy! Whistlers probably had the best named walks whilst Artisan’s Winery and Jacob’s Creek were really quite swanky affairs. The actual Jacob’s Creek is practically dry!
A new wine is being developed for seniors by vintners who primarily produce Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio using a hybrid grape that acts as an anti-diuretic. It is expected to reduce the number of trips older people make to the bathroom during the night. The new wine will be marketed as Pinot More.
We did take time to stop and smell the roses which are planted at the ends of many of the vines. Nowadays the roses are purely cosmetic but they did act as an early warning signal of mildew. There is also a story around here that the roses helped blind horses know when to turn round when they were ploughing the fields!
Given all the hype about it being the largest, we were a little disappointed that Lyndoch’s Lavender Farm was a mere hillock. It did however have lots of different variety of lavender and a rather nice gift shop. Lavender liqueur was not sampled.
Also smelling quite yummy was the chocolate we got to watch being enrobed. An enrobed chocolate is typically when the centre of the chocolate is made first and then coated in a thin layer of chocolate. Today at the Haigh’s factory lime creams were getting the treatment. Established in 1915, Haigh’s is Australia’s oldest chocolate manufacturer and the recipe used today is the same they have used since the year before my birth – yup that old! Lots of samples given out and fantastic that this was all free!!!
This week we have come across three sculptures that are worthy of sharing. The first depicts the Murray Cod (Pondi) which holds great significance for the Aboriginal communities. Folklore has it that Pondi was the creative force for the Murray River as he was chased through the South Australian countryside. Another bit of folklore was to be found at Hahndorf where this chap appears to have fallen off his Harley Davidson. Meanwhile at Brighton Beach the sign suggests we should just hang loose and enjoy the sunset.
It is really lovely to receive feedback from followers of this blog that you have enjoyed reading our tales as it keeps us feeling connected. Keep those messages coming. Joining in Park Runs when we can has also been good as we have been warmly welcomed everywhere. Today it was a Park Run at Brighton Beach and even without the threat of snakes and all the alcohol in our system, Mike and I still managed to achieve new lifetime personal bests. I am now under 27 minutes by one second!!!
So whilst it seems this week I’ve had it all, we are missing family and friends. It was great to see a familiar face last weekend when I met up with an old work colleague from West Sussex who now lives in Adelaide Hills. Can’t say I miss work at all, especially listening to some of her stories but she does seem to have an excellent quality of life over here.
And so, leaving the best till last, excitement levels hit a new high on learning this week that Ben, Jen and our two gorgeous grandchildren will definitely be joining us in Western Australia for Christmas and New Year after all. Best get visiting those wineries in McLaren Vale next week then!