Day 63 – Final Blast in the Barossa!

Oh what a night. A night to ourselves in the caravan, while the girls had a sleep over at Nanna and Grandpa’s. It was probably the hottest night we have had since being away and the van was hot. We tried pumping up the air conditioner in the van, however felt that the breeze that was coming through may provide more relief – as such we opened up the vents to allow the breeze to enter the van. I was looking forward to a lovely uninterrupted sleep – unfortunately that wasn’t the case. I would estimate we had less than ten hours sleep between us, staying awake from 1.30am to 4am, despite numerous attempts of to get in that comfortable ‘sleeping’ position. Never mind, we were really happy that the girls had a lovely time with Nanna and Grandpa. Stories in bed, using presents they received for Christmas to understand lowercase letters and the alphabet and a spot of craft entertaining themselves with sand art. Caroline and I had our breakfast and headed back to Nanna and Grandpas as we both missed our little girls.

It may sound unbelievable, but arriving at Nanna and Grandpa’s it was fair to say that the mood in their household was one of being a little ‘wined out’ (one which I could relate with). While we had an amazing experience yesterday, the household was struggling with the thought of another day of vineyards. Unbelievable isn’t it!

We decided to soldier on and complete one final blast through the Barossa, sampling a few vineyards recommended by our guide. The plan was to reduce the number of vineyards visited today to three venues (this may start sounding a little complicated), which consisted of two vineyards and one venue that had six vineyards under the one cellar door. Already sounding like another full on day I think!

First stop was a compromise for the girls and the adults, a vineyard called Whistler, known for their rescue Kangaroos and good wines. With Nanna not feeling she could stomach another day of tasting, Grandpa put his hand up to join me in the tasting for the day while Caroline and Nanna were the drivers for the day.

Whistler was a lovely vineyard that has been run by the same family for four generations. Lovely gardens in a rustic setting with native plants and sculptures made from corrugated iron.

The rescued kangaroos were in a separate enclosure providing some entertainment for the girls before entering the cellar door. Grandpa and I approached the bar and tried a Semillon Sauvignon Blanc called Audrey May and told our Audrey Mae that they had a wine named after her! dsc_3361A lovely Rose that was a little sweet, a wine called Shock Value – where we had to try and guess what was in it (only the wine maker knows what it is comprised of!). Based on our history of purchases at recent vineyards, Grandpa and I decided not to purchase any wine from this cellar door today, however decided to join their mailing list – just in case we are tempted in the future for future purchases. All wines from this vineyard are made in a sustainable manner, using biodynamic and organic practices, using a ‘tinea press’ as Grandpa described it for extracting the juice from the grapes. I will keep my eyes out in the future for two of their lovely Shiraz’s which were – 2014 Estate Shiraz and 2015 Albert Heinrich Shiraz.

We left Whistler and headed to a vineyard called Rusden, recommended to us by our tour guide Steve. WOW what amazing wines! A sixth generation single vineyard, 16 hectares in size that claims to be the only vineyard that grows their wine in vine vale sand. The elements have a profound effect on the colour and taste of these wines. The sandy soil impacts the colour of the wine – making the wine appear lighter while the valley in which the grapes are situated, allow the grapes to get the best sun during the day and be cooled down at night by the wind that flows through the valley. After sampling the 2016 Poco Loco Rose, Grandpa and I knew we had found another special vineyard. So much so that Grandpa left the vineyard to try and locate Caroline outside (she was watching the girls play) – to make sure she wasn’t missing out on these fabulous wines!

The wines that were purchased by us were:

  • 2016 Poco Loco Rose
  • 2014 Driftsand Grenache/Shiraz/Mataro (45/45/10)
  • 2015 Ripper Creek Shiraz Cabernet (80/20)

Grandpa purchased the following beauties:

  • 2012 Full Circle Mataro
  • 2014 Boundaries Cabernet
  • 2015 Chookshed Zinfandel

Final stop for the day was the ‘venue’. Artisans of Barossa, a cellar door and restaurant. The cellar door comprised of six winemakers and a restaurant called Harvest Kitchen – where we had lunch after a sneak wine tasting. dsc_3381Artisans had three vineyards we were extremely impressed with, Hobbs of the Barossa Ranges – a vineyard that makes 5,000 cases of wine a year, John Duval Wines, who was the previous Chief Winemaker at Penfolds and Sons of Eden – another new favourite for me from Barossa. I wasn’t as impressed by the other three wine makers, Massena, Schwarz Wine Company and Spinifex.

