Mclaren Vale South Australia

Jan Leeming

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McLaren Vale - South Australia

Date: 22nd December 2015

McLaren Vale

We set off with Jonathan's friends to do a Wine Tour of McLaren Vale and were to visit at least 5 Vineyards and then have lunch at the Currant Shed. (Just a thought but I wondered if the name of the restaurant was a play on words - grapes make wine and shrivelled grapes make Currants!!)

I don't remember the name of the first Winery as I was intent on having a coffee and have to pace myself if I'm going to do a tasting. We then went to the Brash Higgins Wine Company and stayed put for the next 3 hours. Brad Higgins is from the USA and calls himself a Vinitor. He worked in various roles in the US as well as being a Somelier.

Coming over to Australia, he worked on various vineyards and finally met and married a lovely widow - so he got the woman and the vineyard. He is engaging in many experimental practices with his wines, grafting and organics but what attracted me the most was his Amphorae in which he stores certain of his wines. The Amphorae are huge and are thrown by a local pottery - a small person could actually get into one so how on earth the potter managed to make them is something of a mystery. The pots are coated inside with beeswax to arrest their porosity and then the wine is laid to rest as per the norm.

Brad is passionate about his Organic wine making and talked to us in terminology we could understand. I didn't realise that it is possible to cut down old vines and then graft new vines onto them thus shortening the usual process of establishing a crop from the traditional 7 years to 2. We stayed with Brad so long the restaurant had to be phoned and we had to beg that they would let us in late for our lunch.

I'm glad we were allowed to keep our reservation because the Currant Shed turned out to be an absolute delight - the food was innovative and served superbly. I used my 'proper' camera for photos at the vineyard so can't get them onto my IPad. The Sony does take much better photos than my IPhone but unfortunately I won't be able to illustrate my Blogs until I get back to the UK - so watch this space.

Brad's Amphorae

McLaren Vale - South Australia

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