The Barossa in a 1962 Daimler
Even when it comes to budget travel you have to splurge once in a while, especially when you are wine enthusiasts and near the Barossa wine region. Splurge on a great experience is what we did!
Pete and I knew we wanted to visit the Barossa for some wine tasting, but did not really like the idea of a hop-on hop-off bus option with a bunch of other people. It seemed like it would be very impersonal and we wanted to have the opportunity to learn as much as we could about Australian wine and the Barossa. We started exploring other ways to experience the wine region and that is when Pete came across Barossa Daimler Tours. Just the two of us cruising around in a 1962 Daimler, chauffeured by John Baldwin, who has been owner and operator (along with his wife, Libby) of Barossa Daimler Tours since 1994.
Well that would certainly be different and memorable. So, we went for it and it was great!
After taking the train from Adelaide to the town of Gawler, we met John and his absolutely beautiful Daimler. This Daimler is very rare and one of the limousines used by the royal family to tour in the 60s. Just think, our butts sat on the same seat as the Queen of England!
Right away when we started talking to John we knew this was going to be fun and extremely informative. Not only was John very friendly, warm and exuberant, he was also extremely knowledgeable about wine throughout the world and particularly the Barossa.
Did you know that the Barossa Valley has some of the worlds oldest grape vines still producing? Or that the oldest surviving mouvedre grape vine was planted in Barossa in 1853?
We had requested that we visit some of the smaller wineries along our tour, particularly ones with limited export. Part of the experience we wanted was to taste wines we would be less likely to try if we weren’t in Australia. With this in mind, John brought us to Saint Halletts, Langmeil, and Greenock Creek. He also took us to Yalumba, a much larger winery with an amazing history.
Wine + Food
I need some food to go with all this wine!
Between wineries we had lunch at the very special Vintners restaurant. For our first course, Pete had the local goat curd, pickled shiso, raspberry and tomato, while I had the Venus Bay prawns, spring onion and ginger lime butter. For our second course, we both had snapper, pureed cauliflower and crispy prosciutto. What wine did we chose to go with this? Semillon. Everything was delicious! (Sorry no pics, we were too busy eating.)
To finish the day we stopped at Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop to enjoy smooth cappuccinos and fig cake. Maggie Beer is basically the Martha Stewart of Australia.
Hmmmm, do Australians say that Martha is the Maggie Beer of the USA?
So was the splurge worth it?
Most definitely! The day was everything we expected. We have a much greater appreciation for Australian wines. It’s not all the big Shiraz that we anticipated. I don’t think we have had a “cheap and cheery” wine since!
People ask us about getting souvenirs on the road and how we are going to carry them all with our 30L backpacks. The thing is, we are not big souvenir people. We would rather spend money on experiences rather than things, and this is a great example of that.
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