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The Barossa Valley:

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The wind picked up and the rain’s came, but it didn’t stop us from venturing out to the famous Barossa Valley. Driving through towns like Gawler, Lyndoch, Tanunda and Nuriootpa we are amazed at how many of the original homesteads are in great condition and well looked after. They have been around for 100 years and look like they could be here for 100 more.

Wonderful old house with the solid sand stone bricks.

Wonderful old house with the solid sand stone bricks.

The dry hills are at the moment covered in lush green, grape vine’s, heavily laden with a variety of grapes. They will be harvesting soon as the 20th Feb is the “Blessing of the Grapes” festival.

Laden graps vines with the hills in the back ground.

Laden graps vines with the hills in the back ground.

With so many of the famous names here it was hard to pick which vineyards to visit and sample their wears. As you know, I’m a shocker when it comes to drinking wine, as only 1-2 glasses makes me lose feelings in my hands and feet. So it was the Jacob’s Creek we ventured into with choices of wine from Sparkling, Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz, Riesling to name a few, then on to their liqueurs we had a ball deciding. Add to the atmosphere of overlooking their vineyard of rows upon row of grape vine’s from their large glass visitors center.

The staff were more than helpful to offer their wares.

The staff were more than helpful to offer their wares.

With the tourist map in hand we drove past wineries stopping at the Seppelts Mausoleum. This is the private burial ground of the “Seppelts Family”. It was so Benno Seppelt could view Seppeltsfield. (They have a town named after them).

The "Seppelts Family Mausoleum"

The “Seppelts Family Mausoleum”

The steep road, only for walkers, had me wondering if there was a back road for elderly family members as I could envision people having heart aches on the way to funerals, or maybe I was just out of condition.

The steep climb up gave wonderful views over the Seppelts land.

The steep climb up gave wonderful views over the Seppelts land.

Chris couldn’t resist the grapes and so we had to try a few. They literally burst in your mouth they are so plump. Small, tightly  bunched together not like the grapes in the shops which are quite loose. It does make us wonder how our grapes are going at David and Lacey’s place, as our plants were forming bunches before we left.

Some of the grape vines didn't have wire and were large trunk vines on their own. Wonder how old they were here on Seppelts vineyards.

Some of the grape vines didn’t have wire and were large trunk vines on their own. Wonder how old they were here on Seppelts vineyards

 

The grapes where all named eg Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon.

The grapes where all named eg Riesling, Cabernet Sauvignon.

 

Grapes that literally burst in your mouth.

Grapes that literally burst in your mouth.

It was then on to “Maggie Beers Farm Shop” at Nuriootpa. Maggie and her husband had bought this piece of land and made it into a pheasant farm. They then added the restaurant where Maggie showed off her cooking skills. They closed the restaurant in 1993 but reopened this store in 1999. This is where they filmed “The Cook and the Chef” series. They rebuilt Maggie’s kitchen here after she decided not to have it filmed in her house. Probably a good thing as it was only to going for 1 year and ended up going for 4 years. Every week having a film crew in your kitchen would have annoyed most families.

A painting of both Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant from "The Cook and the Chef"

A painting of both Maggie Beer and Simon Bryant from “The Cook and the Chef”

 

The shop has all her products, pate’s, ice creams, pastes, preserved fruits and you can try them all. Maggie and her husband have recently bought a 20 hector Orchard and she was also selling peaches, but this is a story on it’s own so I will let Chris tell you that one. We didn’t need a lot for lunch but we did have to try her cheese and pate basket.

Sitting by her dam watching the turtles.

Sitting by her dam watching the turtles.

After that it was a cooking demonstration this time using her Verjuice. They had a guest from the audience help cook and the demonstrator was great.

The cooking demonstration.

The cooking demonstration.

 

Kerrie in the kitchen.

Kerrie in the kitchen.

Maggie hand picks all her staff and they were the most helpful, obliging and friendly people around. We got to try mushrooms, onions and sweet potato with the Verjuice. Very nice. It was a great day as we drove back through the Adelaide Hills to our waiting caravan, full on the freshest products from the amazing Barossa Valley.

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