The Irish are coming …

10.24am, Tuesday 5th April, Yalumba Clocktower, Angaston, Eden Valley, The Barossa
Sorry I missed yesterday folks – massive day! I left Angaston at 5.30am headed for Adelaide Airport, to pick up a group from our Irish distributor – Cassidys – that was coming in on the red eye from Kuala Lumpur. They’ll be with us for a four-day soak up of as much of the Yalumba culture and Vintage 2011 as possible, and we certainly started well. I’m a great believer that an army marches on its stomach, so we loaded all their gear onto the ute and had breakfast under the verandah at the Largs Pier Hotel with a great view of a horizon full of sea and sunshine – and the team soaked it up. The plan was to do a complete tour of The Barossa, looking at all the vineyard locations for the Single Site Grenache and Shiraz wines. This covers the Barossa Valley floor from Lyndoch in the south through Vine Vale and Light Pass out to the Moppa in the north, as well as Eden Valley. Then there was a tasting at the end where each of the locations shows its form in the glass.

Here’s the team where we started up at Menglers Hill: left to right Peter, Bridget, Keiron and Eoin. Yep they do sell board shorts in Ireland.

On Menglers Hill

This is on our way back up the Valley floor – an iced coffee refresher stop at Apex Bakery in Tanunda. We try and do all the ‘local’ stuff on this tour.

The iced coffee stop at Apex

We’re at the Nursery Vineyard, Vine Vale here – and this grenache from the 1960s block was hand picked today – nice and sweet, up around 13.5 – 14 baume, and clean as a whistle.

Grenache hanging at the Nursery block

Here we are out in the Moppa – the northern section of the Valley floor – at the secret yabby billabong.

At the secret yabby spot

The tasting of all the Single Site wines – Shiraz and Grenache – after visiting the vineyard locations. Seeing as there’s only 1.5 – 3 acres of each vineyard, there’s only 180 – 240 dozen of each wine – and I reckon we use a large percentage of it just like this – doing the illustration of how ‘terroir’ applies in our region. And just a lovely day to be out and about.

The ute tasting

We finished off with having another look at the wines with slow cooked beef shanks and gourmet pizzas at Fordies. Damon’s champion pizza “The Smokey” was a big hit with the reds – this pizza features meats from the local Angaston Schulz butchers stacked on top of tomato sauce, cheese and shallots – mallee gum smoked pork belly + single smoked bacon (just awarded best bacon in Australia at the competition two weeks ago) + lachschinken (German version of prosciutto) + mettwurst + smoked chicken. Not difficult to see where the name of the pizza came from.

Today they’re off to see two other operators in ‘the stable’ of Australian wineries that they look after in Ireland – Henschke and Jim Barry – then tomorrow it will be back here for a Viognier breakfast with chief winemaker Louisa Rose, then we’re off to Oxford Landing to have a look at vines, the Murray running high, and a stack of yabbies for dinner. See ya then.

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