As I was driving up to Clare Valley, I was pleased to observe that as I ascended I saw far more greenery, which lifted my spirits. My first stop was the Clare Valley Wine, Food and Tourism Center. I figured that I should try something different and possibly go on a winery tour, learn about the different wines and how they’re made, and hopefully find one that I enjoy.
Upon entering the center, I was greeted by a lovely lady who kindly told me that I was about 3 hours late for a tour. They usually take place in the morning at 9 am, and it was hitting noon. More disappointment or, in this case, poor planning on my part - lesson learned. However, not all hope was lost: she took out a map and told me that I could take myself on my own self tour. She kindly highlighted various wineries or areas that she thought I might find of interest. Then she sat me down and let me taste three wines that were native to the area. If I recall correctly, she explained that the taste of the wines varied based on the soil and the climate of the area. The region we were in produced drier tasting wines. I already knew from my wine tasting experiences in France that I was NOT a fan of dry wines. However, I decided to try my luck, as perhaps my palate had changed. She let me taste three Hunky Dory wines, and I tried really hard to like them, but they were not for me.
Spring Gully Lookout
First stop was the Spring Gully Lookout. Less than a 10 minute drive away, I was able to get a pretty nice view of some of the surrounding land and wineries in the area. I do appreciate the variation in the land, vegetation and views that Australia has to offer. Being on this hill by myself was so serene, I felt like I had all this land to myself.
Next up was the Sevenhill Cellars. This was a large parcel of land with a beautiful church on the property, as well as a walking trail along the winery. I didn’t try any wines for the rest of my time in wine valley. Based on the conversation with the lady at the information center, I wasn’t under the impression I would find a sweet wine. Also, I was driving to each location and figured it would be wise not to be under the influence behind the wheel.
I drove a little more east, still in wine valley, towards Mintaro, because I wanted to check out the maze. I had to pay a fee to enter the maze, but I was impressed because it was a decent size (taller than me, and pretty large) and harder than I thought to navigate. For those of you who follow me on my Instagram and watched my story, you probably saw my struggle. Every time I walked into a dead end I was greeted by a small statue of some sort. Let’s just say that I ran into a lot of them. However, I eventually completed the maze and made it to the middle. Once outside the maze there was also a lovely garden covered in gnomes and a huge chess set for those who wanted to play the game.
I enjoyed my time in wine valley - the weather was perfect, the sun was shining and it was nice to see a different side of South Australia. The only downside was the flies: they were ruthless and would not leave me alone. I still had a lot of daylight left so I decided that instead of driving back home to Adelaide, I would check out Port Noarlunga! My teammate had taken pictures there and it looked beautiful, so I just had to check it out for myself! You can read all about it in part three!
Are you a wine person? If so, what sweet wines would you recommend to someone like me?
Thanks for stopping by and God bless,