Adelaide and the Barossa Valley
Mar 8, 2017
|Our search for accommodation didn't take long with our second stop revealing the Kaesler winery that offered wine tastings, a restaurant (not open Monday's)and a lovely room to boot with a bottle of Shiraz thrown in. It started in the 1860's with a Prussian immigrant by that name and still had vines from 1893 producing Shiraz grapes. Their most exclusive wine, the $250.00 per bottle "Old Bastard", is produced exclusively from these vines.
There was a barbecue so off we went to find some "roo" fillet and salad makings. After turning on the propane something was obviously wrong with a leak somewhere. With a glass of wine in hand we waited for the air to clear and testing for leaks. The barbecue fired up and the remaining propane lasted five minutes. What were we going to do for dinner without our "roo"??
Out pops an elderly couple from the Sydney area and we asked them to join us. They were both in a second marriage due to deaths of their respective spouses. It turns out they had puchased a roast chicken when they heard the restaurant was closed and could we join them in the chicken feast. We managed to throw a decent meal together and the evening was a success.
Larry was up early having a walk about, taking photographs and talking with staff about the wine making process and here comes a tandem truck with a & b trains full of grapes! The winery has many different locations where they grow grapes, mostly Shiraz with the addition of Cabernet Sauvignon. The driver dumped the grapes into a stainless steel bin and and the winery team proceeded to crush the grapes and pump juice into large processing tanks. As it is early fall here, they are just beginning their harvest which will normally take three months. 650-800 litres of juice from each ton of grapes will be produced depending on the year.
The grapes are hand or machine picked depending on the vines. Cambodia people are hired as pickers as locals do not want to do this menial work. All water for irrigation comes from the Murray River and with wineries expanding there is a lot of pressure on water resources.
After checking out we let them know about the safety issues with the barbie and negotiated away our uncooked "roo" steaks for a 2014 Shiraz....what a morning!
Before heading 60 km into Adelaide we spent several hours touring other parts of the Barossa Valley and dropping into other wineries such as Jacob's Creek (crowded and very commercial). An interesting tid bit was the overwhelming number of Luthern churches in the area. Obviously immigration of German people was substantial over the years.
We took a twisty secondary road into the city and found our hotel quickly. Kathy had found an excellent price in Travelzoo for the Hotel Grand Chancellor which included parking and buffet breakfast. The hotel was modern and very nice. We walked the local streets and took in the ambience again different from Sydney and Melbourne. A Vietnamese restaurant and egg noodle soup was on the agenda combined with use of the outdoor pool and hot tub as it was 32 degrees C.
The next morning Kathy was doing seat selection with Cathay Pacific when the IPad screen suggested the flight to Hong Kong was cancelled. It turns out they cancelled our premium economy class on the flight. It took several hours and additional points to turn the situation around and fly business class that was not available when we initially booked. Hopefully the HongKong to Vancouver leg has not been downgraded.
We are off to an Italian restaurant tonight and drive to the airport at 5:00 am to hopefully get some breakfast in the business class lounge. We will let you know our thoughts on a 21 hour flight to Vancouver via Hong Kong.....home to a very wet spring by the look of it!