What a wonderful day in Australia’s famous Barossa wine valley!
I understand why it is the most active wine route in Australia. Not only is the scenery spectacular, but the people are warm and friendly and the food and wine amazing.
Just like back home in Franschhoek, here they are also passionate about Wine Tourism! Not long ago an Australian delegation visited South Africa to research our wine tourism industry. They were especially impressed with how tourism is a priority in the Cape Winelands. They also noted how our wine routes and tourism offices work together.
In the Barossa, the focus is very much on ‘handmade’ and they are increasingly involving restaurants with wine brands. Just like us, they realised that the focus cannot only be on the product, they have to create an experience for visitors.
We signed a Memorandum of Understanding to swop Shiraz between South Africa and Australia. La Motte‘s Cellarmaster Edmund Terblanche who is accompanying me on this tour of Australia, is also the Chairman of South Africa’s Shiraz Association and he is very excited about this initiative. It will be a great opportunity to stay in touch with international wine trends and styles.
Highlights of today’s visit:
- Yalumba (aboriginal for “all the land around”) is Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. Here we met with Robert Hill Smith and tasted some amazing wines.
- Penfolds is an internationally renowned wine brand and a true icon of Australia. Today we were treated to a “Taste of Grange” experience and learned more about the history and the people behind the brand.
- We ended our day at Seppeltsfield where we tasted a 100 year old “Port”! Seppeltsfield is famed for the Centennial Collection – an irreplaceable and unbroken lineage of Tawny of every vintage from 1878 to current year.
After a delicious dinner with Cathy Wills, Regional Tourism Manager, Chris Pfeiffer, the Chairman of Barossa Tourism and Bob Mclean, the Baron of Barossa, we all agreed that we should definitely stay in contact to exchange ideas on tourism. We have also invited their chefs and winemakers to Franschhoek!