Captain’s log. Stardate 4.1.2017. Captain Greybeard reporting on the Barossa.
The little Buccaneers and my able cockswain awoke at the reasonable hour of 0700. Cockswain Caroline developed our plan for the day, packed with enough ballast to ensure we could explore the Booty of the Barossa.
Old Captain feels he hath had a few two many ales since wind filled our sails, as such I put myself to walk the plank and undertake a solo mission of exercise. Completing sets of push ups, chin ups, sit ups (everything with an up in it) along with complementary sets of static lunges and squats, I had a feeling this may be a little challenging. Cockswain prepared breakfast for the little Buccaneers while I began the torturous sets. Repetitions from 15 to 1 of each exercise.
Buccaneer Audrey decided she was able bodied enough to join in on the exercise and joined me for the first set. After that, more neighbouring scallywags thought they were ‘man enough’. After a few rounds, it was evident that not one of them had sealegs for the sets.
Cockswain and Buccaneers had started breakfast before Captain could muster up the energy to sit down and fathom the thought of eating. I sat down to a fine meal of heated bread and a fine cup of bilgewater (toast and coffee) – which was happily devoured in moments. The little buccaneers used the UHF to muster the Admiral and his lady (Grandpa and Nanna) to communicate between where the caravan folk have mustered to where the gentry reside. After our plan for the day was communicated between the camps, we met at the luxurious homestead (it really isn’t quite camping!) and drove to the first destination of the day. The Captain, being the lovely, attractive, overtly muscular and well aged fellow that he is had committed to be the master of the vessel, or driver today – allowing Cockswain Caroline a chance to enjoy a day of Barossa beverages.
First stop today, the quintessential essence of the Barossa – Penfolds. The Admiral and the Cockswain were the designated tasters, making the Admirals lady and yours truly the designated drivers of our ships. The old salts stood at the Penfolds counter, served by an extremely knowledgeable lady wearing Penfolds red lipstick. Being a winery that we are both familiar with, the pair found delight in some ‘drops’ that they aren’t familiar with, the 2014 Cellar Reserve Sangiovese and the 2014 Bin 150 Marananga Shiraz.
While Riesling and the 2014 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz were also tasted, we left Penfolds pleased with our newly found treasures, yet empty handed unable to justify the exorbitant prices (higher than what you would find at Dan Murphys!)
Before we left on tour adventure for the day, the Admiral made an advance call to Rockford, being a Stone Wall member, to see whether he could pull any favours for a private tasting. Success, the Admiral was able to get a 11am booking in the private members cellar, affording us the opportunity to taste wines that weren’t available at the cellar door. While this was a fantastic thing, it meant that the Captain and his crew were required to expedite our morning plans rushing through Penfolds and the second vineyard on our list – Torbrek.
Torbrek, an absolute favourite of Captain Greybeard was a beautiful vineyard with equally beautiful wines. The Admiral and the Cockswain had particular tasting success with some wines we hadn’t previously tasted including, 2016 Saignee, 2015 Cuvée Juveniles, 2015 Woodcutters Shiraz, 2015 Growers Cut, 2013 The Factor and the 2013 Run Rig.
The pair were extremely pleased with what they had sampled, so much so that the Admiral was already denoting what wines were to be sent back to their faithful ship ‘The E’woo’. As a result the wine master opened up the Run Rig, their flagship wine, at $250 from the cellar door. Having a sample of the wine myself, it was a decadently decent Shiraz. An amazing wine, just a little out of the price point of the Captains coin purse. Pleased with the fantastic experience, we headed to our next destination, Rockford.
WOW. What an experience! After entering the cellar door of Rockford, we were escorted to an exclusive area – a separate building to where the rest of the public were tasting these fantastic wines. Accompanied by a lovely wine expert, the Admiral and Cockswain seemed to be enjoying themselves! After tasting (or a mere sniff) of many of the wines myself, I was disappointed that I wasn’t able to appreciate the limited release wines only available at the Stone Wall cellar door with Caroline. Fortunately the sips and whiffs of wine were enough to contribute to the purchasing of our first wines to be sent back from Barossa. Our extensive list of wines to be returned to Sydney include:
- 2014 Eden Valley Riesling
- 2009 Cane Cut Semillon
- 2014 Local Growers Semillon
- 2016 Alicante Bouchet – a delicate red coloured wine made from red flesh grape.
- 2015 Frugal Farmer – Grenache / Mataro / Alicante Bouschet
- 2013 Rod & Spur
- 2009 Shiraz VP
We left the majestic Rockford and decided to have a late lunch at a playground. The little buccaneers enjoyed themselves working through a wine themed playground, eating between playing while the adults recuperated. Our final stop for the day came at the recommendation of the Admiral – a winery called Rolf Binder.
Working strategically once again from white to red, the Admiral and Cockswain worked their way through the wine list. Not overly impressed in what they had sampled, the Cockswain and Admiral settled on the following wine for consumption to accompany meals:
- 2013 Veritas Shiraz Malbec
- 2013 ‘Bulls Blood’ Shiraz Mataro
Pleased with our first experience of the Barossa, we retired to the waterpark and pool – it was after all one of the hottest days we experienced (approximately 35 degrees). It was here that the Admiral and his lady braved the waterpark. The Admiral strolled through the various water jets and seemed to have a fantastic time. The Admirals lady was a little braver, going on the ‘scary’ purple slide THREE times and then went with Audrey on the green slides. Unfortunately there are no photos of this escapade, we didn’t have suitable camera wear for the occasion.
After bathing at the Admirals manor, we headed to the Barossa Valley Brewing, where the Admiral and I enjoyed pints of ‘I can’t believe it’s not bacon’. A smoky, pig/bacon styled beer – it was actually quite lovely. After a lovely feast of chicken wings, bruschetta, seafood, pork ribs and pizza, we returned to the caravan park to retire for the night. Not sure whether the movie being played tonight “The Muppets” will cut it – maybe we will play some cards instead. Anyone for S’Head??
Angus, to reply to your comment. Yes the beard is very hairy. On your question of eating through, I tend to open my mouth when eating 🙂 xx