Grandpa and I tried some amazing, expensive wines from Hobbs of the Barossa Ranges, impressed with the 2013 Tango Shiraz Viognier and the 2013 Gregor Shiraz – a little too expensive for either of our cellars, a promising 2014 Entity Shiraz from John Duval Wines that shows a lot of promise and some beautiful wines from Sons of Eden. We were so impressed with these wines that Grandpa and I decided to split a case and send it home. We purchased:

  • 2014 Kennedy Grenache/Shiraz/Mourvèdre
  • 2013 Selene Tempranillo

While Grandpa purchased and was extremely impressed (as was I) with:

  • 2014 Remus Shiraz
  • 2014 Romulus Shiraz

After completing the cheeky wine tasting, we decided to have a bottle of the Romulus Shiraz with the amazing food from Harvest Kitchen – run by a 2015 previous MasterChef finalist (Tracy Collins). The food was exquisite. Shared dishes with diverse flavours. Every mouthful was a pleasure – with a stunning wine that complemented the meal! We had desserts before the girls started to expire – they had been so good, but we decided it was time to leave and give the girls a daytime sleep in Nanna and Grandpa’s lovely air conditioned house.dsc_3383

Caroline and I spent a couple of hours of the afternoon as a couple. It was lovely! Poolside, enjoying the still heat of the day (it was between 37-42 degrees today!). I even encouraged Caroline to join me on the slides in the waterpark, including the dreaded Purple slide! After a few hours of frivolity in the sun, we received word via the UHF that the girls were ready for some fun in the pool. I went over to collect them, lather them in sunscreen and then met Caroline at the waterpark for some more fun in the sun.

We approached the waterslide area and Caroline noticed there was a muddy substance at the base of the stairwell. We continued our climb of the steps and Caroline’s face went white, quite difficult to do with the amazing tan she is spotting! “Poo in the waterslide” “There is poo down there” Caroline exclaimed. We exited the stairwell immediately and noticed that the muddy substance was another poo. Some little child (I hope it was a little child) had an accident throughout the waterpark. We decided it was time to leave the waterpark and no take a chance entering the pool – despite the staff at the caravan park saying the slides will be ok to use again within 30 minutes. Not likely we thought and decided to get our hose and let the girls cool themselves down with the hose. Far less chance of faecal contamination!!dsc_3386

We sought refuge at Nanna and Grandpa’s house to get cleaned up and cooled down, before having a light dinner. A few lovely Gin and Tonics with cheese before dinner, we are looking forward to a relaxing evening before our trip to McLaren Vale tomorrow.

One response to “Day 63 – Final Blast in the Barossa!

  1. Well, well, well – too much wine?? Now that is a surprise (not), think by now your blood has been turned into wine. Lovely to see Audrey has her own wine, they do need to change the spelling though… I didn’t notice it on your list of purchases, you should have at least bought a bottle for dinner and let her have a finger.
    Bet the girls enjoyed staying the N&G and would have had a better nights sleep than you two. Don’t complain about the heat having had insufficient clothes to cope with the cooler weather in WA.
    It is interesting to see you are not only tasting the Shiraz and Cab Sav but a number of other grape varieties more commonly seen in Europe. There are some excellent GSM’s, Tempranillo’s and Sangiovese’s particularly in France, Spain and Italy respectively. Hope McLaren offers you some different experiences in addition to all those already tried.
    Just had news of another Aussie baby in Geelong. Amelia was born by emergency c section yesterday to Elissa and Peter. She is 4lb 4oz – both are fine but of course she will be in special care for a while. Mike’s first granddaughter as Simon has two boys in the States. Mike & Daphne are coming to Aus in the spring and will visit Sydney on their travels and would love to see you all.


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