Stef’s wine tasting trip to South Australia

How was your trip to South Australia earlier this month Stef? “Amazing. Wonderful. Thank you to Rohan and the team for organising.”

At Tom Foolery in the BarossaWhen and where did you go? “I landed on Monday and headed straight over to Tom Foolery where I tasted through some of their range. The wines were fresh and bright with less oak than I remembered. We’ll be ordering more soon so check out the newsletter and social media where we’ll post when we get them in the store or come in and tell us you’re interested! We then headed to Mengler Hill Lookout with fantastic views of the Barossa Valley.

Then Monday night was dinner at Vintners Bar & Grill, owned by Robert Hill-Smith, Rami Heer and Peter Clarke who all have experience in wine. The food is exceptional, sourced locally with the Barossa Farmers Market just next door, as well as local butchers, marron farmers and cheesemakers. Set among the vines, it was a wonderful evening. It was awesome food.”

 What was the plan for Tuesday? “In the morning, we had a few cakes and Kranskies made by Maggie Beer’s daughter at the Apex Bakery in Tanunda in the Barossa Valley. Apparently the oven hasn’t stopped in 80 years and we can see why, the food is so tasty, they The Cube at d'Arenberg in McLaren Valehave to keep up with demand!

Then we drove to McLaren Vale which was about 115 kilometres and took just over 1.5 hours. The day was full with eating and tasting, it was amazing.Tasting at d'Arenberg in McLaren Vale

We had a big 4 hours lunch with Chester Osborn, which was terrific. We also tried so many back vintages which was exceptional. Dinning at d’Arry’s Verandah Restaurant was amazing overlooking McLaren Vale. We went to look at the Cube, which was opened last month. On the top level of the d’Arenberg Cube is their cellar door with huge windows and 360 degree views over the region.

Tuesday night we headed to dinner in McLaren Vale, The General (Wine Bar & Kitchen) which is brand new; set up by winemakers Ben Riggs (of Mr Riggs Wine Co) and Brad Rey (of Zonte’s Footsteps). We were so lucky to have the place to ourselves. After tasting 25 wines, we sat down for dinner at a long table surrounded by open brick walls, with recycled brick and old railway sleepers. We had an amazing pork mains slow cooked along with a cheese platter.”

What did you do Wednesday? “Wednesday morning I woke up and had an amazing swim, it was beautiful with cold whiting around my feet….just outside the doors of a cool café called Star of Greece.Beautiful swim near McLaren Vale

The big lobster in KingstonThen we drove the 450 kilometres to Coonawarra and on the way stopped in at Robe, at the Caledonian. Robe is a beautiful town; there is so much history here, the pub itself was over 100 years old.

Once we unpacked at the hotel in Coonawarra, we went to dinner at Katnook winery. We ate at John Riddoch’s Stables which is Katnook’s winery cellar door and function venue. The former stables and offices feature local stone and timbers which have been beautifully restored and it was wonderful to be able to admire this while dinning.”

What was your schedule for Thursday? “On Thursday we went to the Penola Racecourse to watch the 36th Coonawarra VigneronsSunset in Coonawarra South Australia Cup. We had breakfast with Sparkling Shiraz. It was a pretty hot day and finished 2:30pm. We were lucky to enjoy a number of wines from local wineries on tasting; Lindeman’s Limestone Coast Reserve, Majella, Sparkling Shiraz, Katnook, Leconfield and Di Giorgio. Plus there was Adelaide based Australian brewery Coopers available which was so refreshing on a scorcher of a day!

For dinner, we ate at Fodder. Made with ingredients grown in the fodder garden (hence the name), we enjoyed really good Italian pizza and shaved pork belly with cabbage… and salted squid along with Katnook wines.”

 When did you fly back? “Friday morning we drove the four hours to the airport and were home by about 5pm.

Thank you to Rohan and the team at Off the Vine for a truly fantastic and amazing trip to South Australia!”


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