GET READY, AUSTRALIA!
The Nation’s premier wine and food tourist region, South Australia’s stunning Barossa Valley, is emerging from its long winter sleep and beginning its stunning transformation from bare browns to lush green as countless vines awaken and welcome the warm spring sun.
‘Bud burst’ is now happening across the Valley - some areas faster than others - as vineyard after vineyard shrug off the cold of a mild winter and charge toward a new and exciting vintage.
This is the time to plan your first visit - or return visit - to the wine region which stands head and shoulders over the rest. Follow the footsteps of the German winemakers and take in the vistas which envigorated them all those years ago and whose labours made the Barossa simply the best.
Get to the Barossa and savour the sun of years past - now encapsulated in delightful vintages stretching back over decades. Sit on the terraces with the ghosts of Australia's finest winemakers and complement their fine wines with Barossa fine foods as you contemplate vintages to come.
To stimulate your mental taste buds and to add depth to your Barossa visit, get our audio Talking Tours on the history and provenance of the Barossa, and our disc exploring sublime cellar door experiences as you take in this Barossa Spring!
The Barossa Valley, Australia's premier wine and food region (as we all know!), hosted its Gourmet Weekend this August - the unofficial start to the tourist season as the Barossa begins to awaken from its winter hibernation.
If you missed this year's Gourmet Weekend with friends and family - well, pity you! You missed visiting wineries with warm fires, music, good food and great company! This year we visited the iconic wineries, Jacob's Creek, Chateau Tanunda, and Pindarie Wines where we joined with the cognoscenti to enjoy this exquisite event which attracts visitors from around Australia and the world.
But you don't need to wait for next year's Gourmet Weekend to experience SA's best tourist region.... As they say in the Valley, each weekend is a moment to Be Consumed in this wonderful part of Australia, where every weekend is a gourmet weekend!
And to enjoy your visit even more, get our audio CD discs on the History and Provenance of the Barossa Valley, and Wine Appreciation for Cellar Door Visitors!
In the meantime, check out our video on the Barossa Valley Gourmet Weekend 2014, below....
..And while you contemplate your Barossa Gourmet Weekend visit, here's something to look at.
This pic is of the Barossa in full winter bloom, taken in the dying days of July. All the vines have had a great drink (better than last year) and are dozing in the late winter sun before bursting forth with a new vintage. This is a great time to visit the Barossa - and learn its stories from our discs.
Less tourists means more time in your favourite cellar doors - and more time around the warming fires!
Come on - plan your visit now!
To 'prep' yourself for your amazing Gourmet weekend, get our one-hour CD audio tours ahead of time! Learn about the History and Provenance of the Barossa Valley on our first disc, then learn about Etiquette for Cellar Door Visitors on our second disc (so you don't make an idiot of yourself when visiting the myriad cellar doors in the Valley!) Play our discs as you leave Adelaide and be 'full bottle' about the Barossa (to excuse a pun!) when you arrive for your Gourmet Weekend experience! Click here to go to our store for details!
...NOT A WET DOG IN SIGHT!
Keeping an eye on the kids!
It's lambing time in the Eden Valley - and here at the Eden Valley Lookout, the kids are running in their scores, happy and contented. And who wouldn't be with a view like that!
There's something about the wursts of the Barossa Valley to fire up the mouth (...and the other end!) when you're looking for something to liven up your Ploughman's Lunch or picnic baskets as you enjoy South Australia's lingering 'Indian Summer'.
Team them up with a bottle of Barossa red, and you're in heaven!
Here's an idea for next weekend! Pack a lunch of dry biscuits and French sticks and get up to the Barossa. Call in at Jacobs Creek or Langmeil Wines and buy a bottle of Barossa shiraz, then grab a paté at Maggie Beers (not far off the Seppeltsfield Road), then on to Linke's Butchers In Nuriootpa to pick a stick of the best Wursts you'll find in Australia. Make your way to Menglers Hill, spread the blanket - and take in the vista of the Barossa in its late autumn light which inspired the early German settlers. Get our History and Provenance audio CD and take in the stories (including those of Linke's Butchery and Langmeil Wines) which make the Barossa Australia's premier tourist region. Great wine and food - and great memories which you'll remember forever. Bliss!
Barossa Talking Tours featured in the Gawler Bunyip newspaper this week - a good yarn, and photo with 'Nipper' Fechner of Tanunda's iconic Apex Bakery, who features on our History and Provenance audio CD disc, talking about the delights which come out of his 100 year old wood-fired 'Scotch' oven. To read the story, go to the on-line version by clicking on this link - http://www.bunyippress.com.au/audio-tours-for-barossa/ Enjoy!
Despite the weather, good numbers were reported and Barossa participants did their best in trying conditions, promoting the Barossa and their wines.
Was it a success? Well the compliant mainstream media reported it was, but many visitors have reported it did not quite reach the same heights as earlier events run under food guru Ian Parmenter who fell out of favour with the event's organisers after the last Tasting Australia event on the banks of the River Torrens two years ago.
