Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Tue 30 Oct - McLaren Vale SA

We awake to another beautiful day. 33 degrees expected.

Di has made a booking with the hairdresser at 9am, which is likely to take 2 hours or so for some foils (she says she can't stand the grey hair anymore despite our grey nomad lifestyle).

Hans is left at the camp to do... washing. Oh well, it needs to be done. After the washing is on the line, Hans goes to take his morning shower when 2 burly ladies with tattoos wander into the bathroom to do the cleaning... Hmm, a bit disconcerting hearing these ladies talking and laughing loudly when you are standing all naked a metre or two away behind a low door...

Di returns with updated hair colour, more groceries and we are ready to hit the wine tasting trail.

First to Wirra Wirra, a lovely setting with a fun giant Church Block bottle at the entrance...

And a nice 6 litre bottle inside, for show and for sale.
We only tried about 5 wines but bought 2 reds and 1 muscat. Very nice place and very nice wine.

We like this message just outside Wirra Wirra's cellar door...
Wirra Wirra also has a giant post and rail fence which fascinated Hans.

Photo opportunities as well and good wine!

Then on to tourist drive number 60, a very scenic route through the hills, up to Chapel Hill and near the Onkaparinga National Park. The wineries are very close to the ocean in some places as you can see below.

More photos and then on to Olivers Taranga winery for some serious reds. Yummy and 2 more bottles purchased. We are conscious that what we buy we have to drink as they won't store in a hot van - but no real tragedy!

We decide on a lunch break in the gardens of Serafino winery and convention centre. Really beautiful but a few elements made it challenging; firstly the gardener turned on the lawn watering system which promptly sprayed the only picnic table available. No problem we head for the grass with our picnic to be then "stared at" by 3 ducks who refused to move more than 2 metres away at most. Quite cute but did feel like beggars.

Then the geese arrive in some numbers...
Lunch was still good and quite a bit of fun.

Our final winery for the day is D'arenburg and we try quite a lot of red wine, including some top bottles such as Coppermine Road Cab Sav, a 2003 Galvo Garage red blend and Dead Arm Shiraz.

They had this interesting bastard of a wine called Love Grass, with grapes from a variety of places, 14 or so. When we asked about the background to the name, we got a video spiel on an ipad from Chester, d'Arry's winemaker, about Love Grass (Chester seems to be quite a character, lying on the grass telling the viewer about Love Grass...). No, it wasn't particularly tasty...
We asked about D'arry as friends know him, but unfortunately he was not around today. He normally works 6 days a week despite being 86 years old. Nice looking restaurant adjacant to the cellar door, with great views over the vineyards...
We buy just one bottle as a treat - the 2003 Galvo Garage. Will be consumed with dinner tomorrow night.
A quick stop at Mitre 10 to purchase 2 cheap plastic folding chairs that won't kill our backs (sorry mum but your chairs are awful) and then back to the Visitors Centre for a relaxing cool drink and more blogging. Very nice.

Some 20 minutes before their closing time at the Visitor's Center, they started to... close it down. So, we drove back to nice chicken stir fry dinner on the fantastic BBQ.

It looked like rain may arrive overnight, so we moved in or put under the van as much of our gear that we could. Goodnight.

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