ADELAIDE TOUR: DAY 3
Pick up a rental car from AVIS Australia (136 North Terrace) just a hop, skip and a jump from the InterContinental Adelaide, and head north on the Main North Road toward Gawler and the Barossa Valley. From Gawler take the B19 to Lyndoch and then head north toward Tanunda and the Jacob's Creek Winery Visitor Centre. The distance is 45 miles from Adelaide, which should take you about an hour. (For those who don't wish to drive, there are plenty of tour companies that offer day trips to the Barossa Valley including Life Is a Cabernet).
The Barossa is home to many of the rich Shiraz wines savored around the world, and crisply intense Rieslings so coveted by Australians that they seldom make it overseas. The Barossa was originally settled by German immigrants who cleared the land and planted grapes and vegetables from their homeland. The countryside of rounded hills and sweeping valleys changes with every season, and ensures wonderful scenery at every turn in the road.
At the Jacob's Creek Visitor Centre you can taste Jacob's Creek wines — one of Australia's most popular — and then visit the cellar doors of Grant Burge and Peter Lehman nearby, also award-winning wine labels. Lunch in style at the visitor's center, or head to Nuriootpa to Maggie Beer's Farm Shop, located on Pheasant Farm Road. Maggie Beer is a Barossa and Australian icon. She is an organic farmer, cookbook writer, entrepreneur and passionate cook. The shop features her products and serves light lunches based on her recipes. Try her internationally famous Pheasant Farm pate, and a variety of other Maggie grown or blessed items.
Following lunch, travel five miles to nearby Angaston, originally a British oasis in the Germanic Barossa. Today, it is a blend of both. If you happen to be there on a Saturday between 7:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m., head to the Barossa Farmers' Market where you might meet Maggie selling her products and home-grown chooks (chickens). While in Angaston stroll down the main street for some well-earned window shopping or to pick up an unusual gift for someone at home. Antiques and More at 24 is a lovely country antique store that sells everything from rustic furniture to china, glass and silverware. Don't miss the Angas Park Fruit Shop, renowned since 1911 for its dried and glace fruit.
For those who have the taste for some more wine sampling, Angaston is home to another great Australian winegrowing company, Yalumba. Located on Mount Pleasant-Angaston Road, Yalumba produces some of the world's finest wines.
From Angaston head to Springton, about 16 miles and 20 minutes away, where the Herbig Family Tree and Heritage Homestead Centre requires a stop. The homestead gives visitors a glimpse into the hardships of early white settlement in South Australia.
On your return journey to Adelaide you can stop en-route at Penfolds Magill Estate Winery for a sumptuous meal. The journey from Springton to Magill is about 37 miles, just under one hour in the car. Built as a showcase for Penfolds Wines, many of its products, including the world-class Grange, are available by the glass at this architecturally spectacular facility. The Penfolds Magill Estate sits majestically above five hectares of shiraz vines. Diners can select from degustation menus or à la carte, which change with the seasons. For starters the grilled and marinated South Australian King George Whiting with creamy corn purée and sugar snaps are popular while for mains it's hard to go past the slow roasted vegetable cannelloni paired with a 2007 Penfolds Bin 51 Eden Valley Riesling. Don't forget your credit card if you want a little memento of your Penfolds experience. The Grange Hermitage range doesn't come cheap.
After a freshen up, why not hit the town for your final night at Mars Bar (120 Gouger St.), Adelaide's only recognized gay nightclub? Mars Bar is open Thursday through Saturday from 9 p.m. to late (5 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays), and includes a rooftop garden bar, kitchen bar with antique chairs and, of course, a dance floor where you can shake it all night long.
This is a memorable way to conclude your 72 hours in and around the city of Adelaide.
(Updated: 08/29/13 CT)