I'm a tour guide who is passionate about South Australia and love to showcase to locals and visitors. Visit my facebook page at www.facebook.com/Down-to-Earth-Tours-1491827191071798/
Published June 12th 2022
Greenock's gastronomic delights
In more recent years, Greenock in the northern part of the Barossa Valley has suddenly had a spotlight shone on it, becoming one of the hidden jewels of the region, renowned for its heritage, boutique brewer, wineries and eateries.
You will find Greenock only 75 kms north-east of Adelaide - just under a one-hour drive away.
Here are 9 highlights of the town I discovered when exploring the area recently.
The town of Greenock is known as Barossa Valley's "Green Corner" as the German name for the town was "Grune Ecke". The town was also known as "Little Scotland", with Greenock named after the town of the same name in Scotland on the banks of the River Clyde, meaning "Sunny Hill".
It was established on the banks of the Greenock creek in 1847 after copper had been discovered approximately 5 kms south of the current site, and was operated by the Greenock Creek Mining Company.
By 1850 the Greenock Arms Hotel had been established and soon became a significant relay station for the changing of horses for the district mail coaches and other wagons travelling to Port Adelaide with copper sourced in Kapunda.
Three of the more prominent town identities in the early years were Ludwig Seppelt (the family who founded Seppeltsfield winery), John Jungfer (saddlery business) and Friedrich Laucke (flour millers).
1. The Greenock
Originally one of South Australia's oldest licensed venues, The Greenock Creek Tavern, now known as The Greenock has been operating since 1856, run for generations by the Schluter family.
Today the pub is run by Chris and Amanda Adams, who have been involved since 2016, combining restoration of heritage features as well as a little bit of modernisation.
The pub can be described as a "down-to-earth" country-style venue with their most iconic food offering being the "Steiny" Porterhouse Schnitzel, which will set you back $36. Mains range from Pizzas starting at $18 right through to Rump Steaks at $37.
During the winter season, The Greenock also offer set menus for a minimum booking of 20 guests. The options are a choice of 2 entrees and 2 mains, or 2 mains and 2 desserts for $55, or if you wish to partake in 3 courses, there are also options of 2 Entrees, 2 Mains and 1 Dessert for $64. Platters for a minimum of 10 people are also available.
The Greenock also offers a Community Pie every couple of months, which partners with community businesses such as Schluter Wines, Kalleske Wines, Greenock Brewers and Hentley Farm. A pie of the month is created and allows further collaboration with a chosen charity, donating a portion of all sales to a local community group or organisation in need.
Dining hours at The Greenock are Lunch Tuesday to Saturday 12 pm until 2 pm, Sundays 12 pm until 3 pm, and Dinner Monday to Saturday 6 pm until 8 pm and Sundays 5.30 pm until 7.30 pm.
You will find The Greenock at 2 Murray Street in Greenock.
If you like the idea of a boutique brewery, then recommend you try Greenock Brewers, whose hallmarks are natural ingredients, tradition as well as quality. They are housed in an historic Wheat store and produce traditional hand-crafted fermented beers which cater for a diverse range of tastes.
Some examples include their Bunawunda Blonde, which is a German Blonde Lager using Australian Pils as well as German speciality malts. They use the Noble Hop - Hallertau Hersbrucker, used for its delicate aroma profile originating in the Hersbruck region of southern Germany. This particular beer has a mild spiciness about it.
Their Victorville Ale has a citrus flavour profile with distinctive grapefruit with a touch of passionfruit.
Greenock Brewers also produce a Dark Ale, a Stout, and even a Dinner Ale which is described as a light and refreshing English style bitter. The Dinner Ale is the brewery's lightest brew and has been made to commemorate the 150 year anniversary of the Schluter family's involvement in the Greenock Creek Tavern.
By prior arrangement tours of the Brewery are available and tastings are available for $11. They also offer varying platters including Barossa Barbeque Meat, and Barossa Produce Cheese platters, both $40 each.
Greenock Brewers also have BBQ facilities, which means you can bring your own meat and cook it yourself, washed down with their range of brewed products.
Greenock Brewers are open Fridays to Sundays 11 am - 7 pm as well as on public holidays for the same hours. All other days are via appointment only. You will find the brewery at The Wheat Store, Mill Street, Greenock.
A place you don't expect to find tucked away in a South Australian country town is an eatery with a South American twist. El Estanco, which translates as "The Tobacconist" is run by two chefs, one of whom has a Colombian background.
Whether it is breakfast, lunch or dinner, El Estanco offers some tempting tasty dishes, including some of their breakfast signature dishes,including El Estanco Bacon and Eggs, which comprise Sourdough, Mt Pleasant Bacon, Fried Eggs, Marinated Tomatoes and Chilli Jam, for $24.
