What started out as a thinly veiled attempt at a business trip ended in a boys tour of Australia’s premiere wine making region in South Australia known as the Barossa.
My Assistant GM and I enjoyed a great day with the proprietors of Magain Real Estate – Woodcroft where we shared some ideas and solved the problems of the world over a nice lunch in the McLaren Vale before heading off to visit our Marketing Company Bigwig in the middle of Adelaide Town. I honed my skills over the pool table they have in their foyer by beating their champion….clearly no ‘Eddie Charlton’ before we retired for a steak at the new in place called Press.
The next day started out in seemingly harmless fashion where we commenced our journey to the Barossa to deliver my Assistant GM at her conference. That was right up until we relied on the GPS to guide us to the destination and somehow found ourselves travelling over ‘Dry Weather Only’ gravel roads. At one point I piloted the Mercedes sideways down a goat track which suddenly appeared to the sound of ‘turn left in 10m…..alls well and she arrived safely. Shaken & Stirred!
I quickly found the lads who had already left the Tanunda Hotel which was our accommodation venue and headed to the ‘Farmers Market’ for Breakfast. It was Boz’s 40th birthday that was the subject of this event and it started out with latte’s and fresh produce? They quickly found their feet and before the first sensible tourist had uttered the words ‘should we do some tastings today’ we were propped at the counter of Grant Burge.
Boz wanted to get the day started on the right foot so he lashed out on some quality wine….5 litres of port in a plastic container if my memory serves me right….and parted with the princely sum of $25Quite the connoisseur is our Boz!
There was some lovely scenery on the way as we progressed from one tasting to another and we were fortunate to have our amateur photographer Robbo to capture a few picturesque moments. Along the way we must have visited about 5 wineries before it all became a blur and we had managed to throw off a tag by four girls enjoying a similar amount of alcohol who were allegedly ‘bumping into us’ at every venue we frequented! Fortunately Big Dave was our sober bob and also a police officer so he utilised some undercover tactics to lose our tail….’Look over there! A Squirrel’ and then we ran!
Just when we thought that potentially we had tried enough wine to become a priest we happened across the ‘Seppeltsfield’ operation….home of the Para Port. How else would you want to end a day? (Turns out it was at the next joint that was offering Honey Mead but that’s a story for another day) This was where I got the opportunity to taste a 100 year old port (Well the opportunity presented itself as I presented the dude with $80! But it was $80 well spent!) The birthday boy and I tried the treacle like substance and I have to say $1500 a bottle seemed reasonable? Well it also seemed reasonable that the Socceroos could win the World Cup???
Long story short….after we then spent the next 6 hours at the Tanunda Pub and various other venues it was not surprising that Boz and I lay in the middle of the main Rd and watched the beautiful stars in the sky for 15 minutes before almost being run over by a semi-trailer.
Day 2 was recovery day….so I had a freshly squeezed ‘Green Power’ juice at a cafe where it was clear from the shot above that Big Dave and Boz fell in love all over again before we arrived at Saltram. Lucky we got there pre opening time and were the first through the door! I was instantly astounded at how well my palate had developed overnight….I immediately recognised the taste of everything in every wine I tasted. There was ‘Dog Pee’ in the first one, ‘Stale Ashtray’ in the second and they just got better until the final taste of the winery which was straight ‘Battery Acid’! I needed to lay down….the boys were undeterred and on we went.
‘You have never been to Penfolds mate?’ they asked me….’Oh you have to go there’! Yeah why not visit one of the premium wine makers in the world when you feel so chipper? It looked like a lovely place from my vantage point on the couch and here I am showing my ‘gritted teeth’ smile illustrating how much I love wine? I NEED FOOD! Enter the 40’s Cafe where they serve the best Pizzas in the world and Paul Newman joins you for lunch. They could have been serving Domino’s….as long as it was pizza. Thank god! Robbo found us more wine to drink with our pizza!After only 3 more hours which were the longest 2 years of my life we finished tasting wines so thought a quiet rack of lamb would be nice…..sorry sir we have no lamb however we have a lovely Rockford Basket Press! AWESOME! Next time I’m staying home with the girls….Happy 40th Boz!