:: 21 to 24 June, 2010 ::
Alright… its taken a bit of time for this particular post. Much apologies, but we are in the process if migrating and setting up our blog, thus the delay. Anyway, this post is really more of a photo board than anything else. But hey! A picture speaks a thousand words, so enjoy.
Barossa Valley – Angaston, the place where Yalumba calls home is really a beautiful spot, quiet, subtle yet full of freshness and character. Much like the wines they make. From Mengler’s Hill Lookout, you’ll see the richness of the land, the sun-kissed hills (not the kind of hills you get in Singapore, but the kind of hills with sheep rooted to its slopes and you actually can feel the change in temperature as you move farther) and the patchwork of vineyards running across the Barossa Valley Floor.
That’s Yalumba. Personally, I think it really looks more like an English mansion than a winery, especially the front porch with its well manicured lawn and bricked paths. Just add ‘Horses and Carriages’, and voila! But beautiful, beautiful winery… till I get to the Museum… utterly speechless. I bet all the world’s best wines are stored in this endless underground cellar.
With a foresight and dedication in sustainable viticulture, Yalumba invested heavily in its very own Nursery. Vines are carefully cared for, graftings, cuttings and research on grape varietals are all done here. No mean feat, the Nursery team is truly wondrous and meticulous to keep the vines healthy.
The other fantastic thing about Yalumba is they have their very own Cooperage too. Yes, a huge one no less. Don’t you just love the smell of toasty oak in the air on a crisp wintry morning? I do. And they have very kindly arranged a ‘making of some octaves’ just for me… boy do I feel indebted. But its really really cool!!! The oak are shipped from France or America, left out in the elements for at least five years, shaved and sliced before it actually being sized and treated for the barrel making.
Then, they were steamed and toasted till your liking before being ‘strung’ together… by hand. Apparently, the resident winemakers work with the coopers to develop the oak of a desired style or ‘toastiness’ for the wine that they have in mind. Simply amazing!
What’s a winery visit without the wines, right? The portfolio tasting was conducted at The Family Tasting Room, a pretty little enclave with a tasting table and a trove filled with artifacts of Yalumba’s glorious past. The wines were totally brilliant, and with Winemaker Peter Gambetta chairing the tasting, it was truly a fantastic day.
Next stop was a trip to Pewsey Vale, where the delicious The Contours Riesling originate from. Elevated on higher grounds, Pewsey Vale is home to not just the ‘dancing vineyards’ but also to a tremendous diversity of flora and wildlife, including the Aussie’s mascots – Kangaroos.