Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Published December 31st 2012
Cricket, croquet and party tricks
Photo by Harriet Dashnow
One of the fascinating aspects about the Barossa Valley is that it is not a unified place but a series of microcosms reflecting the preoccupations and interests of individual vineyard owners.
We had just left Langmeir where history was preserved in the simple stone buildings and farm implements which the new owners have so carefully conserved.
Château Tanunda loomed up at us from our bus window like a neck-craning Rapunzel's tower.
The whole building is carefully crafted from bluestone.
When it was built in 1890 the château was styled on the huge Bavarian households of Hamburg of the 1850's to 1870's, which in turn, took their architecture from France – forming a hybrid French château inspiration. Back then it was the largest building in South Australia.
We passed through an avenue of palm trees as if we were entering the promised land. These were apparently planted by workers in the Great Depression. They received half pay but at least it kept them in work.
We drove past the croquet lawns and the owner's cricket pitch; the sort of indulgences one might expect to see on a wealthy country estate. For the important cricket history click here.
Swiss born Bridgette took us through a guided tasting of the various wines making us salivate as she spoke about her passion for cooking and what wines matched each of her dishes
Then she did what can really only be described as a party trick. She decanted red wine into a glass container and then left the decanter spinning around on the bar as if it was a child's top. We watched mesmerised.
I will say the effort in her antics ensured plenty of sales.
Despite its size Château Tanunda specialises in small batch winemaking of various styles including unoaked Riesling, Pinot Grigio and more traditional Barossan styles such as lightly oaked Semillon, Grenache Rose, Grenache and Cabernet Merlot. There are also some classic full bodied Shiraz and Cabernet.
But that is for wine lovers. What I loved most about visiting the Barossa was the tangible history etched into each fine building.