The Barossa Valley
South Australia is world renowned for its wine (why else do you think I came here) and the Barossa Valley is one of the most famous wine regions. With Jess here, I had the perfect opportunity to make a day of it and get a bit tipsy. She didn't seem too upset by the prospect of wine tasting and a slap up lunch either. Win win.
We rolled out of bed ridiculously early and after battling with the city rush hour, we found ourselves pulling up next to, officially, the world's biggest rocking horse.
Australia has a weird obsession with 'big things'. All over the country you can find giant fruit, animals and a whole assortment of other random objects. So here in the Adelaide Hills is the Big Rocking Horse, celebrating Australia's oldest wooden toy factory which can be found on the exact same spot.
As well as being a novelty, this is the perfect spot to grab some breakfast to line your stomach before the wine drinking commences as well as picking up some gorgeous toys for the little ones and petting a kangaroo or two at their teeny tiny wildlife park.
The next stop was The Whispering Wall and was even cooler. This wall is the retaining wall of the Barossa Reservoir built between 1899 and 1903. When it was being constructed one of the workmen could hear whispering and thought it was the voice of God. Unfortunately for him, it was just his hilarious mates playing tricks on him. What they had actually built an acousticians dream.
Although the wall is more than 100 metres long, you can stand at one end and hold a perfectly clear conversation with someone on the other end. I told you it was cool.
After being thoroughly impressed by the seemingly unimpressive, we made our way to the first of four wineries - the world famous, Jacob's Creek.
We were given a tour of the winery before being let loose on the wines. We tried several from their different ranges all while learning how to properly taste the wine. It was the perfect introduction into the tastings.
Next up was by far my favourite winery, Kies. This is a small family run winery making some of the most delicious and well decorated fare. The winery itself is homely and cosy with family pictures littering the walls, almost like a proper English pub, and next door is a little cafe.
All the wines were delicious but my favourite was the 2012 Klauber Block Shiraz. I even treated myself to a full glass with our kangaroo bbq lunch! Naughty!
The wines and fortified wines they produce are sold exclusively at cellar door which makes them even more special. If I'd had the money I'd have bought every single bottle on the list. Twice.
Once I'd been dragged away before I bought the family out of house and home, we stopped at Chateau Yaldara. I have to say the wines here were my least favourite but it has a big gift shop, serves cream teas and has a gorgeous rose garden.
Our final winery was Seppeltsfield but before we got there we had to make the most of this photo op! It brings to mind exotic road trips in a red convertible, wind blowing through your hair, music blaring and bottles of wine and a picnic basket clanking in the back! I can only dream!
Seppeltsfield itself is filled with whimsical little items though from gorgeous old mirrors to even more beautiful old cars! They even had a clog maker and a small art gallery.
It was here that we tasted the most delicious fortified wines and I was tempted to part with $500 for a tiny bottle of 100 year old port. Imagine that propping up your drinks cabinet! I was even more tempted to part with my money when I spotted a 1993 vintage Para Tawny. It's my 21st birthday this year meaning I am also a 1993 vintage so if any of you are looking to splash the cash around the beginning of May I'm ready and waiting over here! *hint hint*
By the end of the day we'd tasted over 30 wines and ports and were really starting to feel the effects. Luckily I'd hidden away some crisps so we spent the drive home munching and napping. Both of us said it was one of the most fun days we'd had in ages and I'd definitely recommend a trip. As our group was so small (only 6 lovely ladies and 1 husband who did his own thing) it was chatty and fun as we got more and more tipsy together whilst being chauffeured around by our wonderful tour guide, Jess. (she was an excellent cook too). If you fancy a similar experience, jump on over to Groovy Grape's website - you won't be disappointed!