Libby & I spent four days (Fri – Mon) last week poking around Adelaide & surrounding districts, courtesy of a prize won at a Business Chicks event (from Qantas & Hilton). It’s always interesting to experience their view of heavy traffic! The service at the Hilton was top class but unfortunately the breakfasts weren’t. However, we found a great fish restaurant in nearby Gouger Street and also enjoyed wonderful food at the seemingly chaotic but friendly LaTrattoria Restaurant on nearby King William Street (opposite The Kings Hotel). Visited the Rundle Mall, Adelaide Central Market and of course the RM Williams shop at Salisbury Plains.
We ventured into the Adelaide Hills to the historic village of Harndorf which transports you back to centuries gone by. A wonderful experience. Next call was the Berenberg jam factory, straight up the hill from Harndorf. A bit of a flash back for me in another life supplying the first batch of intricate labels that go their varied shape & size jars.
Onto the famous McLaren Vale wine country starting with a coffee and then a little wine tasting at the Hugo Winery, a wonderful NV Cuvee! The area is not well sign posted however we did find the Chapel Hill winery (a very nice range of shiraz) with the “Retreat” for exclusive conferencing (small groups) located on the same property, looking down the valley over the vineyards. We ventured the coast road back to Adelaide….not the same as the “Shire” beaches.
Our trip to the Barossa was just over the hour via the Main North Road through Gawler (a wonderful lady at the Info Centre pointed us in the right direct) and onto the Lyndoch Lavendar Farm for a bit of history and tuition on the product. Unfortunately I demolished a chair while sitting in the sun waiting for a coffee but I did have the good fortune to be served by a fellow “rugger player” and engage in RWC talk (go the Wallabies). Checked into the comfortable Novotel Barossa Valley Resort, which is right in the heart of the wine country and adjoining the Tanunda Pines Golf Course. Then onto the Grant Burge winery which has an amazing wine centre, outdoor gazebo and spectacular gardens. We quite liked the Riesling!
A visit to the Barossa would be incomplete without attending the famous Maggie Beer Farm Shop which we made in time for the (2pm daily) cooking demonstration….people everywhere! Also had a wander around the lake taking in the purpose built conference facility which the Novotel use for offsite excursions and dinners. Checked out the Chateau Tanundra, great building and gardens but now a backpack facility…disappointing really. So up Mengler Hill Lookout to see the breadth and beauty of the Barossa Valley unfold in front of us. It really is a compact area with a radius of about 18kms. A fantastic meal at the Novotel following a day of exploration and discovery.
Our final day started with a tour of the Novotel with DOS Troy Dowd….. showing us the conference facilities incorporating up to 10 conference rooms of various sizes and configurations; from the main ballroom seating 140 cabaret (250 theatre) to the intimate boardroom for 15. Great function space adjacent to the conference rooms! The property has plenty of space for activities and has a wonderful array of options available to make this a very unique conference experience.
No trip to the Barossa would be complete without visiting the Henschke Winery of “Hill of Grace” & “ Mount Edelstone” fame! It’s a magnificent ½ hour scenic drive into the Eden Valley and of course the wines live up to their reputation but the real find was a wonderful 2010 Muscat of Tappa Pass desert wine (to die for). Back to Angaston to find the Cheese Factory. We didn’t really need it but couldn’t help ourselves to some wonderful cheeses to bring home. Finally to the Chateau Barossa (winery, antiques & function centre). A wonderful old building just out of Lyndoch.
Back to dear old Sydney via Qantas and the end of a four day winter break. Would love to spend time in the Barossa and the nearby Clare Valley which we didn’t have time to visit. See or Facebook for photos & videos. Mike Schrafft, Director.