Can I just cut to the chase and tell you guys that this IS the blog post that I am HIGHLY excited about, as in this entry, I am going to share you guys my full experience visiting the city of Adelaide, Australia with DSP Lifestyle for an exclusive winery trip! This post is also going to be a short (if not, very short) travel guide to Adelaide, but disclaimer as the whole entry is going to be photo heavy but I’ll make the flow easy to follow.
Took the red eye flight from Jakarta-Singapore-Adelaide with Singapore Airlines, the flight time from Jakarta to Singapore was 1,5 hours, followed by a 2-hour layover before flying for another 6 hours from Singapore to Adelaide. This was not my first time to the beautiful land of Australia, but it was the first time for Adelaide, and yes I was very excited! It was indeed a tiring flight (also because I can NEVER sleep on the plane) but it was so nice to finally have my feet on the other part of the world, and not to mention, a beautiful laid back city in the Winter :).
We arrived in Adelaide around 7 AM, then proceed to the hotel where it took us around 20 minutes (if I’m not mistaken) to reach, we stayed at Pullman Adelaide and boy I am so recommending this hotel for everyone who’s looking for a city hotel with awesome location as it’s so near to some of Adelaide’s tourist attractions like Rundle Mall: a shopping boulevard in Adelaide where you can find various restaurants, fashion stores, shopping mall, chemists, coffee shops, and more! I WENT THERE EVERY SINGLE DAY, mainly for the Cibo Espresso (which got recommended by many as one of the best coffee shops in Adelaide) and Chemist Warehouse (the CHEAPEST place to shop for skincare, toiletries and vitamins in Australia).
In total, it was a very short visit here in Adelaide, just THREE DAYS, but the first day was a whole free day so we went on a random trip to the free-range zoo to check out some “friends”, followed by a stop at Cibo and dinner at Little NNQ which got lingered in my mind until now! Anyway since the team was super nice for arranging early check in, we checked in to our rooms around 8 AM and I literally dozed off the moment I slept on that uber comfy bed, it was an undisturbed 3 hours of sleep before I woke up and get ready to be picked up at 12 PM for the zoo trip!
Found this diner next to the hotel and I mean, while in Australia: DRINK AS MANY SOY LATTE AS I WANT!!! For as cheap as AUD 4, a large cup of soy latte with Snickers on the side as complimentary.
I woke up and finished getting ready by 11:30 AM so I thought I might check out the Rundle Mall since I have another 30 minutes to kill, strolled around and took some quick pics.
Rundle Mall that morning, quite hectic. PS: Chemist Warehouse is located on the LG fl of David Jones, across the Regent Arcade!
Cibo Espresso, claimed by many as one of the best specialty coffee in Adelaide.
GORGE WILDLIFE PARK
It was around 30 minute drive from the Adelaide CBD to reach Gorge Wildlife Park, a free range zoo located in Cudlee Creek where visitors can have direct interaction with most of the animals (with the exception of the ones best kept with distance for the best of both visitors and animals), but if your main goal is to interact and have some pictures with the koala and kangaroo (esp. for first timers), you can do it here! The trip to Gorge Wildlife Park is not included in our initial itinerary, more like a sudden random trip to kill the whole free day before diving to our main activities starting the next day. I think we paid around 80$ per person (not sure if it’s for the ticket alone or including the car rental service and tip that day). I recommend you guys booking the private tour for the guaranteed access to the koala and have pictures with them, since you pretty much need the help from the guide to have pictures with the koala and to help you distract the koala with things like eucalyptus so that they behave and stay still while you’re taking pictures.
For more details of Gorge Wildlife Park -> HERE
Animal food (AUD 2.5/pack) – safe mixed grain and pellets!
It was my FIRST TIME meeting albino kangaroo!!! They’re adorable.
The small kangaroo like animal called Wallaby
Is this kangaroo or wallaby? 😉
…also my first time seeing the Little Blue Penguins!!! This particular penguin kind is claimed to be the smallest penguins.
Back to the CBD after visiting Gorge Wildlife Park to fulfil the craving for good coffee and one that’s highly recommended by a lot of my followings on Instagram (hey thank you!): CIBO ESPRESSO! It was indeed a good coffee, can’t quickly jump in the conclusion to crown this the best in Adelaide since I barely had time to explore more of Adelaide food and coffee scene due to the limited time on this trip, but what I can tell you is that their coffee is indeed GOOD! Dark roasted, medium bodied one with fresh smooth aftertaste.
