Going on a wine tasting tour was at the top of my “must do” list in Australia (after the great barrier reef of course!) Specifically I wanted to go to McLaren Vale area and see the Mitolo winery, cause they made both my wedding wines and they were both so awesome I just wanted to go thank them. We had two days in the area to accomplish wine tasting at all 55 wineries, NO PROBLEM! We checked into the last available accommodation in town, dropped off all the suitcases, grabbed the wine map and headed off to the “cellar doors”, which were open ONLY from 10-5. (In hindsite, this was a good thing they closed at 5!) Our first stop was Kay Brothers Winery, the oldest family run estate in McLaren vale.
|Kay brothers, 8 types of wine|
We were all virgin wine tasters, so the lady really educated us on the wine world, we were the only ones there and even though she had us taste 8 types of wine (lightest red to darkest, boldest red), we were really smart when we left there! Also, we were told that although you go in and taste their wares, there is no obligation to purchase.
|We bought two bottles from Kay Brothers|
I was a little concerned though, at the quantity of wines I would be drinking in an afternoon if this was the regular wine tasting method (8 types). Although I didn’t like all of them, I had a pretty good idea that Shiraz and Cab SAv’s would be all we would want to taste, so I said to the crew, “that is too much lolli gagging on wines we don’t like, at the next cellar door lets just go in there and (insert action) punch it in the nuts! (meaning I just want to try Shiraz and cab sav’s) But they all looked at me and laughed, as they didn’t know what I was talking about, I just made this up on the spot.
|The "action" shot for "punch it in the nuts". Photo taken at end of tour, and not at time of actual conception!|
Our next stop was Cariole, where we left with another bottle of shiraz.Followed by Mollydooker (meaning left handed)
|(I’m sure you would have a hard time guessing who that was!Not my best look!)|
As you can see, we didn’t feel any pressure to purchase wine at all! It was all so frickin’ good and everything we bought was stuff we couldn’t get in Canada.
Luckily none of us ended up with a hangover, as we all drank a tonne of water in and amongst the wine sips.
Todd and I had a do-over the next day and visited Penny’s Hill, Angove and Kay brothers (again) to buy anniversary bottles for our 5, 10 & 15 year anniversaries (talk about planning ahead).
In general the McLaren vale area was:
- Really gorgeous, it was fall so the vines were all gold leafed and there just so many vines, acre upon acre upon acre.
- About half the growers grow grapes AND make wine and the other half, grow grapes for the makers.
- 2010 was the BEST year, so if you are a shiraz liker or lover, scoop up as many MV Shiraz’s from that year in the liquor store in Canada, and you wont be sorry.
- We also learned that it is just as hard for wineries to be accepted into Canada (due to stupid government LCB regulations), as it is for us Canadian consumers begging the liquor stores to bring in good Aus wine. All in all, this was WELL worth a plane ticket to Australia!
p.s. Mitolo Winery: Sadly, the Mitolo winery WASN'T open during our trip. They were moving and had closed up shop and wouldn't re-open til 2015, what were the chances of that.