My partner and I were in Adelaide for a friend’s wedding and while we were there we thought it was the perfect time to explore the Barossa wine region, a short 45-minute drive north of the city.
Not being one for bus tours, I was all for the self-drive hire car adventure. My partner on the other hand was keen to take a bus tour.
“We both get to indulge in the wine and someone else drives – it's a no brainer,” he said. Not such a bad idea.
We opted for Taste the Barossa Wine Tours, a local family-owned business that specialises in intimate tours for no more than 20 guests.
I was relieved to see the hotel pick-up was at a comfortable 9am, which gave us plenty of time for breakfast and a shot of caffeine.
Hopping aboard the mini bus we were warmly welcomed by our driver and guide for the day, John.
On our drive north, John gave us a rundown of the day.
First stop was the famous Whispering Wall, then on to some serious wine tasting at Chateau Yaldara. From there we would wind our way through the Barossa to the Peter Lehmann winery for a tasting followed by lunch.
After lunch it was on to Langmeil, one of the oldest wineries in the Barossa, before finishing our tastings at Murray Street Vineyards.
It didn't sound too hard at all.
After a relaxing drive through picturesque countryside we made it to the small town of Williamstown were we found the Whispering Wall on the outskirts.
The Whispering Wall turned out to be the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir, an engineering feat for South Australia.
The curved wall took four years to build and was completed in 1903. But it wasn't just the pretty scenery that made this place so special; the acoustics of the wall itself were fascinating.
John headed off along the top of the wall to the other side, about 100 metres away, where he proceeded to whisper the story of the wall to us.
We could hear everything he said as clear as if he were standing right next to us.
It's easy to spend a day here. How To Spend A Day In The Barossa
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Picture-Perfect Mansion Matched By Wines
I for one was still trying to work out how the acoustics work when we boarded the bus again and headed off to our first wine tasting at Chateau Yaldara.
This picture-perfect vineyard had a stunning replica Georgian mansion that housed the cellar door and its signature eatery, Cafe Y, which was open for breakfast, lunch and Devonshire tea.
The wines came under the 1847 label. The 2014 Crystals Grenache we tasted first was deliciously fresh and crisp, and the sparkling Petit Verdot that followed was equally good.
Keen to take a few bottles home we inquired about the price of postage and were surprised to find out the postage they charged on six bottles of wine was only $8. We promptly selected six wines and had the winery post it home for us.
It was then back on the bus and off we drove to our next destination: the Peter Lehmann winery.
Here we enjoyed a few tastings followed by a delicious antipasti plate for two of freshly baked artisan breads, cured meats, pickles, olives and a selection of fine cheeses. Add a glass or two of rose and it was the perfect lunch.
After lunch we took a much-needed stroll through gnarled vines to our next vineyard, Langmeil. This historic winery plays host to some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world.
The vines were believed to have been planted in 1843 by Christian Auricht, an immigrant who escaped to Australia from war ravaged Prussia. This wonderful Shiraz is hand-picked and basket pressed in French Oak for two years. And it’s well named: Freedom.
As we headed off to our final vineyard of the day we stopped for photographs at Mengler’s Hill Lookout where we soaked up the spectacular vista of the valley.
Our final stop was Murray Street Vineyards, a charming boutique winery owned by Andrew Seppelt from the famous Seppelt family that have lived and produced wine in the region for six generations.
We finished the day on a high, a little bit buzzed and far more excited about wine and Australia's diverse backyard than ever before.