Before sipping my way through more wineries today, we decided to hike the river walk from our campground along Onkaparinga Gorge. Setting off, we discovered some fellow campers:
Little did we know that it was a long way down (and remember: what goes down must come back up). To keep me going, Adam kept dangling the carrot of the wineries in front of me. Of course, it was scenic (and a little bit scary in places close to the edge of the gorge).
When we got down to the bottom, we heard a waterfall; we love a waterfall! I don’t, however, love clambering over treacherous rocks to get to them. (It really wasn’t that bad, but I do have questionable 50-year-old ankles and a husband who is much more fit than I am.)
The waterfall was lovely, and the climb back up didn’t kill me, but I felt I had well and truly earned my wine now.
First up: Coriole, which was high on my list of must-visits, as it had come recommended by a number of friends and colleagues. Adam stayed out in the campervan to work while a lovely woman poured wine for me and, it turned out, a handful of other Americans (two couples) from Indianapolis and Des Moines. They were on a luxury tour and had a driver – Terry – for the day. (I guess so did I.)
I enjoyed hanging out and chatting with them – I don’t find too many people with my accent. Adam would’ve enjoyed it, as they wanted to talk Starlink – more in his wheelhouse than mine. When they left, a couple of Novocastrians came in, so it was definitely old-home week. They lived not far from where Adam grew up.
The setting and the wine at Coriole were di-vine! I loved both, and I walked away with a couple of beautiful bottles, including The Optimist Chenin Blanc, which I particularly enjoyed.
I had a couple of choices for where to go next – so many wineries, so little time! – and settled on Samuel’s Gorge, which had been recommended at SC Pannell (the girlfriend of the cellar door guy at Pannell works at Samuel’s Gorge), and the woman at Coriole confirmed that the wines are delicious and the people are the “friendliest in the Vale.” So off I went.
Again, the winery and the wines did not disappoint. This time, I had a lovely American guy from North Carolina pouring (and passionate about) the wine. I was excited, as Samuel’s Gorge is another winery experimenting with Gruner Veltliner, and they also had a 2021 Grenache I loved. I sat on a stool, sipping wine and looking out the cellar door window at the very gorge – a gorgeous gorge – I’d walked this morning. I was in my happy place.
A bit later, the two American couples wandered in, and I joined them outside to taste a few more wines and have more of a chat.
Alas and alack, it was time to say goodbye to McLaren Vale and hello to Adelaide. Adam brought me to Adelaide about 10 years ago, and I’d really enjoyed it, so I was excited to be back. And we were catching up with our friend Adam Newband, who lives here, for dinner tonight.
We drove into Brownhill Creek Tourist Park, right in Adelaide, and prepped for our night out:
Brownhill was comfortable and good but had the worst WiFi of our trip so far. Conveniently, however, it was within walking distance of the pub we were meeting “other Adam” for dinner: The Edinburgh Hotel, aka “The Ed.”
It was great to see other Adam and catch up on his life in Adelaide and our trip so far. It was good fun to see a friendly face far from home!
We had a yummy meal – The Ed also came recommended – and a nice bottle of Riesling from the appropriately named Rieslingfreak, a winery I had on my list for when we got to the Barossa.
Another stellar day indeed.