Another breakfast dish is called Brenjena Ahumada, which consists of Smoked Eggplant, Mexican Spices, house made Sourdough Bread, Chilli, fresh Herbs, Queso Fresco (fresh Cheese) and Poached Eggs, also for $24.
Lunch dishes vary in price between $17 and $25 and include Bocadillo de Camarones, which is crispy Prawns, Chipotle, Lime, Coriander, on a house made white bread roll, Guajillo Adobo (Chilli Peppers with sauce), red Onions as well as Queso Fresco.
On Fridays nights El Estanco have their "Friday Fiestas" which is all about wood fired pizzas over a glass of wine or cocktails.
If you're in a group of a minimum of 15 people and want a casual night out then their pizza "Feed Me" menu is the go. You will need to make a reservation for this experience.
Along with all of this, El Estanco offer baking classes at various times during the year. To engage and learn some new culinary skills, it will cost you $185 to participate for a 3 hour session.
The baking class is focused on making a sweet tart orchestrated by Cheryse Zagler from Cheryse Zagler Cake & Pastry design.
Your ticket will include morning tea with homemade pastries and fruit platters, coffee, a Mimosa (Champagne cocktail) and a slice of fruit tart made during the class. The tart which is made will feed between 8 - 10 people.
Operating times for El Estanco are for breakfast from 8 am until 11 am every day except for Tuesdays and Wednesdays when it is closed. Lunch is served between 12 Noon and 3 pm for the same operating days and for the Friday Fiestas between 5.30 pm and 10 pm.
The eatery will be taking a short break during winter and will be closed from Monday 11 July up to and including Wednesday 20 July. You will find El Estanco at 18 - 22 Murray Street in Greenock.
Dell'uva Wines offers a unique experience in their ranges of wines, boasting Australia's largest range of European varieties of grapes, hailing from Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.
The name Dell'uva translates as "wine of the grape" and the winery's owner, Wayne Farquhar has travelled extensively to uncover the highly acclaimed successes of the European varieties. Wayne then returned to Australia with the intent of replicating those successes.
Dell'uva has 49 different European varieties planted for wine as well as another 40 planted for future evaluation, all in an area of 50 acres.
Their red wines, for example, are aged in barrel for a total of 22 months so as to justify maximum development prior to bottling, which will ensure the wine will "get better with age".
Dell'uva's cellar door offers us the opportunity to try a wide range of wines including reds, whites, roses and sparkling varieties. One of their unique products on sale either directly via visiting the cellar door or online is the Centellino.
A Centellino is a 100% original mouth-blown glass, top of the bottle wine decanter and aerator. These are great for pouring and oxidising the perfect portion of wine. The price -$95.
Dell'uva's pride themselves on premium handmade wines, with no chemicals added which would change the colour, flavour or structure. Their wines are also very low in histamine which means minimal reaction as well as headaches!
If you visit the cellar door there are also pizzas and platters available to indulge whilst you are sampling the wine varieties.
The cellar door is open every day 10 am - 5 pm. You will find Dell'uva at 15 Murray Street, Greenock.
What's not to like about a seventh generation run winery linked to the family's commitment to sustainable farming?
Although the current winery only dates back to 2002, started up by Troy and Tony Kalleske, aided by their parents, the family's connection with wine and vineyards goes right back to early South Australian history.
In 1838 the original branch of the family, Johann Georg Kalleske and his wife Johanne Dorothea arrived in South Australia with their 4 young children, having fled religious persecution in Prussia, Germany.
The Kalleske farm was established in 1853 at Moppa, a small sub-district of Greenock and started a mix of farming activities including vineyard, orchard, sheep, dairy, pigs, cropping, milling and merchanting. The property today continues to survive with some of these activities.
Lorraine Kalleske who currently is still very much involved with the winery run by her two sons, has the distinction of being Australia's fastest hand-grape picker. During the 1980's Lorraine won a total of 4 National Grapepicking Championships. As the competition is no longer held, Lorraine still holds that record.
Kalleske wines has been certified as Organic and Biodynamic, an award they attained in 1998. Organic and Biodynamic practices in the vineyard and winery ensure that the soil, air and surrounding waterways are not polluted with synthetic chemicals and fertilisers.
These practices also enhance the quality of the grapes grown.
Kalleske wines produce different ranges of wines, including their old vine range , their alternate range, their whites and roses as what they term as their divergent range. Their 120 acres of vineyards are planted with Shiraz, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon, Semillon, Chenin Blanc, as well as many other varieties, the oldest vines dating from 1875.
