The legendary Barossa Valley was the destination of our first full day in South Australia. Famed for its big Shiraz, old vines and history of winemaking dating back to 1843. Our first stop was to Vino Lokal, a small restaurant/tasting room that is home to the Artisans of Barossa – a group of small producers who have formed a collaborative association to promote the Barossa and Eden Valleys from a boutique perspective.
Tim Duval, son of legendary Penfolds Grange winemaker John Duval, hosted the tasting and gave us an absolute masterclass in the history and terroir of the Barossa, the career of his father and now the future direction in the context of John Duval Wines.
Tim created a superb comparative tasting which paired a Duval wine with a similar style from another Artisan. This was hugely instructive as it contrasted different approaches and styles of winemaking and Tim was able to illuminate key wine cellar operations.
Ten wines down – it was time to move on.
We then headed to Turkey Flat – site of the oldest commercially planted vineyard in the Barossa Valley. Owner Christie Schulz hosted a terrific tasting at Bacco restaurant in Richmond some years ago, so it was a pleasure to return the compliment and see the estate at first hand.
Alex Schulz, the next generation hosted our visit, and it was a wonderful casual affair as we sat around the bar, listened to Alex take us on a journey through the family history and taste a fabulous set of wines. Alex treated us, amongst others, to a 2012 Shiraz which was gorgeous and one of their few remaining Vin de Paille style wines called the Last Straw.
As you might imagine, the coach was peaceful as we headed back into Adelaide.