After breakfast and a quick clean of the “Ruby suite ” we headed off towards the Clare Valley.

We took a detour through Kapunda, a historic mining town dating back to the 1840s and boasting a fantastic Heritage Trail which commences with a visit to the interpretive museum and then a 10 km drive around some of the historic buildings and places in the town. There were so many beautifully restored houses, churches and public buildings. There were also a number of lovely B&Bs worth a return visit. What a fantastic find!

We commenced our wine tasting tour at the Sevenhill winery, the oldest winery in the area run by the Jesuits. The winery supplies altar wine to churches across Australia but it offers much more. We tasted a few nice rieslings, a verdelho and a few good quality and comparatively cheaper reds. After a six pack purchase we then did battle with the thousands of locusts and headed off for a look through the beautiful church and crypt.

We had booked for lunch at Reilley’s so we only had a little time to check out the township of Clare and one winery. We chose Pikes because of their beautiful rieslings but they had so much more to offer including the unusual savagnan and a crisp Pinot gris. We made a quick purchase which we sent home with free freight. The highlight for Chris was the rather snazzy enotech wine dispenser.

We arrived in Mintaro (not to be confused with Shintaro a Japanese martial arts drama from the 1960s) and easily located Reilly’s (the “town” only has six buildings) which was opposite the Magpie Hotel which had been rebuilt after an illegal still exploded in the 1850s! Around the corner from the cellar door were three gorgeous slate and stone cottages, one of which was Pulford, our accommodation for the night.

The cellar door and restaurant was a 19th Century house with a big shady verandah festooned with grape vines. We were given our table and ordered our Reilly’s wine by the glass and our food. Much of the food is locally sourced, as evidenced by the cottage garden out the back, or from the Adelaide Hills and it was delicious. We started with bread, local olive oil and homemade dukkha followed by pork in prosciutto with lentils and a quince glaze and an antipasto platter with an Australian twist: local cheeses, chutney, cold lamb and kangaroo “wog” meat (metwurst, Paula).

Desserts mainly consisted of home made ice-cream loosely relating to alcohol. This was fine by us, as sparkling Riesling, pinot gris and a nice Grenache rose had left us easy to convince about anything. After two hours, we retired to consider our options (!), with a basket of farmhouse breakfast provisions and the smallest and best value lunch bill in living memory.

A late evening walk around and a qld at the pub left us ready for culture. Unfortunately, Chris chose the biopic “Michael Collins”, thinking Paula would be interested in Irish history. She shamed her forebears after two hours in favour of a Val McDermitt crime thriller, deserting Irish independence for lesbian sex and murder. Well, funny things happen on holidays!