I awoke early ( a holiday habit I am desperate to break) determined that I was going to make up for the huge blunder I had made with the accommodation. I was going to get us a cottage in the vineyards even if it meant doing our money for one night here. I informed Chris of my plans and searched the Internet for some alternate accommodation in the Clare. After an exhaustive search we settled on a night at Reilly’s Retreat, a winery, come restaurant, come B&B. The late 19th century cottages sounded just the ticket. The prospect of a restaurant lunch was also a bonus. I was at peace…

After a light breakfast we headed off on our morning walk through the centre of town and out towards a vineyard about 1.5kms out of town.

It was a beautiful morning and the walk along the tree shaded streets was a great start to the day. From an architect’s perspective Tanunda is a very pretty town with gorgeous houses blending federation and Californian styles set off with equally beautiful gardens. We passed the historic Chateau Tanunda Winery with its lush, green vines and headed out along the Bethany road before turning around and returning through the centre of Tanunda. Another few shops had opened to join those which had opened the day before.

We had already decided that I would do the driving because the Barossa was a Semillon & Shiraz area; not my favourite grapes. We headed towards the Seppeltsfield road and commenced with Whistler, a small family owned vineyard run by winemaker, his retired school teacher wife and another couple. His wife was lovely and the first few tastings showed great promise; a sem/sav and a delicate reisling. Chris then moved through the reds savoring the grapes and the conversation. After a few purchases and some suggestions of other places to visit we headed off.

Torbreck seemed to be at the top of everybody’s list of places to visit more lovers of red. Once we got over the initial shock of the cellar door prices ( only 2 under $25 but most $50 and above) Chris settled in for his second tasting and the promise of some unique blends.

A few of the other cellar door picks along the road were closed so we drove straight to Seppeltsfield, the oldest winery in the area started by a pioneering German family but now owned by Fosters. Set amongst beautiful surroundings and boasting a number of restored 18th Century buildings, it was stunning but also incredibly commercial catering to buses and picnicking tourists. Seppeltsfield is known for its fortified wines so that counted me out until the girl at the counter took pity on me and gave me a glass of their famous red cordial (not recommended for sufferers of ADD). The young pretty blond took a fancy to Chris and took him through the entire range of Sherrys and ports allowing him the chance to reminisce about his parents passion for a pre dinner tipple. I retired bored to the lounge as she gave him a glimpse of the “rare” varieties. After a few purchases and a more suggestions of wineries we headed off in search of lunch.

We arrived at Maggie Beer’s Farm (along with every other tourist) a lovely commercial culinary oasis selling all of Maggie’s products as well as light lunches, wine and offering daily cooking demonstrations. We shared a yummy pate basket beautifully presented and eaten off old fashioned enamel plates and watched the turtles gently glide through the dam. After a mandatory purchase of some of her wonderful products, many of which are not available in supermarkets, we continued our journey along the wine trail. The first winery, Langmeil had been over run by tourist buses so we gave it a miss and headed to Rockford. Rockford is one of the older family wineries but the wines didn’t really appeal to Chris and the arrival of the crowds meant that we could slip out unnoticed without having to make that “polite” purchase.

The last winery on our trail was Charles Melton, a small winery specializing in expensive reds, much like Torbreck. Chris was in red heaven but he sensibly restricted his purchases to the only two bottles under $25.

We finished the evening with a spaghetti bolognaise washed down with a glass of our purchases from the day and planned our attack on the Clare tomorrow.