South Australia Barossa Valley Vineyards and Sea Bugs
It could be argued that the Barossa Valley in South Australia has the finest vineyards on the continent. It is certain that the locals would fiercely support that comment.
Our first trip to the Barossa was on a small tour bus. The inevitable wine tasting and corresponding intoxication made taking the tour a very good choice. Later, we would return to the valley via a rented car which offered other advantages.
The Barossa Valley is located around 40km northeast of Adelaide and is one of several wine producing regions that surround the city.
We entered the valley along a small, very windy road. The remote access provided the opportunity to see some wildlife including our first emu and red kangaroo sightings. The red kangaroos are the biggest of the four species and they stand as tall as a man. Somehow, in my mind I always thought that kangaroos were smaller. As it turns out, the other three species are…
Our vineyard tour consisted of five stops, with each being progressively more beautiful and selling more expensive wine. Our first tasting started around 10:00 am. We stopped for lunch at our third winery and drank a bottle of wine with our meal, of course.
The settings and views of the Barossa were as perfect as any wine producing region in Europe or North America. The surrounding hills offer spectacular views and vineyards themselves were rich in history.
By the time we wrapped up around 3:30 and headed back to Adelaide we were uncorked. Thankfully the driver took the fast (also straight) road back as I’m sure the winding road over an already spinning head would have been sickening.
In the days that followed our tour of the valley, we opened some of the wine we had bought and tried some new foods.
Kangaroo meat is sold everywhere and absolutely delicious, if cooked rare. The meat is extremely lean as the kangaroo evolved on a pretty lean diet and conserves as much energy as possible. A well-cooked piece of meat would be leathery indeed. As it turns out, our Grenache Shiraz Mourvedre blend was the perfect match.
Sea bugs are an odd critter that we had never seen before. Of course we could not resist trying them and they were awesome paired with a Sauvignon Blanc.
We chose a Chardonnay to complement our camembert and we sipped Shiraz one afternoon while basking in the sun, just because.
We’ve learned that one of life’s simple pleasures while travelling is to sample the local spirits and peculiar cuisine. Those experiences last a lifetime.