After the quick coffee break, we need to have delicious closure for the night so we had dinner at another highly recommended Vietnamese restaurant located around Adelaide’s chinatown called Little NNQ and OH MY GOODNESS the food here was A-MA-ZING! Literally had no complaint towards the food, Asian food is always a yes for me, even more when they’re bold and reminds me of home. I really like the fried rice, their pho and pork belly here! RECOMMENDED!!!
Another morning in Australia = another morning coffee. I just realized that there’s also another coffee shop next to the hotel which carried Campos coffee, here’s a quick tip: if you’re in Australia and happen to stumble upon a coffee shop with the brand Campos supporting it, then short to say, good coffee guaranteed.
Our itinerary for the second day is to come and check out Wolf Blass winery and their visitor center, now this marks the start of the glorious amount of wine that I had in Adelaide! I mean, this is a WINE trip right? So brace yourself for a lot of wines that I’m going to share you guys! First stop, Barossa Valley! Wolf Blass is an Australian winery that was established in 1966 by Wolfgang Blass, he started his career as a wine maker before slowly building the Wolf Blass brand to an empire that it is now. It was an exciting moment that day as we were scheduled to have the exclusive wine tasting session with Wolf Blass’ very own reputable wine maker: Chris Hatcher, who at one moment crowned the wine maker of the year! #proud
It was a 1 hour drive from our hotel to the Barossa Valley which was located at the North East part of Adelaide, and before you see the pictures apology for the lack of green, since Australia was on their winter by the time of my visit. It might look sunny and dry but it was actually FREEZING! Here we met Simon, the representative of Wolf Blass who was so helpful in giving us the tour as well as explaining a lot about Wolf Blass.
Barossa Valley is sort of like this heaven where some of the best full bodied Shiraz are produced. Brief info: it takes a special kind of grape to produce wine, it’s called Vitis Vinifera.
Simon brought a special surprise for us that morning, Wolf Blass Platinum Label Medlands Vineyard Shiraz 2014, may I need to remind you that anytime is wine o’clock here in Adelaide!
Simon then escorted us to the Wolf Blass factory where the magic happens, where the freshly picked grapes turned into some of their best selling red wines and champagnes. I can’t let you in with the details of their production process (and another reason why you should experience yourself), but there are certain things that I can share to you, mainly about how wines are produced and what differentiate red and white wines!
So what makes red and white wine different? Red wines got the color from the juice fermentation along with the skin and the seeds, while white wines are pressed off of the skin and the seed before being fermented, and fermentation turns the sugar to alcohol. 1 ton of grapes can produce around 940 bottles of red wine.
If you notice the smoke, the machine cleaning process was happening that day and the picture below is the special area where some of their premium wines are created.
If you notice the codes on the barrells below, it’s there for a reason, the letter F represents the kind of barrells which is (F)rench, and if you happen to see A, that means it’s (A)merican barrell! So what the exactly is the difference between American oak and French oak for barrels? American oak tends to be more intensely flavored with this sweet vanilla undertone where the French oak tends to transmit a sensation of light sweetness with fruity flavors for the palate (for example that ripe red fruit in red wines).
Here’s a trivia for you guys: each regular barrell is purchased for $1500/each, while the bigger one below is purchased for $40.000 each!
Pic doesn’t do the justice until me standing beside for comparison! It’s HUGE!!!
Next, we were escorted to the Wolf Blass packaging department where we briefly experienced the bottling of the wine to the packaging process before being shipped to the market. I don’t know why, but I am always captivated by factories and the machines, just something about how they’re programmed, how they’re so precise in the placement, the printing and everything, and the repetition has almost this ASMR vibe that I genuinely like, just so soothing, maybe some of you can’t relate or don’t even get what I am talking about, it’s just me HAHAHA!
Appreciate how we were allowed to take pictures inside as long as we didn’t take pictures of the staffs for personal issue, and I have to oblige to that, I noticed that the process, starting from the filling of the wine to the bottles, to the labelling, packaging and sealing didn’t take so long, and not to mention, very neat, very clean, very hygiene and all proper.
Special edition Wolf Blass Shiraz when they were the official partner of Manchester United.
Wines being packed to the box and sealed.
Wolf Blass visitor center monument!
On the agenda next was the private wine tasting session with the one and only Chris Hatcher!!! He has honored the crown as the winemaker of the year, it was an honor meeting him and he was so humble and friendly in person!!!