Our view? Well yes, we have to agree. Move the event to a bigger venue next time - and the food and wine experiences (more restaurants next time please!) should be separated, as they used to be. Nevertheless, any exposure is good exposure, as they say!
Mothers day in the barossa!
If you're coming up to the Barossa for Mothers Day, call in to the Baker St Bakery in Williamstown (the prettiest drive to the Barossa from Adelaide) for a coffee or cake - and to buy our Barossa Talking Tours discs!
Yep, our Tours are now available at Baker St Bakery - or if you prefer, at Winestains Gallery and micro-cellar door, about 50 metres down the road from the Bakery, toward Lyndoch.
Hell! Why not visit both? A coffee at Baker St, then call in on Kristal at Winestains and take in the delights of her Galley - and your first wine tasting in the Barossa! A great start to your Mothers Day in the Barossa!
IF YOU'D LIKE TO PICK UP YOUR DISC/S over the Easter/ANZAC day holidays, go to WINESTAINS in the main street of Williamstown, Easter Saturday or Sunday (and the ANZAC weekend (Saturday/Sunday) - and we'll also be at BAKER ST Bakery (immediately on the left at the Williamstown/Lyndoch intersection, coming into Williamstown from Kersbrook) from 10AM to 12 Noon on Easter Monday.
For other pick-up details in the Barossa, use our Contact form on our Contact Us page and we'll be in touch!
Can't get to the Barossa for the best Hot Cross Buns in Australia? Now you could just go down to your suburban supermarket and buy the bland versions, but here's the next best thing!
Why not make your own? There's nothing like something hand-made!
Here we share our recipe (for Chocolate Hot Cross Buns, no less!) to rival those made by Nipper Fechner at Tanunda's historic Apex Bakery (which we feature on our Talking Tour), and those made at the Baker St Bakery in Williamstown (see our post below!) This recipe will have your tribe coming back for more!
To get the recipe, click on the .PDF icon below, then print it out. You'll need a full morning or afternoon to make these Hot Cross Buns, but believe us, it's worth it! These will taste so much better than anything you'll buy from suburban supermarkets, and combine the best of Easter - Hot Cross Buns and chocolate!
So why not give it a go?
Osterhase amongst Barossa vines
With Easter just around the corner, here's something we bet you didn't know! The Easter Bunny - or Osterhase in German - actually was introduced to Australia by the first settlers to the Barossa Valley - Lutherans who were escaping religious persecution in their European homeland.
For German Lutherans, the Easter Hare dates back to 1682 and
originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide.
The Easter Bunny actually came out to Australia on the barque Catherina, which in 1839 carried the Silesian Lutherans to South Australia, and who were to make their home in the Barossa. Johann Christian Auricht, whose first vines in the Valley - planted 170 years ago, and still producing wine today at Langmeil Winery - would have entertained settlers' children with tales of Osterhase, and no doubt chided them to be on their best behaviour over Easter.
We visited Langmeil Wines for their 2014 harvest, and while we were filming, we came across Osterhase getting his own 'crop' together for the Easter to come....
So if you're visiting the Barossa over Easter (a perfect time to do so!) get the kids to watch out for Osterhase, and why not get our Barossa Talking Tours Disc#1 to learn more about the early Lutheran settlers to the Valley. We join the settlers on the Catherina on their last weary leg of their journey to South Australia, then follow them as they arrive to set up home in the Barossa. Our audio tour is a perfect Easter gift - buy now and we'll throw in an easter egg from Osterhase!
BEST BUNS IN THE BAROSSa!
Baker Jess Sankey shows off her Hot Cross buns in our picture (yeah, there's four missing - but we couldn't help ourselves as they came out of the oven!)
And here are some things you might not know about the superstitions behind Hot Cross buns:
One of them says that buns baked and served on Good Friday will not spoil or mould during the subsequent year. Another encourages keeping such a bun for medicinal purposes. A piece of it given to someone who is ill is said to help them recover.
Sharing a Hot Cross bun with another is supposed to ensure friendship throughout the coming year, particularly if "Half for you and half for me, Between us two shall goodwill be" is said at the time.
Because there is a cross on the buns, some say they should be kissed before being eaten. If taken on a sea voyage, hot cross buns are said to protect against shipwreck (we note that there were no Hot Cross buns on the Titanic!). If hung in the kitchen, they are said to protect against fires and ensure that all breads turn out perfectly.
So we'll see you at Baker St at Williamstown!
With Easter just around the corner and the weather in the Barossa Valley cooling down, it's time to think of warming foods - and no better than that from the Apex Bakery in Tanunda.
Call in on Nipper Fechner and his brothers to see what they're cooking up in their 100 year old 'Scotch' wood oven!
Barossa bakeries are great year round, but Easter is special.
To learn more about Nipper and the Apex Bakery, check out our talk with Nipper on our Barossa Talking Tours disc#1 - you'll be glad you did!
Barossa Talking Tours provides an entertaining and informative look at the Barossa Valley as an audio tour - perfect for car or caravan!