Saturday, February 4, 2012

2010-12-22 barossa valley tour day 1

2010's summer was a different one because i have a guest from S'pore over to travel with me!!! This trip have been planned since almost a year ago, lots of decisions, info searching, etc. Basically it's the first time i am travelling with a close friend from M'sia that i have not seen for 2 years??!! and it's just the 2 of us, haha. Somemore she's a girl, but luckily she's not the Cinderella type girl and love travel!!! 

Well, one question that was raised was, hmmm...a guy and a girl!!! well...i said, it's very common in Australia to travel like this, you don't need to have anything going on to be travelling together, haha. And whatever...

The 1st day was a pretty hectic day because she said she's fine without any rest after the long flight. Oh well,  the 1st place that i would like her to see is this amazing dam. Because i'm pretty sure she would be surprised as i was before and will like it. 

It was a great sunny day and my 2nd time driving in Australia, haha.

She at the other end of the dam wall, chating with me on this end, haha. 

Don't she look like a school girl from back?? LOL

During summer, you'll see hay bundled everywhere to be kept for winter.

The car we got, Avis was really great that they given me a bigger car than the car i initially booked!!! The extra space just makes things so easy, all you need to do is just chuck everything behind you and deal with them later, haha.

View along the road to Lyndoch Lavender farm

I have been longing to visit this lavender farm long ago, but without a car, it's just a no no. Although this lavender farm isn't big but we still pretty much enjoy it. 

Looking at the picture above, don't you want to sit down and try something lavender?? There's a shop next to it where you get your tickets and to purchase lavender products.

One thing very obvious once you get near the lavenders is the buzzing sound of honey bees!!! There were literally thousands of them, all too busy harvesting!!!

This butterfly shot was not easy to take, as there's wind and the butterfly was just flying from plant to plant.

As mentioned above, although there's wasn't like a whole BIG field of lavenders, but there were all in full bloom which was very mesmerizing to look at especially from certain angle.

The pictures below showed other varieties of lavender which if i'm not mistaken wasn't commonly use for commercial.

Really love all these old rusty carts, tools laying around the farm. 

The only species there that isn't purple.

Our next destination was Jacob creek!! Well, pretty much a tourist place, why?? Not many Aussies will visit these big wineries which usually produce wine in big scale for foreign market export. Aussies usually like the little cellar door in the barossa which produce small portions. Those wines from the small cellar doors usually are more precious and infused with care and personal touch to them. More often, the small cellar doors are family business with many years to hundred years of heritage behind. 

However, back then, i have no idea where to go and which cellar door is good, so we went to Jacob Creek. I have tried their wine before and i reckoned it was good too, plus it's just wine tasting and probably all wine will taste same to us, haha. 

Tasted a couple, and she bought 2 bottles!!! It was really cheap here, haha.

Later on, we were told by the visitor centre that we should visit the Seppeltsfield winery in Seppeltfield town. The reason was because i wanted to see underground cellar door and how they store, process...etc.
It turned out to be a great one that i really like!!!

Seppeltfield winery is a unique one in South Australia because it has one of the longest family history and produce some of the best port!!! 

For those of you who don't know what port is, well....
The vintage port can fetch price as shown in the picture below!!!!
e.g $799 for a 175ml 100 year old bottle!!!

I really like looking at these massive wine barrels!!! there are HUGE!!!

We signed up for a heritage tour which isn't cheap but i reckoned it's definitely worth it because of what you see and hear. The history of Seppelt family where the town got its name was really interesting, because pretty much this place was started up by that family trying to plant different crops including tobacco and wheat, but switch to start up a vineyard where it all began!!! See here for the complete history

And the interesting part is, this place is pretty much as it was before, all the buildings are preserved and served its purposes until now although some was not used anymore. 

Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Porto, and often simply port) is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, and comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties. Fortified wines in the style of port are also produced outside Portugal, most notably in Australia, South Africa, Canada, India, Argentina, and the United States.

