Presented by Australian Elements Tours and Charters
Reviewed 16 February 2020
Red, White & Brew Tour is the genius idea that came to Dave, owner of Australian Elements Tours and Charters in the middle of the night. As a small family company this tour is noticeably more welcoming than a big coach tour. As Dave’s mini bus pulls up at Franklin Street you are greeted with a warm huge ‘Good Morning’ and the friendly chatter starts straight away with everyone introducing themselves to one another. As the bus makes its way in to the Barossa, Dave outlines our itinerary for the day and a noticeable factor is the flexibility available in the day. Dave also outlines why he has chosen each of the destinations and the importance he places in supporting small businesses.
Chateau Yaldara: Originally built to house a porcelain collection, this stunning cellar door offered a tasting of a beautiful dry white, sparkling red and a gorgeous selection right through to a fortified wine which was described as being just as lovely on top of vanilla ice cream as it is drinking it straight. Our cellar door hand was a wealth of knowledge in regards to each tasting as well as the history of the property, which really gave you a sense of how good the day was going to be. With time to sit in the beautiful front lawn area the group took advantage of spreading out to relax in the bean bags, admire the outside wood oven pizza and take photographs in the garden.
Pindarie: This cellar door is a gorgeous farm house where the tasting room is actually the old stable which has been lovingly restored. As we enter the stable everyone spots the beautifully laid table complete with a local cheese and cracker platter to accompany the tasting. We are lead through a selection of wines from white to red by our cellar hand who is again incredibly knowledgeable and passionate about the wines, grape types, soil composition and history of the property and owners. As we head outside to take a group photo on the iconic haystack it is hard not to be blown away by the beauty of the view of grapevines spaning into the distance.
As we role into Tanunda, Dave confirms that we are running ahead of schedule and gives us the option of walking around Tanunda main street or heading to the Barossa Chocolate Factory. It’s a no brainer really and we excitedly head for the chocolate factory where we are greeted by a selection of samples and a chocolate waterfall that you just want to stick your face in Augustus Gloop style. The factory also hosts a cellar door and café with deck that overlooks a dam. I opted to take in the serenity of the view of the dam whilst enjoying rocky road and enjoying specialty hot chocolate beverages which I highly recommend.
Barossa Distillery: As a photo worthy Gin tasting plate arrives it is explained how best to taste these 3 beauties and it is quite a theatrical process with garnishes and tonic water adding an element of glamour to the experience. We are also presented with a number of pizzas, chips and garlic bread from Ember the wood oven pizza business next to the distillery and as we sit with our feast before us the group reflects on how fantastic the day has been so far.
I may be biased but I think the saying we’ve saved the best for last was very true in this case with Greenock Brewery being a really unique and special experience as the owner took us through the process of how the beer is produced literally in his back shed. It was fantastic to see how the bottles are labelled by hand and how an old German machine places the lids on top. The owner was a real character and his wife was lovely, describing what to flavours to expect and how each of the 4 tastings differed in taste. What stood out to me was that if you are not a beer drinker you were most welcome to enjoy a glass of wine or cider instead which was sourced from another local business.
As we made our way back to Adelaide everyone happily chatted as if we had known each other for years and we reflected on what had been an absolutely brilliant day. Dave’s idea is certainly something everyone looking for a day out experience should consider as it puts a totally different perspective on the Barossa and really does have something for everyone. Dave even made sure dietary requirements were catered for and water was readily available throughout the day both in the bus and at the venues. It is very evident that a lot of thought and planning went in to the making of every aspect of this tour.
Reviewed by Tara Forbes-Godfrey
Rating out of 5: 5 Stars It’s the tour you choose when you want the VIP treatment.
Valley (Meet at Franklin Street Bus
Depot opposite Franklin
Season: Every Weekend of the Fringe
Duration: 8hrs 15mins