Matthew and I were up nice and early to catch the bus for the Groovy Grape, Barossa Valley wine tour. To be more specific, we were at the bus stop outside of our hostel by 7am.
I was extremely excited for the tour, though I was slightly concerned about the one hour bus ride combined with alcohol. I took a quarter of a Dramamine at breakfast and decided wine was worth the risk.
Almost immediately after taking a seat on the bus I fell asleep. I woke up once and saw the windiest road I had ever encountered. I thanked Jesus for the dramamine in my system and closed my eyes again. When I woke up we were at our first winery, Jacob's Creek. Jacob's Creek was the only massive winery, the others were considered boutique wineries.
My mother and I had shared a glass of wine on my last night in America. We were together as a family eating at a nice restaurant in Bricktown. Mom asked me to pick a glass that went well with our food and after surveying the menu, I chose a Jacob's Creek Moscato because it was made in Australia. When we toured Jacob's Creek I was pretty excited to see the place where this wine had been made. As it turns out Jacob's Creek is a world-wide winery; shipping it's bottles all over the globe.
When we pulled up to the creek I was star-struck at the view of the valley. In front of me there were rows and rows of grapevines and beyond that there were beautiful pale green hills spotted with just the perfect amount of trees. It looked like a postcard it was so beautiful. I had to stop and admire the magnificence of it all before going inside the building.
When I got inside a young Asian girl gave us a short explanation of the history of Jacob's Creek. It was founded by a German settler in the 1800's. He was given six acres of land as an Australian immigrant. In the middle of the six acres he was given there was a creek; Jacob's Creek. The creek was actually a few hundred meters from the window we were standing in front of. That was how the winery got its name. I had assumed Jacob was the name of the owner, but it was far from it.
We tasted several wines at Jacob's Creek but the one that won my vote was a Double Barrel Cabernet Sauvignon. I made a silent vow to buy that bottle in the near future. It was bold and oaky with a very smooth finish. The smell alone was intoxicating.
The second winery was Kies. Kies was a very neat experience as well. It was a family owned winery that had been in the family for over 100 years. The owner himself poured our wine for tasting and with each bottle he explained the process behind it and the awards their wine had won.
At Saltram, the next stop, we only had three types of wine; ending with a nice Shiraz, my favorite. Afterwards we had a delicious lunch of fine pizza, chips and salad. At lunch I sat across from a couple from Melbourne. They were very nice and chatted with me about their careers. This was their first time in the Barossa Valley and they were shocked it had taken them all their lives to get down here.
After lunch we went to Wolf Blass and tried five types of wine. At this point in the day the wines were starting to all taste similar and I was getting a bit giggly. I worried about my Dramamine mixed with alcohol so I drank lots of water before heading to the last stop which was an American-owned place called Lambert Estates.
The tasting clerk at Lambert Estates taught us more about proper wine tasting and process than any of the others. She reminded us to slow down and smell the aromas before using our pallette. She reminded me that the first sip only awakens your palate and that the second one was the true tasting.
I took another quarter of a Dramamine before getting back on the bus. The curves that morning had been pretty severe and I didn't want to have an alcohol-induced motion sickness incident so in turn I slept the entire way home. When I woke up I was shocked to see we were already in Adelaide. It was cool and rainy and the sun was retiring for the day, though I couldn't see it for the clouds.
It was around dinner time when we got back to the hostel so Matthew and I went in search, once again, for food. We were tired and ready to be in for the night so we simply went back to the place we had ate at the night before. This time I had the pasta special which was linguine with cockles. I learned that cockles were a type of sea mollusk and they really were delicious. After dinner we stayed at our table outside and talked for about an hour.
When we got back to the hostel we both agreed to go to bed even though it was only around 10 o'clock.
We were laying in our separate beds, chatting about old high school stories when all of a sudden the door to our balcony burst open and in walked a man. He had something in his hand and was headed for the door. Matthew and I sat silently staring at the man. I couldn't tell if he was our roommate or not but he sure acted like he knew what he was doing. The man fumbled for the light a moment before he turned it on and stared at us in surprise. We all looked at each other for a few seconds before the man laughed and said he thought he was in his own room. Matthew laughed too and the man apologized as he turned the light back off and made his way out of our room. I had been a bit scared but I thought about the incident and had a delayed laugh at it.
Sometime later I drifted off into a sleep about wine, friends and food.