An eternel wines land, McLaren Vale of Australia 끝없는 와인의 땅, 맥라렌 베일

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Photos by Bae Doo Hwan

Bicycles riding (1)

Bicycles riding in McLaren Vale

McLaren Vale was much easier to visit on the second attempt because when you are traveling a place for the first time, you do get lost for a bit. So on our second visit, we were able to truly enjoy its wineries and local attractions. When we arrived the city center again, I realized just how lost we were when we first went there. It took us 2 hours on a bus then another 2 hours on foot. But this time, it took us only about an hour and half with a train and a bus without traffic jam to the city center.

Bicycles riding (2)

Bicycles riding in McLaren Vale

We have decided to ride bicycle around the wineries as we have been dreaming about ever since, but when we arrived at the bike shop, the door was shut with a simple note saying the shop owner was on a bike ride. With disappointment, we thought perhaps we could just walk around the winery again but then we have thought of the train restaurant we saw 3 days before. They happen to rent bicycles out too!

Bicycles riding (3)

Bicycles riding in McLaren Vale

It’s called Carriage Café. They charge AUS$7.00 per hour over minimum 3 hour rent, so it was basically AUS$21. The first place we wanted to go was about AUS$5 an hour so it was a bit more than what we had planned. But still it was better than nothing and we rented bicycles with gratitude. We had to write down our name and phone numbers but we are foreigners after all so it would be wise to bring passport.

Bicycles riding (4)

Bicycles riding in McLaren Vale

After all the trouble, we were finally ready to go…but my wife doesn’t know how to ride bicycles. Despite her “disability”, we rented 2 bicycles but she had to stop every 10km. To make things worse, it started to rain so I had to hold her bike, waited for her to catch up and so on.

I have been riding bicycle to school everyday since elementary school so I am pretty much an expert at this. So it was quite funny to watch her trying. I mean I laughed so hard my stomach started to hurt. But then again, I felt a bit sorry for my wife too. We weren’t moving as fast as we I hopped but we were moving forward slowly.

Serafino winery view (1)

Serafino winery view

Nothing could ruin our mood as long as we were riding along the winery. No one would say anything when we picked some grapes from massive grape field on the way. Soon enough, we had arrived at Serafino winery. It is so big it has its own cellar door, restaurant and accommodation.

I already felt like there was so much to see but I just couldn’t put everything on my camera before we even visited brewery. There is a giant park in the winery where a lot of geese were residing. I assumed perhaps that why the symbol of the winery is a goose. Among wine labels, there was one called Goose Island. We started tasting as soon as we had arrived.

Serafino winery view (2)

Serafino winery view

We must have been overly excited to try the winetasting overseas because we didn’t mind paying AUS$10 per glass. I feel like it was a bit of rip off now that I think about it. The name of that expensive wine was Serafino Terremotto Shiraz and it was a worth the price. It was about AUS$150 so it would have been about 300,000won in Korea. http://serafinowines.com.au/

Serafino winery view (3)

Serafino winery view

An Italian guy who immigrated to McLaren Vale in 1964 established Serafino winery. His full name is Serafino Maglieri, same as the winery. The story has it that he had only $20 in his pocket with 2 suits so it must have taken a lot of guts and bravery. He must be very proud of himself now that his business has been so successful. He had been working like dog at fruit farms and vineyards until he saved enough to start his own winery in 1972 and it’s been going on strong ever since.

Serafino winery view (4)

Serafino winery view

Serafino winery view (8)

Serafino winery view

I think we had had a few too many at our first winery visit. We were getting a bit tipsy. Still we weren’t too drunk to ride our bicycles back. The town has developed bicycle lane so well that you barely run into any cars. Also there is not that many people around so it is quite safe to ride bicycle around on a bit of wine. I just need to watch things for myself.

Primo Estate views (1)

Primo Estate views

Primo Estate views (2)

Primo Estate views

We kept on paddling until we were met with another winery after a wide plain field. It’s called Primo Estate. This area is full of grape vines and olive trees. It was easy to guess that they probably produce olive oil as well since the entrance of the vineyard was covered with olive trees. They also have beautiful cellar door and the staff at the door was unforgettably kind. He explained why the vineyard was so famous with an explanation of terroir. What I could remember was the soil condition.

Primo Estate views (6)

Primo Estate views

Primo Estate views (3)

Primo Estate views

He was more than happy to hand over the McLaren Vale soil composition map. It is still one of the most precious possessions of mine. Not only do they offer great wine but also you can taste olive oil as well and I ended up buying a bottle. https://www.primoestate.com.au/

Primo Estate views (7)

Primo Estate views

Primo Estate views (8)

Primo Estate views

Primo Estate was also established by an Italian family called Grilli. The family who immigrated to Australia in 1973 settled in SA then started their own vineyard. The Primo Estate now was actually established by his son Joseph. Joseph and his wife were quite famous for being the pioneer in winemaking business back in the 80s. They have introduced double pruning, Cordon cutting, Botrytis and many other techniques to McLaren Vale.

Primo Estate owns 15ha of vineyard in Virginia, 6.4ha in McLaren Vale and 12.6ha vineyard in Clarendon. Especially the vineyard in Clarendon (part of McLaren Vale) is at the altitude of 280m above sea level, which makes it such a special place to grow grapes. It was much more than what we had hopped for.

HARDY's winery view (1)

HARDY’s winery view

HARDY winery view (3)

HARDY’s winery view

After taking a lot of pictures and thinking about where to go after, my wife announced that she couldn’t move anymore. I wasn’t upset. I was actually proud of how far she had come with that bicycle skill. We had visited 2 wineries already and I thought that was more than enough for the day. It’s been almost 3 hours by then. We returned the bicycle and visited Hardy’s in the town.

Hardy’s is without an explanation is the McLaren’s must-visit place. We tasted a few wine that we had tried before then took a glass with us to have a picnic with our lunch box. There was a lot of wine that had better value than its price. We had good meal and readied for home. But how long would it have taken that time…

HARDY winery view (4)

HARDY’s winery view

HARDY winery view (5)

HARDY’s winery view

 

 

4235431452435Contributor, Bae Doo Hwan
He was a cultural journalist who worked at the best Korean wine magazine, ‘Wine Review’. After the wine journey, he manages a small wine bar ‘Vino Anotonio’ in Seoul as a freelancer wine columnist. http://blog.naver.com/baedoobaedoo

배두환 기자는 대한민국 최고의 와인매거진에서 와인, 다이닝 등 다양한 문화 이야기를 조명해왔다. 와인산지로 떠난 1년간의 여행 후 현재 와인바, ‘비노 안토니오’를 운영하며 프리랜서로 활동하고 있다. http://blog.naver.com/baedoobaedoo

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