Top Ten Food and Wine Touring Options in South Australia
South Australia (www.southaustralia.com) is not only regarded as Australia's wine capital it is also famed for its innovative cuisine, featuring fresh local produce, and is home to some of the country's top chefs and restaurants. With 17 wine regions, including the Barossa and Clare Valleys, McLaren Vale, Adelaide Hills and Coonawarra and over 300 cellar doors, South Australia also boasts world famous names like Jacob’s Creek, Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Peter Lehmann. Adelaide alone is within an hour’s drive of over 200 cellar doors.
Here are ten top food and wine touring options:
1. Barossa Daimler Tours
BAROSSA DAIMLER TOURS offers luxury, behind the scenes wine tours from the comfort of a 1962 Majestic Major Daimler. These escorted tours incorporate first class tastings of 26 premium wines including the remarkable 100 year old Para Liqueur Tawny. Not normally open to the public, Kalimna Vineyard is home to Shiraz grapes used in the world renowned Penfolds Grange, as well as the famous ‘Block 42’ Cabernet Sauvignon vines thought to be the oldest in the world (1880s). www.barossadaimlertours.com.au
Other ideas and operators include:
ADELAIDE’S TOP FOOD & WINE TOURS’ “Grazing on Gouger”, a progressive four-course dining tour.
BOOKABEE TOURS AUSTRALIA’s “Botanic Gardens Bush Food Trail” to taste Aboriginal bush foods and learn about bush medicines and plant uses, traditional duck hunting techniques and food gathering practices.
2. Cycling the Clare Valley Riesling Trail
CYCLING THE CLARE VALLEY RIESLING TRAIL takes in up to 30 local wineries over 33 kms of trail. This walking and cycling route follows a disused railway line through the heart of the Clare Valley from Clare to Auburn. The route, which can be cycled one way in about two hours, starts in Auburn, 90 minutes drive north of Adelaide. Bikes are available for hire in Clare. www.clarevalley.com.au
Other cycling options and food and trails include:
BAROSSA CLASSIC CYCLE TOURS’ “Red Ochre to Red Wine Tour”, a fully catered, eight day, 700 kms. road tour starting and finishing in the Barossa. www.bccycletours.com.au
THE BAROSSA CHEESE AND WINE TRAIL comes with four locally made cheeses and a trail map with six route options matching wines to cheeses. www.barossacheese.com.au
3. Behind The Scenes Tours at Historic Penfolds Magill Estate
BEHIND THE SCENES TOURS AT HISTORIC PENFOLDS MAGILL ESTATE. One of Australia’s most famous wineries is located just 15 minutes from the centre of Adelaide. Tours include the “Great Grange Tour” which takes an exclusive look around the original Penfold family home built in 1845 where guests taste six Penfolds Super Premium Wines and Penfolds’ 20-year-old Bluestone Tawny from the barrel. www.penfolds.com
Other options include:
SEPPELTSFIELD, Australia’s leading fortified winemaker, offers tours of its historic 1851 winery. ‘The Legend of Seppeltsfield’ tour features tastings of sparkling, table and fortified wines, including the 100 Year Para Liqueur Vintage Tawny. www.seppelt.com.au
4. Visit Celebrity Owned Vineyards
VISIT CELEBRITY OWNED VINEYARDS – a growing number of well-known faces are getting involved in winemaking and are producing their own branded wines. To date Ian Botham, Olivia Newton John, Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and award winning director Scott Hicks are all producing branded wines from vineyards in South Australia and visitors to the region can include these vineyards in their itinerary as many operate an ‘open cellar’ policy. (see link).