The tasting room was located at the back of the wine store, a lot of wines to choose and bring back home, I initally wanted to buy more to give my relatives and friends but the custom goods in Indonesia can sometimes be the pain in the ass so I ended buy buying two for my dad (because he’s such an avid fan of wine!)
THE WOLF BLASS BLACK LABEL! Hashtag #ICON! If you notice the trophies displayed on the picture below, they’re almost like the oscar for wines and Wolf Blass Black Label has won four times!!!
8 wines to sample! We had the Yellow Label Riesling, Yellow Label Chardonnay, Yellow Label Merlot, Yellow Label Shiraz (all 2017), followed by 2016 Gold Label Chardonnay, 2015 Gold Label Shiraz and 2014 Black Label Cabernet Sauvignon and the iconic 2014 Platinum Label Shiraz! Hands down my favorite has got to be the 2014 Black Label!!!
2017 Yellow Label Riesling, another favorite of mine for the lightness of it.
Such a missed opportunity not to buy some wines here. I got my dad some Black Labels!
It was very nice of Simon to host us a lunch at this gorgeous restaurant called Salter’s Kitchen after a quite long day browsing Wolf Blass sites, just something romantic about the lunch that day as the rain was pouring and the weather was so chill, and that makes another reason to have wine all the time when in Adelaide… to keep you warm!
Had their Rib Eye and red wine to pair. Combo!
My visit to Penfolds has got to be the highlight of the trip, but don’t get me wrong, I love Adelaide in general, but if you ask me to name the special part of my trip, then this has to be it (and only 15 minutes drive from Adelaide CBD). Let me start with how stunned I was upon entering the Penfolds Magill Estate winery, it was GORGEOUS! Literally estate like, and we arrived just in time around the golden hour so before the estate tour began, we had some time to enjoy the gorgeous golden hour slowly shifted to one of the most wonderful sunset I’ve ever seen with my bare eye (no kidding), took some pictures for you guys to see but really, my pictures don’t do any justice just how gorgeous the sunset was!
Magill Estate is the only single vineyard that they do and they’re making sure that they have enough high quality fruit to produce top notch wines needed, say hello to their signature Grange, Bins Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and more on that as you read!
Dr. Penfolds’ cottage
Penfolds Magill Estate – 2015 Shiraz
Gorgeous dawn hour at Penfolds Magill Estate!
Magill Estate Restaurant where we had dinner that night, keep reading as I’m going to talk about that later.
Let me introduce you guys to Zoe Warrington, our ‘tour-guide’ for that evening, but no, but she’s not exactly a tour guide, she’s infact one of the Penfolds’ beloved ambassador! First, she brought us to tour the Dr. Penfolds’ cottage aka where Dr. Penfolds and family used to live.
The cottage was constructed in 1845 and half was built underground to keep it cool during summer and warm during winter, so don’t judge the short appearance of the cottage. Most of the details in the cottage were original pieces like Dr. Christopher Penfolds’ very own glasses, handwritten notes, books, to the authentic tea sets and utensils from that time, visiting the cottage was almost like this trip to the past with Christopher, Mary and family, and fast forward now, Dr. Penfolds must have been so proud for building a brand whose identity is so close to the country, almost like when you think of awesome wine you think of Penfolds. May he rest in peace.
Next, Zoe welcomed us to a little journey to the underground (read: basement) where the beautiful Penfolds wine cellar is, there were rooms filled with vintage barrells, some artworks and certain areas where they keep their vintage wines!
We also went to Grange cellar and for those who are not aware, Grange is one of the most iconic wine creations created by Penfolds’ first chief winemaker (by 1948 at the age of 33), Max Schubert.
“All wine makers should possess a good fertile imagination if they are to be successful in their craft”
– Max Schubert
After travelling to Spain, Portugal and Paris to investigate the wine making practices in each country, long story short, back in 1951, Max was inspired to make something different, a drink so unique that it’s so Max Schubert and his very first signature experimental wine was finished, rumor has it that the very first Grange is sold for around AUD 100.000! Grange is now one of the most iconic wines in the market, their 2008 Vintage was scored the perfect 100 by two of the world’s most influential wine magazines.
For those who are interested in reading more details about THE Grange -> HERE
The very first Grange created by Max Schubert, gave this photo the vintage grading and edit to live up the authenticity hahaha!
After touring the winery, vintage cellar and brief underground drives, it’s time for the wine tasting at the newly redeveloped Cellar Door!
