Australia Winery and Vineyard Tour
A Land of Surprises Down-Under
Australia was a land of surprises. My overall impression of down-under had been of heat, expanses of desert and relentless heat. I thought lots of Cabernet Sauvignon. But the big surprise was how much bubbly we encountered. It turns out that all those travel shows I had watched were not showing me the coast. Adelaide made me feel like I was in my hometown of San Diego. The beautiful valleys we visited from Melbourne and Adelaide reminded me of Napa and Sonoma. And the sparkling wines and Pinot Noir from Tasmania made me think of Willamette, only Eucalyptus replacing the conifers, and surrounded by oceans.
If you are wondering ‘why travel so far to be reminded of home’, the answer is the people, the winemakers, the wine, the innovation, the quality, the history and the food. Oh, did I mention kangaroos, wallabies, kookaburras and stunning coastlines.
An example of the hospitality we enjoyed was an invitation to the home of Dick and Liz Wilson (brother of Pete Wilson of WA). Also invited to the picnic was their friend Brian Croser. Brian started Petaluma Winery in Adelaide Hills, Cloudy Bay Winery in New Zealand, and Argyle Winery in Willamette Valley. Needless to say, we were delighted to meet him and more delighted that he wanted to meet us. But the highlight was the 20 year old Riesling that Brian brought for us to try. To our surprise it was amazing!