5. Blend Your Own Wine
BLEND YOUR OWN WINE – There are a range of options to try your hand as a winemaker at some of South Australia’s most famous vineyards:
BLEND IT LIKE BLASS - Guests at Wolf Blass can blend their own version of the award-winning Black Label wine at the winery’s state-of-the-art visitor centre in the Barossa. www.wolfblass.com.au
WYNNS COONAWARRA ESTATE on the Limestone Coast offers guests tours of this historic winery before entering the laboratory to create their own Cabernet, Shiraz and Merlot blends. www.wynns.com.au
PENFOLDS’ “MAKE YOUR OWN BLEND” - Guests at Penfold’s Cellar Door in the Barossa can take home their own handmade Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre blend in a personalised bottle. www.penfolds.com
Other ‘hands on’ experiences include:
COOKING SCHOOLS - (see link)
CHEESEMAKING at Udder Delights Cheese Cellar www.udderdelights.com.au
PRESERVING, SMOKING AND CURING – Producers of McLaren Vale offer cheese, bread and sausage making, olive oil processing, preserving, butchery, smoking and curing experiences. www.producers.net.au
A CHEF’S FRESH FOOD SHOPPING TOUR - The best way to explore Adelaide Central Markets is to join food expert Mark Gleeson on a gourmet walking tour including visits to stallholders and tastings of fresh produce. Adelaide Central Markets are 140-years-old, featuring a huge range of fresh produce over 80 plus specialist stalls. www.centralmarkettour.com.
6. The Louise and Appellation
THE LOUISE, Barossa’s premier vineyard retreat, offers private “Signature Barossa Experiences” - nine of the region’s top boutique winemakers open their doors exclusively to hotel guests providing an opportunity to meet the individuals responsible for making some of Australia’s most prestigious wines. Each tasting provides a different insight – organic and biodynamic wines, alternate varietals, barrel tasting, specific and inspired food pairing, rustic heritage and old vine. www.thelouise.com.au
APPELLATION AT THE LOUISE was named “Top Restaurant in South Australia” by the “2011 Australia Good Food and Travel Guide”. Additionally, in ranking their Top 14 restaurants in Australia, Appellation was the only restaurant outside Sydney and Melbourne to make the list. Appellation is located within The Louise and is run by British-born Executive Chef Mark McNamara. www.appellation.com.au
7. Paddock to Plate with Exceptional Kangaroo Island
PADDOCK TO PLATE is a food safari tour from Exceptional Kangaroo Island focussing on the island’s diversity of produce and the passion of the producers. A full day can incorporate seafood, artisan cheese, olive oil, honey, marron (an Australian freshwater crayfish), native spices, yoghurt and wine. For example, Sue and Dan Pattingale are renowned olive oil producers – their herbaceous, peppery oil is harvested from ancient, gnarled trees from across the Island. www.exceptionalkangarooisland.com
8. The Eyre Peninsula’s Seafood and Aquaculture Trail
THE EYRE PENINSULA’S SEAFOOD AND AQUACULTURE TRAIL is a self-drive experience showcasing the best the region has to offer – southern bluefin tuna, abalone, oyster, prawns, scallops and southern rock lobster. www.seafoodtrail.com
9. The Flinders Feral Food Menu Outback at The Prairie Hotel
THE “FLINDERS FERAL FOOD” MENU at the famed Outback Prairie Hotel in Parachilna, serves native Australian cuisine where guests are treated to local meat and native herbs, fruits and vegetables including kangaroo, emu, saltbush mutton, and rabbit, combined with unusual ingredients such as paperbark, wattle and acacia seeds, samphire, muntries and mountain pepperberries. The property’s signature dish is the ‘Feral Mixed Grill’ that includes camel sausage, kangaroo fillet and emu mignon with a red wine pepperleaf jus.
10. The ChocoVino Experience
THE CHOCOVINO EXPERIENCE at Hahndorf Hill Winery in the Adelaide Hills offers paired wine and chocolate tasting experiences based on the concept that gourmet chocolate, as with fine wine, has the ability to reflect terroir. www.hahndorfhillwinery.com.au
DID YOU KNOW?
Half of Australia’s total wine production comes from South Australia
South Australia has the nation’s largest area of vineyards (70,302 hectares) producing more wine than any other state, manufacturing almost 700,000 litres annually.
Jacob’s Creek (alias Premium Wine Brands Pty Ltd) has signed a five-year agreement with The All England Lawn Tennis Club making Jacob’s Creek the Official Wine of Wimbledon until 2015. Jacob’s Creek Regional Reserve wines are now available in the UK.
Some of the world’s oldest Shiraz vines are in the Barossa. They are highly treasured as some are over 150 years old.
For further information on South Australia www.southaustralia.com