Thursday, January 01, 2009

The Barossa Valley

Last weekend we took a daytrip to South Australia's wine country, the Barossa valley. The first and only time we were there was when the girl was less than 2 years old, the first time we visited Adelaide. It tooks us almost 6 years to visit again.

At any rate, last Saturday morning we all piled into our good friends' car and drove up to see some of the most scenic country views and have a little tour of this picturesque area. The Barossa is world famous for many of the wines produced in the region and many tourists come to visit the area. There are many wine tasting and mini tours that come through the valley to see the wineries and the sites.

We started by going up to the highest point of the Barossa valley. From the top of Mengler's Hill we could almost see the entire valley with it's grape plantations and many wineries. We spent time playing around in the statue garden at the hill and we took a lot of wacky pictures too.

We then picked up a few supplies on our way to have a picnic lunch. Our friends were all prepared with their own cooker and we had an impromptu barbecue at one of the many parks around the area.

After lunch we went to Maggie Beer's farmhouse which was a foodie's delight. Maggie Beer is a well known cook and author who's made her home in the Barossa valley. We catch her show, "The Cook and The Chef" all the time and we were genuinely excited to see where they actually shoot the series. We also got to see a cooking demonstration using one of Maggie's favourite ingredients, verjuice. They were passing around some samples of verjuice to show that it was not only for cooking but you can actually drink it straight up. In fact, the boy quickly developed a taste for it and had 4 shot glasses worth of the stuff. Of course, we couldn't help ourselves but got a couple of bottles to experiment with at home. The farmhouse also had for sale a lot of the Maggie Beer range of olive oils, pat├ęs, terrine's and other stuff. I'm sure will make it a stop on our next trip back.

After the farmhouse we had a quick stop at Angastown to buy some dried fruit and candies before our last stop, the Whispering Wall. The wall is actually the dam that forms the water reservoir for the Barossa valley. It's buit in such a way that sound echoes from one end of the dam to the other. It's build to exacting measurements that if you stand on one side of the wall, you can hear exactly what someone else is whispering on the other side hence the moniker.

After the wall we headed for home. We all had such a great time and I'm sure we won't let 6 years go by before visiting the Barossa again.

More pictures at our Flickr page here.

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