Apart from their sustainability practices, their wine has won many prestigious awards including the most recent - Australian certified organic wine business of the year in 2018.
At the cellar door, there are several experiences available to immerse yourself in. For example a seated wine tasting experience will cost you $10,an Old Vine tasting $15, a self-guided food and wine pairing $20, a self-guided blind tasting experience for $15 or a winery and vineyard tour for $80.
Regional platters are $25 per platter or if you like Cheese, Barossa Cheese boards for $12 per board.
The cellar door is open 7 days per week from 10 am - 5 pm. You will find Kalleske Wines at 6 Murray Street, in Greenock.
If you are into homewares, vintage and/or gifts for any occasion, Hygge Home and Vintage is a great place to venture into and explore.
If you think you know how to pronounce Hygge, think again - it is pronounced "hoo-ga", which comes from a Danish phrase meaning "cozy and comfortable", an ethos which the business owner, Trudi Robinson abides by.
The shop itself is quaint, housed in a former Saddlery dating from the early 1900's so already oozes charm the moment you walk in.
Goods on sale and display include scarves, jewellery, throws, cushions, pieces of art works, crockery and everything in between.
Trudi is a big supporter of local artisans, including local Greenock artist, Catherine Hullart who especially paints stunning water colour and pastel landscapes. The vibrant work would lift any room in your house.
Hygge is open on Thursdays to Saturdays from 10 am to 4 pm and Sundays 11 am to 4 pm. You will find them at 12 Murray Street in Greenock.
Greenock, being one of the early German areas of settlement in the Barossa Valley, obviously still has strong Lutheran connections and the parish has 3 congregations even today - St Peter's Lutheran Church, Gnadenfrei St Michael's Lutheran Church at Marananga and Nain Lutheran Church at nearby Nain.
St Peters stems back to 1900 on the current site, with a former Lutheran church operating in Bevan Street in Greenock between 1857 and 1866, converting to a Catholic church right up until the late 1920's.
The architecture of the church is typical of the style of Lutheran places of worship erected around the Barossa Valley and adjacent regions, with its tall spire. The bell tower was added in 1975 with major renovations to the church including extensions back in 2009.
When I ventured into the nearby cemetery, I discovered one of the graves which only dates from 2008 of a young man who was only 26 when he passed away. Above the epitaph is an axe which you would not expect to see in this more traditional setting, and discovered that it represents a battle axe, which symbolises the young man's battle with cancer, his love of the Guitar and the Heavy Metal Genre.
The church and cemetery can be found on Bevan Street at Greenock.
The Greenock Post Office originates from 1856 when a postal service commenced in the area, in conjunction with a general store on the site of the current Greenock Hotel.
The Post and Telegraph Office was erected in 1879, combining both services. Telegraph services were maintained at the current site until the mid 1920's and the staff operated a manual telephone exchange from 1910 right up until 1965.
You can imagine in the early years of South Australian history that a lot of country towns would have quite isolated from Adelaide, especially in the years before a mail and telegraph service.
Following extensive lobbying to the Government here at the time, during the 1850s and 1860s, things dramatically changed.
Morse code telegraph was finally extended to Greenock and other Barossa Valley towns in 1866. The telegraph service was transferred to the Greenock Post Office in 1879.
The telephone service was also a very slow roll out with the first manual service in Greenock operating from 1910 with only 1 subscriber - the public telephone booth located outside of the Post Office.
It took another 10 years before the first 5 private phones were installed in the town and a further few years before subscription grew and could be accommodated.
The old Telegraph station which was utilised right up until 1879/1880 was operated for many years by a Mr Louis Iverson who had a small office in his home in the main street.
During a severe thunderstorm in 1870 lightning struck the flagstaff outside of the telegraph station, causing it to split in halves. The main telegraph line also caught fire at the time and the current followed the conductor into the telegraph office, setting one of the window curtains alight. Fortunately Mr Iverson distinguished the blaze quickly without too much damage.
Today the Old Telegraph Station is a Bed and Breakfast, which you can stay in, as an important piece of Greenock's early history.
One of the great things about the historic accommodation is its "pet-friendly" policy, which means you don't have to leave your beloved pet with someone else whilst you go on holiday or a mini-break.
The self-catered two bedroom cottage caters up to 4 guests and generous continental and cooked breakfast provisions are on hand, including cereal, bacon, eggs, tomatoes, bread, selection of spreads, butter, milk, juice as well as tea and coffee.
If you stay for 2 or more nights, a bottle of complimentary Barossa wine (your choice of red or white) is provided.
You will find the Old Telegraph Station B&B at 11 Murray Street in Greenock, very convenient in the main street.
With all of the places and experiences to sample, what a great idea to stay up in the area for a couple of nights.