Barossa Valley

Saturday 7 October 2017

I rose early in Angel’s AirBnB and found some ground coffee in the fridge. By the time the caffeine was coursing through my veins, Ruby, Rob and Susie emerged from their beds. Our host kindly gave us all a lift into town where we searched for a suitable breakfast. The café she recommended (Red Door) had little on the menu for vegans so we went to another cafe over the road called Pod which had better offerings. Ruby ordered the mushroom ragout which was very good. Rob ordered the big vegan brekky. Susie had scrambled eggs on toast, and I ordered the Portuguese beans, which included chorizo and a fried egg. Best of all, the coffee was served in vast cups which downloaded caffeine into my veins like manna.

After breakfast we went to the information centre to find out about tours of wineries in the Barossa valley. On the way we stuck our head in what Susie thought was a second-hand shop, but it turned out to be selling new goods so we fled. Chateau Tanunda was just around the corner but they were conducting tours that focussed on the building rather than process of wine making, which is what Rob wanted to hear about. We learned that Hemera winery did short guided tours so we headed there.

An employee at Hemera gave us a tour of the premises. She was not a wine maker but she knew enough about the process to make the tour interesting, especially for Rob who had plenty of questions. One memorable moment occurred as we walked into a vast, cool shed where the oak barrels were stored. We were immediately caressed by a heavenly scent of wine and oak.

45. Hemera 1
Hemera winery in the Barossa Valley, S.A.

After the tour we tasted some wines, working our way through a bubbly white, a riesling and a few shirazes. Susie and I bought a case of riesling and a case of shiraz which were later delivered by mail to our home back in Sydney. We expect to be ordering more soon.

We pressed on to Rockford Winery down the road where wine tastings are conducted in a gorgeous old ironstone shed. We purchased a few bottles of an exceptional Shiraz and then pressed on to a third winery. By then we were starting to think of lunch and there was nothing suitable on offer for vegans, so we decided to take the recommendation of our air BnB host and go to an event at a fourth winery where there were food vans and music.

By the time we arrived the weather had turned glorious. We sat around in the sunshine and ate some lunch. Ruby and Rob had a roll with jackfruit on it that was prepared much like pulled pork. The band did covers of Tom Petty (who had recently died), Fleetwood Mac, and other popular music from late 1970s. We ran into our AirBnB host and thanked her for the tip about the gig. I bought a bottle of sparkling white wine and we sipped it in the sunshine, admiring the view and enjoying the relaxed atmosphere. We returned to the food vans just before they closed, and soaked up the wine with chips and nachos.

47. last winery 1
Music, wine and good company

Rob drove us back to his work where we picked up his bike and Ruby’s car. We then drove back to Brompton, unpacked, and had some quiet time until 7pm when Ruby started preparing rice paper rolls for dinner.

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