Thursday, December 24, 2009

The Barossa – Part I


We stayed in an absolutely gorgeous self-contained cottage out in the Barossa called Stonewell Cottages.  This place was close to everything, yet it felt so secluded.  The cottage was on a little lake, and in amongst the vineyards.  We had quite the assortment of wildlife around the lake, including three very friendly ducks who quite liked to be fed.  DSCN1949

The cottage is owned by a family that also owns a winery.  Back in the 1980s Australia was going through quite the wine glut and this family decided to diversify by going into the B&B business.  It is quite different from a traditional B&B in that when you arrive your fridge is fully stocked with fresh eggs, milk, bacon, tomatoes, pancake mix, juice, coffee and tea and it is up to you how you want to use it.DSCN1967

Luckily jet lag didn’t really affect me too much and I was up and raring to run early Monday morning.  Wow, you would think I hadn’t run in a month!  It was not pretty.  I’ll choose to blame the heat, humidity and the hills.  Ah yes my friends, the Barossa is not very flat, a piece of information that had escaped me on the drive in the day before.  And even though I was out running around 7 am the heat was definitely something I was not used to.  Oh well, ignore the Garmin and pay attention to the scenery, right?DSCN1971Sheep!  These guys were so noisy that I heard them long before I saw them.DSCN1976Vineyards everywhere…DSCN1980 Just one of the big hills, off into the distance.  Imagine rollers like this your entire route.DSCN1983

After my run and some breakfast it was time to get down to business and taste some wine.  Our first stop was at Penfolds.  There certainly is a lot of Penfolds wine available outside of Australia, and they really run the gamut from inexpensive to incredibly expensive.  In fact, their latest release of their top end wine, Grange, retails for almost $700 AUD.  The fun thing about tasting at Penfolds is that they have a lot of wines that are exclusively available at their cellar door.  And would you like to taste one of their $200 wines?  No problem.  I am quite happy to report that they are both extraordinarily yummy.DSCN1999We also wandered over to Henschke and Yalumba.  Yalumba was a wee bit intimidating as they had a massive book of wines that they make and that you can taste.DSCN2016DSCN2028DSCN2024

Once we were done tasting for the day we stopped in a small butcher shop to pick up some sausages, went back to the cottage to grill them up, fed the ducks, and called it a day.  Not a bad start to things in the Barossa!DSCN2045


Keith said...

I'm dying of envy here.

Missy said...

Wow, this is one helluva trip, Leana. I love that cottage. I'm ready to move in. Great pictures.

lindsay said...

soo jealous, as always! :) love the pics of where you ran! gorgeous!!

hope you had a great christmas holiday!

Badgergirl said...

So pretty!