Our ship, Radiance of the Seas, left Esperance on February 27, and we arrived three days later to our next destination — Adelaide. Adelaide is some 950 miles/1,530 kilometers to the east of Esperance, clear across the Great Australian Bight. From this port of call we once again had a tour at the ready. This tour however was not of Adelaide. Rather, we were about to embark on a wine tasting tour of the magnificent Barossa Valley.
Our delicious tour this day was with the great folks at Taste the Barossa, and our group was so large that we engaged two minivans. As always, we were with the fun group:
Our first winery this day was to the vintner of some of my personal favorite Australian Shiraz-based wines, Peter Lehmann. Our tasting this day merely reaffirmed my expectations, but first let’s take a look at the beautiful estate grounds:
There were even charming picnic tables just outside the main entrance:
I won’t go into our actual wine tastings this day, because I failed to keep notes. Mea culpa! But, hey, you don’t let note taking get in the way of having great fun sampling fantastic wines. So, for the rest of today’s article, let’s just tour the inside of the estate, shall we?
Almost single-handedly Mr. Lehmann saved the grape growers in this area. From the Peter Lehmann Wines website:
The late 1970s were difficult times for the Barossa wine grape growing community as the region was hit with a severe grape surplus. Companies refused to buy grapes and honour contracts, and Peter Lehmann knew this would destroy the livelihoods of the 140 family growers.
In a courageous bid to support his community of growers, Peter took out a loan, assembled equipment and built a small winery to process their grapes. The winery was called Masterson of the Barossa, in a nod to the famous gambler, Skye Masterson from the musical, Guys and Dolls.
The wine from the first vintage in 1980 was called ‘The Futures’ in a nod to the commitment Peter made to paying the growers once he had sold the wine. This arrangement was sealed with a handshake and Peter’s word was his bond. True to his promise, when the money started coming in Peter made sure to pay his growers first.