As the previous post has mentioned, we went to Barossa Valley with Prime Mini Tours. This is the first time in my entire life to be on a tour in Australia. Since I did have plenty of bad experience on tours overseas, I didn’t expect much from this tour either. BUT the turn out is very astonishing and I should give Prime Mini Tours a big thumb up.
Our booked pick up time is at 8：15am at Chiefly on South Tce. The mini bus arrived on time, picked up each customers and we are ready on out trip. Something really funny here. While everyone’s told to come at 8:15am, two ladies from United States are half an hour late and blamed they were told for 8:45. So, we were literally delayed for half an hour. ……mmmmm…..I don’t like the americans anyway…. We got British, Americans, Germans, Sydney-siders and we are the only 2 (out of 4) Aussie Adelaidians. It’s really an international group as the driver defined :P. The pick up locations are many in the city and we finally got 18 passengers (maximum 20). This is great for the tourism sector; it’s a sign of recovery from the economic downturn, etc etc, oops…I am not a economist, am I 😀
Throughout the trip, the driver talked about histories of each of the suburbs we were at and after passing the long pictureous Adelaide hills, we arrived at our first stop, the Big Rocky Horse, for morning tea. Because we had so much brekky at home before leaving, we just had a look around the surroundings. Oh, yeh, the Big Rocky Horse is famous in Adelaide. It’s just a giant wooden horse. It cost you $2 for climbing it. I’ve been here for numerous times but this human creation is still very attractive to me. You can also wander through the Toy Factory to see Australia’s largest range of quality wooden toys. There is a huge range of imported, educational wooden toys available, as well as an impressive supply of souvenirs. The birds at the right bottom corner of the above picture is very dangerous and can bite human fingers as soon as you put them on the net!!
Our first stop was at Wolf Blass, a rather famous winery all over the world. It is a structured tasting but be honest, I didn’t like their everyday drinking wine at all. In fact, I am not happy with any of everyday drinking wines from almost all wineries. However, we were allowed to pay $15 to taste two of their super premium wines, The black label cab. sav. and the platinum shiraz.
I liked both of these wines. The general characters are: tannins, good texture, well balanced. The black label cab. sav. is slightly higher on my list as it is now a fully matured wine with nose of plum and peppermint and deep creamy, fruit and smoked meat on the palate. The platinum was less matured but you can still get the spices on palate. It will develop over the next 5-10 yrs and will taste much better I think.
We were then off for lunch at Vine Inn Barossa and detailed reviews can be read here.
After lunch, we headed to Simpatico Wines for some structured tastings.
This winery offered some world class yet standard viognier, sav. blanc and shiraz. Our driver was very helpful and the service he provided is more than a service. He is informative and attention to detail, oh, you name it. 😀 Anyway, he’s a good guy 🙂
However, for most of the wines at this place, they are not balanced and are very acidic and hence sour, including their viognier, sav. blanc and cab. sav., but their shiraz is very good, well balanced, nose of plum and pepper mint and palate of weak spices. I don’t like too much spices personally and that’s why most of the wines I drink is cab .sav. not shiraz. Anyway, although we didn’t have a chance to try their stonewell shiraz here at the winery, but I soon found it at my local bottle shop and had a wonderful enjoyment. I strongly suggest the owner to shift to shiraz rather than focus on viognier.:P
The next stop was Grant Burge on Krondorf. Although it is well known and James Halliday loved their wines, I didn’t find them that exciting and pleasing. Normal everyday drinks and that’s all. May need to get some of their super premium ones to give them a go.
Our drama of the day came from our next winery， Kies family wines.
This winery had every single one of their wines on tasting. So, I thought I’d better go with their two famous ones, 2009 Monkey Nut Tree Merlot and The Suit Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. However, the lady in the above photo replied so rudely and said you have to taste in orders. Oh, come on! It’s not a structured tasting and all wines on tasting were opened. Why should I wait!! Then I decided to go by orders to try every wine but it soon nightmare. No matter what we asked for, the lady appeared to be very impatiently and gave me a dump face as if I can’t afford any of their wines! Forgot to mention, their wines sucks as well. Not only they are not balanced but also their wines have had too much contact with air and became flavourless. It finally came to the time which this lady defined as for “their premium wine tasting”. She gave both me and my miss a sip which was less than what most of the others got. !@#!@#R$#@%@#$@!$ Oh, well, that’s life and I guess you just need to cope with those less educated ones. The monkey nut tree merlot was the best among all of their wines but still not satisfies me . The $60 Suit Cab Sav was purely a waste and has completely no position on my list of wines. Strongly NOT recommended.
We stayed at this place for about 40 mins to an hr before leaving to Mengglers Hill Lookouts and the Whispering Wall which I’ve been over 10 times.
We arrived back in Adelaide around about 5:10 pm and I had a really good sleep on the bus. 😀
Generally speaking, this tour is very good. The driver was attentive, informative and helpful. The schedule was relaxing and packed with full of goodies. The wines on offer were generally good to the public and the lunch was not bad. What else do you wanna get from a tour?:D
Price: $75 pp