Day 184: 30 November – The last day of spring brings more sun and wine

Author: Mrs A

Location: Barossa Valley

Another warm day dawned in the Barossa Valley and we decided to remain here another night – Mr A even negotiated to have the night for free, given the construction works on the caravan site. It meant we could continue our touring of this beautiful region while leaving Tassie safe in an air conditioned caravan.Our first task was to travel to the nearby settlement of Nuriootpa to visit the bank. I had been paid for two years of work with Vanderbilt University with a cheque in USA dollars and had to pay it in before it expired. Of course this was not an easy task and required forms to be completed and for me to pay $45 fee up front for the privilege! I should expect to see my money in my account by the end of January next year…nothing is ever quick or easy in the world of banking! It just so happened the bank was next door to a very pretty bakery café, which then ended up as our lunch spot. Mr A proudly announced they had the best vanilla slice he had tried this trip. Big call – there have been quite a few vanilla slice tastings!

The supermarket was our next stop and usually would not get much of a mention in a blog post, but this was a brand new flagship store for the South Australian Foodland Co-Op – we were impressed. Unlike the gloomy, cramped stores we see in Sydney, this was architecturally designed with huge windows, high ceilings and lots of natural wood. There was a whole section devoted to locally produced conserves and other products. It was more like a market than a supermarket, with cheese counters and delicatessens spilling over with produce. It was overall an excellent experience. Even the staff were cheerful and chatty, with our checkout server proudly announcing the store was intending to steal the accolade of ‘Best Supermarket in South Australia’ from the store we visited in Frewville, Adelaide. I’d say they are not far off!

It would be rude not to do a wine tasting after all that administrative and housekeeping work, so we took ourselves off to Izway. We’d been eagerly anticipating this since our poor experience at Torbreck. Izway is a partnership between two winemakers, one of which is Craig Isabel, former winemaker at Torbreck, the other Brian Conway, these days more concerned with sales and marketing and based in Melbourne.

It’s a small winery with around 8 acres of vines, producing a selection of single vineyard wines and sourcing grapes from appropriate vineyards around the Barossa and Eden Valley for others. Assistant winemaker Liam met us at the cellar door, with boundless enthusiasm for the wines he was pouring, full of stories about the grapes, the naming of the wines and the influences.There were some delicious wines – their single vineyard Three Brians Grenache, made from 116 year old vines, was a standout, and we bought a bottle of the Maurice Grenache (also single vineyard, younger 50 year old vines) and the Rob and Les Shiraz. We are seriously running out of wine storage now! We headed back to camp after this tasting. Tonight the weather is due to change quite dramatically, with temperatures predicted to drop more than 10 degrees with torrential rain and thunder storms – already there is discussion of sandbagging shopfronts and preparing for flooding. There’s nothing more people love to talk about than a dramatically extreme weather event!We’re getting as packed up as possible while the sun still shines. We’ll be moving on tomorrow to our next location, a few kilometres closer to Sydney, somewhere along the River Murray (hopefully not on a flood plain!). We have really loved our time in the Adelaide Hills and Barossa Valley – a combination of lovely people, stunning scenery, great cycling (despite no other cyclists!) and fabulous food and wine. We are sorry to leave, but sure to return.

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