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Swirl, Sniff, Spit – Day Tripping in McLaren Vale, South Australia

By Blondeambition @BrookeFalvey

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As I previously mentioned here, I spent a long weekend in Adelaide in January for my mate Elisa’s wedding. It was a memorable weekend and not just because of the wedding (ladies flashing their lady parts at me .. go back and read this post for more).

Not only was it my first to Radelaide (as the locals call it), it was also my first time visiting a winery and there’s a very good reason for this—I generally  don’t drink wine. Champagne, yes. Wine, no.

It doesn’t matter if it’s white or red, the smell alone is enough to make me squirm and bring back patchy memories of my cousins’ 21st birthday when I got a little over excited and mixed white wine, red wine, a few sneaky Stoli’s and some vodka and orange. Then shook it all up on the dance floor.

As you can imagine, within a couple of hours—and after a cab ride home from the city, it all made a reappearance and it wasn’t pretty.

As a result, I was more than happy to be the designated driver for our day trip to McLaren Vale as long as we got to stop for lunch. And ice-cream. And visit the beach.

And so it was, that Resh, Fitzy and I left the bright lights of Adelaide’s CBD (does it event count as a CBD … I’m not sure) behind us and headed for the lush green hills of wine country.


Serafino Winery.

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Serafino Winery, McLaren Vale.

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Chapel Hill Winery.

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The best Thai beef salad I’ve ever eaten, from Red Poles Cafe on McMurtrie Rd.

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Looking pretty happy and it was only our first stop!

We made a couple of stops along the way, but it was Coriole Vineyards that won my heart.

Situated in the undulating hills of the densely planted McLaren Vale region, Coriole is within sight of the sea and less than an hour from Adelaide.

Established by the Lloyd Family in 1967, the vineyard boasts farmhouses built in 1860, which now form the epicentre of the garden, cellar door and restaurant area, while the original vineyards were planted immediately after the first world war.

From what I recall (and it has been a couple of months) the main variety of wine produced at Coriole is Shiraz, followed by Sangiovese and Chenin Blanc.

Unlike our experience at Serafino, where the staff member handing the Cellar Door Tastings was disinterested to the point of almost being rude, the Cellar Door Sales Assistant Velvet couldn’t have been more helpful.

As bottle after bottle was opened for tasting, Velvet brought out a platter of Coriole’s locally made cheese and olives.

Velvet explained the soil around the vineyard is mostly a clay and limestone mix and that their Galaxidia Shiraz is their wine with the least intervention, coming from a single vineyard with 15-year-old vines.

She also explained to us that the Lloyd Shiraz (also produced by Coriole) comes from vines which were first planted in 1919. It now sells for $85 a bottle.

Anyway, that’s enough of the words. Thanks for being so entertaining, Velvet … you made learning about wine fun (even for a designated driver!).

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Fitzy and Resh.


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Fresh grapes on vines dating back to 1919.

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Lloyd Shiraz sells for $85 a bottler … and boasts vines originally planted in 1919.

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And, as promised, we finished the road trip with an ice-cream and a trip to see the ocean.

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The world's worst attempt at a synchronised jump.

The world’s worst attempt at a synchronised jump.

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