Month: January 2016

U-Pick Strawberries

Hahndorf. It’s a little town in South Australia that retains it’s German heritage. Everything from the food to the buildings pays homage to the German culture.

Migrants from Germany settled in Australia as early as the 1830s and started farming in parts of the Adelaide Hills, as well as the Barossa regions. Hahndorf itself is a great little town to visit for food, wine, and to experience some of the area’s heritage.

Just after all the shops on the main road heading west, there was a U-Pick Strawberry patch. Now that I had acquired a car, I could actually do things like pick strawberries and not worry about them getting squished in my backpack.

strawberries strawberries

Plus, they were so juicy! I had a great time. Both with the strawberries and with the town itself.

Head Trained Vines

Head Trained Vines. Not a thing you really see in Washington, so now that I was in Australia, I was determined to see them. Basically, you grow your grapevine as a little tree or bush. No fancy wire action here, no sir.

head trained

It’s really a very pretty landscape to look at. However, I can’t imagine hand picking and pruning a vineyard like this one. It just seems like all the maintenance would be much more arduous than the trellis systems I’m used to seeing back home.

bush vine vineyard

A Walk in the Bush

After picking Joe up from work, we packed ourself some sandwiches and headed out to “the bush” for some good walking, and hopefully some wildlife viewing. People told us to reward of snakes in long grass, so we stuck heavily to the trails.

angaston

This was at the Kaiserstuhl Reserve, which is just barely outside angaston.

pine

I was mesmerized by all the interesting plants. Also, we say some very bright beautiful butterflies. We even spotted Kangaroos! However, the are fast and shy so I have no photos of them. But they were there, and it answered our wildlife wishes.

plant

Tasting in the Barossa

Our first full day in the Barossa was spent doing a little bit of tasting. First we went to Chateau Dorrien. Their building which they use as a tasting room is an old winery. All of the old tanks are still there, and they have since had an artist come in and paint murals on the tank walls depicting the history of the region.

tank mural

Along with their wine, they are the only producer in the valley to make mead. The mead is really what drew me in. There are only a handful of brands in South Australia that are fermenting the honey beverage, and I was very curious to taste.

It definitely had a more refined taste than some of the meads I’ve had in Washington. Additionally they are the only people in the world to make this:

chateau dorrien

It’s a mead liqueur flavored with quandong fruit which grows in a desserts of Australia. It was great to taste something so unique.

 

Stop number two was the iconic Penfolds. Their winery is massive. My friend and I were looking at how many tanks there were, and just how large the warehouses appeared.

Their tasting room was welcoming and modern, and I could hardly contain my excitement about going.

Enfolds

I was a very happy camper.

Penfolds

For the non-wine drinkers they also have a cafe which serves coffee and snacks.

And the wine- oh goodness. If you’re ever in the Barossa, you really can’t leave without tasting here. They had quite a few wines on the list to try, and they also had a side by side comparison of two Shiraz wines from different regions. I was like a kid in a candy store.

And I fell in love with the port.

So much in love that I went back to the airbnb and took a nap, dreaming about it.

Angaston

Well, sometimes you go to school in a small town in Washington State, USA.

And then sometimes you meet up with some of those very same people in Angaston, South Australia.

Can you see Skylar in the tree? At 6 foot 5 it’s difficult to make him look short, but I think the tree and I made it work.
skylar

After picking him up in Glenelg, we drove to Angaston (stopping at Krispy Kreme on the way). That is where we met up with our friend Joe, who also went through the Walla Walla Enology and Viticulture program with us.

czarny

After lunch he took us to the winery where he is working for some tasting. It’s a lovely place called Lambert Estates. It was a great first stop to taste and get our bearings in the Australia wine scene. It’s so awesome how climate and soils and just the general place where the grapes are grown can have such a predominant impact on the wine. After tasting to much wine from Washington, I am super excited to try everything I can here.

Lambert Estates

Also, this tasting room was beautiful. Here’s to wishing Joe an excellent harvest.

 

Granite Island Walk

granite island

When you arrive on this island you are indeed met by actual granite. Who would have thought. A whole pile of it. And this pile has a little sign telling you that it’s been here since the discovery.

granite island

Oh, and a stunning view. The view back on the harbor is arguably the best part. UNLESS, you are a nerd and like to talk about nerdy soil/parent material/geologically based topics. In that case, you’re busy staring at flecks of rock that make up bigger rocks.

And the other tourists look at you funny.

granite island

There is a whole path that goes in a circle around granite island that you can take. It’s not very far at all, but when you wander off to take close up photos of the previously mentioned rocks, you can end up spending quite a bit of time doing the full circuit.

granite island

The wind was pretty strong when I was there so the waves were making a whole lot of noise. I think some people find the sound of waves relaxing, but these were not.

granite island

The side of the Island facing land however, has beautiful calm waves that you could easily be mesmerized by.

granite island

Visiting Granite Island

granite island

This is what you see when you stand on Victor Harbor and look across to Granite Island.

horse drawn horse and harbor

And this is one way to get there! Of course, you could walk, but why wouldn’t you want to partake in history and tradition?

Exactly.

Well… to be perfectly honest there were a lot of overly enthusiastic small children who were also opting for this method of transportation. So, if that’s not your thing, perhaps walking is the better choice.

Victor Harbor

I arrived in Victor Harbor safely after taking a shuttle from Kangaroo Island. I’m staying at an Airbnb here which is proving to be very nice. I love getting to meet locals and other travelers everyday.

I think one of the great things about travel is how many other opinions you hear, and how many different customs people are used to. It puts life in perspective in the sense that you yourself are just one person on this whole planet full of people who are all living a unique experience.

victor harbor

This is the harbor part of Victor Harbor. I took myself for a beach wander first thing in the morning (I arrived late at night). When you go early on a weekday, you essentially have the entire place to yourself. And it’s stunning.

urchin