Thursday, March 11, 2010

Barossa Valley, a shiraz lover's dream!

Today Rob and I went on a tour to the Barossa valley, mainly to visit some wineries!

The more I visit vineyards and learn about the valley's and the wine, the more I love it! I seem to pick up more and more information each time I go, and am growing a fond love of wine! Of all the wineries I have been to I would have to say that the Barossa has been my favorite! We went to 4 wineries and at each one there was at least one, if not more, of the wines that I enjoyed, a lot.

First, about the Barossa valley. Originally named "Barrosa" (Ba-ROSE-a) valley after a Spanish name which means 'hills of roses' as it reminded a Spaniard of the hills back in Spain. However his name was misspelled and hence "ba-ROSS-a" valley. Set about 85 kilometres north of Adelaide, covering 10 000 hectors of land, it has produced some of the best Shiraz, in the world. Many of the wines have won the most prestigious awards in Australia, as well as the world. The oldest recorded Shiraz vines are also located in the valley, a mere 166 1/2 years old!!!!! The roots of the vines have been known to go as deep as 90 meters in order to find water as there is minimal rainfall in the Barossa - which is actually ideal.

Some international wineries are located in the Barossa including Yalumba (the longest family run winery in all of Australia), Wolf Blass and Jacob's Creek. All MASSIVE wineries!!!! We where lucky enough to visit the Wolf Blass cellar door and sample some of their most prestigious wines. Wolf Blass started his business after 7 years apprenticing and with only 2 hectars of land. He retired last year on his 75 birthday currently living in a mansion on the beach in Glenelg, well deserved if you ask me! Many people will most likely know his gold label wines and we got to sample this as well as others. Rob and I spent a little extra to sample the 4 time Jimmy Watson winner Cab/Sav, retailing for $130, as well as the 3 time world winner Shiraz. The Shiraz was probably the BEST wine I have EVER had. Everthing about it was great, but at a retail cost of $170, we left with just the tasting!!
The next winery, Grant Burge, a small boutique winery, meaning they only produce wines to sell at their cellar door and to selected restaurants. I enjoy wineries like this as a lot of the times they produce wines just as nice, if not nicer then major wineries, and can many times be cheaper!
Vine Crest was the next stop, a bit bigger, and had some nice Shiraz and Cab/Sav as well!!! They also had a sale on some of their wines, so we dug in, taking a chance as we hadn't tasted them, but for 4 bottles of wine for less the $30, I can't complain! They also had some very very tasty Shiraz filled chocolates, Rob had to go back for seconds!!
The last winery, another boutique, was Kie's winery, a 7 generation family. They had a very unique sparkling Merlot, quite different, and not my favorite, but definitely something different to try! I believe they are one of a few wineries to even make this type of wine. They had a nice Semillon, as well as a Merlot and a Rose. We actually walked away with 4 bottles from that cellar door!

By the end of the last winery, we where feeling pretty good! Maybe too good as I almost felt a bit sick when we got back - I guess you could say I swallowed, and didn't spit, all day :) lol

The tour also included a few other stops, the worlds largest rocking horse, that didn't rock; a lookout of most of the Barossa valley; a dried fruit and nut factory; and the very neat whispering wall. It is the reservoir that feeds the whole valley, and if you whisper against the wall on one end you can hear it 120m on the other end!! Very cool!

All I can say, is if you are a Shiraz lover, and can find any wine from the Barossa valley, try it, and you will surely not be disappointed!
Unfortunately both Rob and I forgot our cameras, so I have not photos :( it was an early 0800 wake up call!!!

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