When you hear something like “vibrant straw with flecks of brilliant green”, what do you think? I am guessing it wasn’t, mmmm… pour me one of those.
As you probably well know, Australia is home to many a wine that we enjoy in the U.S. In fact, I’ve come to learn that Australia is home to some 60 wine regions. We, or more appropriately I, had the good fortune to venture into the Clare and Barossa Valley Wine Regions while visiting Adelaide. Dave was the supportive designated driver on this excursion.
I find it amazing that anything can grow on this dry land, much less millions of little grapes that produce “soft and fleshy structure, with surprisingly persistent length of flavour to a clean finish.” (Yes, for me, one of the highlights of wine tasting is the tasting notes. Chock full of elaborate descriptions that I could not possibly ever concoct. )
We first ventured into the smaller, farther off Clare Valley. This area is made up of about 30 vineyards and is known for its Reislings. The real reason for our trip to Clare was to visit Tim Adams Winery (yes, my brother’s name is Tim). It’s a small winery with none other than the 2006 World Champion Reisling. Who knew? Not me. I’m not really much of a white wine drinker and much less a fan of sticky sweet Reislings. As it turns out, Tim Adams got this one right. (Probably an overachiever just like the bro'.) In fact, it was delicious and by far the tastiest of the wines I tried that day. The best part – it whipped all those German Reislings' butts! It must really goad all those Europeans with their overpriced wines when Oz came onto the scene with pretty good wine at far better prices!
After visiting Clare Valley we swung through the Barrossa Valley – a far larger and more well known wine region. Since there is a limit to Dave’s patience while I swill wine, we only stopped at one other winery – the infamous Jacob’s Creek winery. This was like the Disneyland of wineries. You could check out a high-tech interactive display, see the kangaroos in the bush, take your picture in front of the Jacob’s Creek sign, eat an overpriced meal and of course drink wine. This is where the tour buses go. Despite all that, I had the chance to taste some wines we don’t see in the US and that are frankly of much higher quality then what we can get in stores.
From the penny-pinching backpacker perspective, the best aspect of Australian wineries is that the tastings are free. Just next door in New Zealand, wineries were more of a tourist attraction where you had to pay a hefty fee just get through the cellar door. This is yet another reason to love Australia!
Sorry to say that the pictures of wine country went the way of the two cameras. Hope someone is enjoying them!