The Barossa Valley in winter is beautiful, and about as green as South Australia gets.
On Sunday, we decided to go for a drive to the Barossa Valley. The Barossa is one of the world’s best wine regions. And, when you live in (or visit) Adelaide it’s one of many that are within a day’s drive. For us, the Barossa is about 90 minutes from home. Close enough to head for lunch and some wine tasting for the afternoon; just far enough that it’s still special and you could make a weekend getaway of it if you wanted.
It’s always nice driving out of the city metro-area. Many cities seem to slowly thin out as you get further from the centre, but Adelaide turns very quickly from suburbs to countryside. It doesn’t take very long before you find yourself driving through rolling hills and wide-open sky. In the winter, when Adelaide gets most of its rain, the hills are green. It’s a contrast from the heat of the summer when things turn brown and light yellow.
We drove north on the Sturt Highway, turning onto Gomersal Road, where the valley stretches out around you and the patches of vine blocks become apparent. In the winter, the vines have all been trimmed and they look like thin pinstripes on the landscape.
When we do head to the Barossa, we always try to get someplace new and when we have visitors we have our standards that we make sure to take them.
Our fist stop this weekend was Lou Miranda Estate for lunch. It was also our new place. It is in Rowland Flat and we have passed it several times in the past and never really knew there was a cellar door there. The building manages to look slightly out of place and like a local at the same time. It sort of has an Italian Villa vibe, but also looks like it’s been there for half a century and is perfectly comfortable with its surroundings. The food was good, both hearty and fresh – perfect for a winter lunch.
After lunch, we went to one of our favourites in the Barossa – Rockford Wines. It’s one of my favourite cellar doors because it just has a great atmosphere. Like many of the cellar doors in the region, the staff are very knowledgable and passionate about wine in general. They are happy to tell you about their wines, vineyards in the area, and help you learn more about wine in general. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any Basket Press for tasting this weekend, but we did get our guest to try Alicante Bouchet and the P.S. Marion Tawny.
We also visited the cellar doors of Torbreck and Seppeltsfield. The Descendant was our pick for the day at Torbreck, and Seppeltsfield’s fortified wines are always a winner. The rain started to come back in while we were at Seppeltsfield, so it was a good time to call it a day and head back home (with a new bottle of wine or two for later).