Port is produced from grapes grown and processed in the demarcated Douro region. The wine produced is then fortified by the addition of a neutral grape spirit known as aguardente in order to stop the fermentation, leaving residual sugar in the wine, and to boost the alcohol content. The fortification spirit is sometimes referred to as brandy but it bears little resemblance to commercial brandies.

The wine is then stored and aged, often in barrels stored in a cave (pronounced "ka-ve" and meaning "cellar" in Portuguese) as is the case in Vila Nova de Gaia, before being bottled. The wine received its name, "port", in the latter half of the 17th century from the seaport city of Porto at the mouth of the Douro River, where much of the product was brought to market or for export to other countries in Europe. ( from wikipedia, what will we do without wikipedia???!!!)

This stacking method used by this winery is special in that the new barrels will get stacked on very top and go down a level each year. The unique being half of the new will be mix with the old, and so will the old into the older ones. This is said to help produce even batch of quality old port at the end of the day when it's being bottled after 10 years or more.

It's just overwhelming to see so many stacking barrels in the barrel cellars!!! Everything has to be perfect and monitored. Although the temperature outside was hot as expected of summer, but inside this barrel cellars, it was cool which needed for the storage and ageing process.

Next we went to the of the important underground ageing cave?? haha. Can't remember what it's call. 

Here one can see all the different wood barrel available including oak barrel. It's these different flavour wood barrel used that add or change the flavour of the port too. It's really cool inside here. Here we get to see some of the oldest wine barrel stored and see the names of the descendants of the Seppelts family. 

From the underground cave, it leads back to the wine tasting cellar door. Then's there a small break where we went around to take pics.

Oh did i mentioned the place was pretty? all the buildings are old and well preserved. Flowers planted whereever!!

Even inside the wine tasting cellar door, one can see some historic pictures which i really like!!

Wine tasting know what is the best part of this wine tasting??? 

You GET TO TASTE THE 100 years old para!!! I can tell you it's SO DIFFERENT from the 10 year old port!!! So much smoother and sweeter!!!

They were indeed quite generous for people to try which was great!!!

She couldn't resist the green carpet under the great soft sunlight before we go!!!

On the way to Seppeltfield, one will came across so many palm tress lining on both side of the road which kinda give ya a feeling that you suddenly enter South African country like Morocco, haha. 

There's a Mausoleum for the Seppelt family on the very top of this little knoll where Oscar Benno and other family members who are interned

The tall palm trees are so different from the low green vineyars next to them.

The time just fly...although it looked bright sunny outside, but it's summer, and it's like 5-6pm already!!!

We visited the Tanunda chateau which is one of the biggest in the barossa valley. 
We didn't hang around here long as they were closing

Really love the colour and the stone feeling!!!!

A visit to Barossa valley wouldn't be complete without visiting this spot, Mengler's hill lookout to appreciate how huge this place is and devoted to wine producing. Barossa Valley is well known throughout the world!!!

The view was again stunning looking at the greenery in front of you which is pretty much vineyards!!! The soft light also added the experience!!!

On the way to Eden valley lookout, our last check point of the day without much food, haha. 

When i saw this view below, i just can't helped but to stop the car to snap them. These photos are always in my mind but no chance to shoot them. I decided since i have the car, i shouldn't miss the golden opportunity

I don't know how can she stand it with me, she has to help navigate for me using map and GPS, poor her!!!  I guessed we have excitement and wines for our stomachs, haha.

Eden valley lookout!!! What an stunning place to be!!! I love the huge cross erected there!!! We were told by a lady working there that apparently during some other important dates, the people of the Lutheran church members will gathered here for important events, hence this lookout is quite well maintained with the grass cut and a gate too.

Everywhere i went, i seems to leave something behind, as if fate have me purposely did it to leave my footprint behind, haha. But this time i drove back to mengler's hill to get my tripod which was extra half to an hour drive. 

By the time we got back to city, it was really late like 10pm??  Tapao some sze chuan food and called it a day!!! She was pretty a dead fish already, haha. But i think she enjoy barossa :)


  1. I think that was an interesting trip for you at barrosa valley, and looks like really enjoyed it a lot and also want to ask who was the photographer i mean very stunning pictures really nice.


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