Exploring the Barossa Valley

Arriving into Adelaide we were greeted with 100+ degree temperatures and another camper van!  Gillian and Michael couldn’t bear to think of us sweating the night away in our little camper and graciously rented us a hotel room with AC.  It was amazing!  We spent the evening with their son, Edward, catching up over Vietnamese food.  It was a great night and then we got to enjoy a king sized hotel bed, prolonging camper van living for one more night.

Off we went on Saturday, camper van stocked with food, and headed to the wine region of the Barossa Valley.  Our first stop was at Rockford.  Not knowing what to expect of this wine region, we were pleasantly surprised to be greeted by extremely friendly, approachable, and knowledgeable staff.  We had a blast with Joe who tasted us through all of the delicious wines at Rockford.  We ended up spending over 2 hours in their tasting room, meeting other travelers and all oohing and ahhing over the wines.

Next up we went to Torbreck, owned by an American, we were in search of wines we could find at home.  We enjoyed learning about the German roots in the Barossa Valley from one of the staff whose family has lived in the Barossa Valley for generations.  The grapes they use for their wines come from vines that are 174 years old, and the youngest are 102 years old!  They source 50% of their wine and grow the other 50%.


Our last winery of the day was Whistler Wines.  We heard it was a laid back spot with lots of events going on and we were greeted to just such an atmosphere.  We had a great time tasting through their wines and enjoying their different labels. 

Our final stop was Maggie Beer, an institution in the Barossa Valley, with lots of samples of their delicious products.  We had multiple samples of the chocolate and caramel sauces – delicious!  She is known for her Quince Paste and also pate, coming from these gorgeous animals.

Our evening was spent at the town Oval, camping on the grass watching a cricket match.  Such an enjoyable day!

The next day we started our morning at Penfolds – wanting to try some wines we know we can find in the US.  We were told time and time again there are too many rules, regulations, and costs to exporting wines, so most of what we taste we won’t be able to share with you when we are back.  At any rate, we enjoyed the tasting at Penfolds.  They had nice wines and it was fun to taste so many Shiraz wines next to each other.  Eric loved the fortified wines, making him miss our friend Jesse and the Port they always enjoy together.

Our next stop was at Yalumba.  At this point I have to fess up that we have been drinking mostly boxed wine since the Roses left us in New Zealand.  We have been splurging on a bottle here and there, but the box wine selection is so vast (and affordable) that we have mostly been refilling our GoVino’s from the little spigot.  At any rate, Yalumba is one of the boxed wines that we have been enjoying so we decided to see what else they have to offer.  We loved the setting – gorgeous buildings set among beautiful plantings.  The wines were just as appealing, really approachable and all were yummy.  It was a great stop.

Next we headed to the Adelaide Hills, walking along the quaint streets trying to resist the urge to purchase anything.