Our very own table mat for the wines!
The wines that we had on the wine-tasting session! We got to sample 2017 Bin 51 Riesling, 2016 Max’s Chardonnay Adelaide Hills, 2015 Max’s Cabernet Sauvignon South Australia, 2015 Bin 128 Shiraz Coonawara and 2015 Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz South Australia. My favorite one has got to be the Bin 128 Shiraz!
Family photo! Yours truly was the one taking the photo!
The wine tasting was fun, but don’t get too excited as the wine pairing dinner is coming next at Magill Estate restaurant located just across the winery.
The interior of the Magill Estate restaurant was gorgeous, I love the simplicity of the overall look, it speaks neat, fancy, intimate, especially after the vineyard facing view with sparkling city lights, and it was just right. Anyway, reservation is highly suggested if you want to dine here, and prepare around $400/person for the 9-course tasting menu, yup not the cheapest I know, but for the sake of experience, I would.
The wines we drank with the dinner that night! From left to right:
Penfolds Reserve Bin Riesling, Bin 23, 2016 Cellar Reserve Grenache, 2007 Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon and Father Grand Tawny!
Now the dinner has gotta be another highlight of mine as it was my first time having lamb brain amuse bouche, I thought it was going to be greasy, smelly and displeasing, but it was actually pretty good! No odor, fresh, creamy, almost like having foie gras, but without the exact same flavor, yet smoother and creamier in texture.
Liver Cream Puff
Complimentary bread with olive oil dipping
Tuna, Egg Yolk, Grains and Seeds
2010 Bin 23 Pinot Noir
A dish that good it’s so memorable! The tuna was uber fresh, uber smooth yet light in flavor and on my palate, it’s also a wonderful play of texture from the creamy runny eggyolk along with the grains and seeds for extra crunch! The Pinot Noir was the perfect match for this kind of appetizer.
Lamb, Yogurt, Cucumber and Mint
2007 Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon
Never the biggest lamb fan BUT when the chef knows how to cook it perfectly, I would convert, and this one is the good example of how a good lamb should be cooked! The perfect temperature to start with, beautifully ‘medium’ just how I want it, and most importantly: THE SMELL! It’s almost impossible to wipe off all of the lamb scent from the meat, but this one was fresh, doesn’t have this overly strong aroma, tender, simple with yogurt, cucumber and meat to accompany, and yet again, another perfect choice for this kind of protein: the Bin 407 Cabernet Sauvignon!!!
Pear, Ginger Bread, Honey Ice Cream
Father Grand Tawny
I remember this one was everyone’s favorite, the honey ice cream was GENIUS! The pear and ginger bread combo was altogether play of texture, aroma and flavor!
Overall, the dinner was fabulous, nothing minor to say about the dinner and the wine, it was just so vibey (and cool) that having wine is just mandatory, even for the sake of experiencing, the dinner was worth trying.
Tried to look online and this upcoming July 28th, they’re actually having the Truffle Dinner (with 5-course truffle tasting menu) celebrating the truffle season in Adelaide, for more details click on this link
The fun didn’t end on the dinner, apparently the Pullman PR contacted and wanted to host us for a quick farewell dinner before leaving Adelaide the next day, so we all spent a couple of hours on the Pullman’s lounge to have some (more) wines and cocktails! Thank you so much for the hospitality!!!
Our flight back home the next day was super early, it was 4:30 AM that we had to reach the airport and flew back, it was a short visit and nope, it wasn’t enough for me personally! I am so coming back to Adelaide and check out more of what they have in store and fell in love with it deeper! One thing that I know for sure after joining the tours and witnessing some of the process and all, I kinda understand why certain wines can get very expensive (or why premium wines are generally expensive), IT’S THE PRODUCTION PROCESS THAT IS TAKING A LOT OF TIME AND EFFORT!!! Not to mention you have to wait for the grape season, also it takes decades to build a brand that’s so consistent to the quality of the products, it takes a lot of human resources, on certain years the barrells needed to be changed and NOT CHEAP, the historical background that you can never get over with, and when you talk about quality, you can’t bargain.
One of the most frequently asked questions about my trip to Adelaide is how to get the access to tour the winery like I did, well, you can actually do the booking online, make appointment and specifically for the restaurant, reservation is required, as the kitchen needs to prepare the ingredients and not to mention, the menus were rotated.
Thank you DSP Lifestyle for this awesome trip! I am just so so grateful!
…and thank you guys for reading this blog post!
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