Sunday, May 25, 2014

A Drive Through the Barossa

An early morning on Saturday... I found out there was a Barossa Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings and figured I might as well go, I had nothing better to do.  There was a possibility we wouldn't have water most of the day so I got up and walked the dogs early so that I could be back and get ready for the day before they shut off the water.  That's beside the point, it was a gorgeous day, perfect for driving through the Barossa Valley and all its vineyards.
The Barossa is a major (and oldest) wine-producing region in Australia.  I started off with the Farmer's Market and it was honestly a minor miracle that I found it.  I have a GPS, but for whatever reason they don't seem to like to use actual addresses in the Barossa Valley.  I looked it up online and even used google maps to try and figure out an address nearby that I could use to get me there.  Every address I tried to put into the GPS wasn't valid (even though it was valid on Google maps), so I picked a crossroads and hoped for the best.  The GPS told me I'd reached my destination but I didn't see any signs for a farmer's market so I kept driving and did end up stumbling up on it (score one for the directionally challenged).  It was a very busy and very interesting market.  As per usual there were lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, but there were also stalls selling breads, nuts, olive oil, wine (of course), jams, jellies, curry paste, meat, seafood, chocolate, honey, fudge, pasta, it was quite astounding.
Did I mention the market really isn't that big?  As they say, variety is the spice of life.  I bought some salad mix, cucumber, and some strawberries. After consulting my map I decided I'd head to Angaston and then work my way west and then back south to Gawler. Angaston was a nice little town, this was one of my favorite little gems I stumbled upon.
I also found this old church that was turned into an antique shop - there were tons of neat, old things in there. From Angaston I decided to head to Luhrs Cottage in Light Pass.  The cottage is a restored and authentically furnished German cottage built in 1845.
 Much like Western PA, there is a lot of German heritage in this area of Australia.  After the cottage I headed to Maggie Beer's Farm and Shop in Nuriootpa.  Maggie Beer is a famous Australian cook, food author, restaurateur and food manufacturer. *Later in the day while flipping through channels I saw her as a judge on some cooking show.
Tons of farm products for sale - you could sample some of the items and even have a lovely lunch there as well.  I did sample some of the quince jelly and it was quite tasty.  Moving right along, I decided since it was such a lovely day it was perfect for driving down Seppeltsfield Road (or Palm Avenue).
 Someone told me that the Seppelt family paid workers during the Great Depression to plant the palm trees, but I can’t find any “proof” of such a story, so who knows.  They have a lovely family mausoleum up on a hill with a great view of what was once their property.
 I think the original winery is once again (at least half owned) by a Seppelt, but I could have my facts mixed up.  I wasn't sure what else there was to see in the area so I decided to head down through Tanunda and see if there was anything interesting to see there.  Maybe I was in the wrong spot, but I didn't really notice anything of real interest and the strawberries from the farm market weren't working all that well at keeping my stomach from grumbling, so I decided I'd head back home for a late lunch.  It was a lovely morning tour and I'll have to do some more research and see what I might have missed.  I know there's an old chateau somewhere around here that I want to visit, so maybe I'll do that this coming week.  Well, that was my driving tour through the Barossa.  Hope you all enjoyed the ride!

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