SA Day Trip Adventures
By Franz Scheurer
One of the countless wonderful things about Adelaide is its proximity to so many 
different wine areas. In less than fifty minutes you can be in the McLaren Vale 
and the Adelaide Hills are almost a suburb of the city. The Barossa and Eden 
Valley are an hour away and Watervale and the Clare Valley a mere ninety 
minutes. For a visitor to the city this is ideal as you can easily explore on 
daytrips. Every time you do, you’ll find something new.
Olssens of Watervale
Tucked away and hidden in a beautiful little side valley this vineyard is hard to find but 
well worth the effort. Look out for Stephen Johns’ winery then follow the dirt road up and 
over the hill. This will eventually lead you to Olssens. They offer three different Rieslings, 
a fresh, crisp 2002 with a strong citrus flower bouquet and a wonderfully focused acidity, 
which will mature exceptionally well, the 2001, a little less focused, flintier with good 
fruit / acid balance and a terrific 1998, still wonderfully fresh and youthful but displaying 
some of the toasty characters without the so often present kerosene notes, making it a 
terrific food wine. Olssens offer a 2001 Merlot, a 1999 Cabernet Blend 
(Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot) and 2002 Shiraz. The 100% Merlot is a 
jammy, fruit-laden, forward and mouth-filling wine with red berries, violets and cherry 
aromas held together by fine tannins, showing a remarkable balance. Like a voluptuous 
redhead this wine will tease you, lead you astray and call you back for more. The Cabernet 
Blend is tight und unapproachable at this stage with the promise of something really special 
for the few who will be patient enough to lay this wine down for at least 15 years. Varietally 
true, it displays tobacco, cigar box, black current and mace with minty overtones. This is a 
Bordeaux style wine made in a way they have not made it in Bordeaux for nigh on 30 years. 
At $ 20 single bottle price this is a bargain for the serious cellar. Olssens also own a small 
vineyard at Bass Hill that includes the first commercial plantings of Carmenère, Primitivo 
di Gioia and some new Riesling clones from Alsace and Triers. Over the years this will no 
doubt lead to some more complex Rieslings and different and interesting wines. The 
Olssens Shiraz is a blend of fruit from Bass Hill and Watervale and is soft and approachable, 
ready to drink now. 
For more information or orders:
Olssens of Watervale
Phone/Fax: 08 8843 0065
Corella Hill Studio
As you drive to Olssens you will find a dirt road turn off to the left, leading up the hill, about 
halfway between St. Johns Wines and Olssens. It is signposted and is the domain of painter 
extraordinaire Murray Edwards. Murray has captured the soul of Clare and surrounding areas 
on canvas in a way that moves you. The depth of expression that speaks to you from his 
creations is astounding. Pastels, oils, acrylic and charcoal they all have a life of their own. 
Now I realise that perception of art is even more individual than the appreciation of wine 
but everyone I have ever taken there has enjoyed the visit tremendously. 
For more information or commissions:
Corella Hill Studios
Mr. Murray Edwards
08 8843 0036
With the outskirts of the Flinders Ranges becoming a fledgling wine area the town of Burra 
should soon see a lot more traffic than it does today. A beautifully preserved old mining town 
with oodles of character, this place is a treasure trove of old buildings, abandoned mines, 
artefact of a bygone era and lots of quirky locals. I particularly like the idea of being able 
to purchase a key for a day, which opens all the historic sites. (Available from the Tourist 
Information in the centre of town) Its a 40 minutes drive around, but having the key for the 
day means that you can do this at your own pace. It’s very good value for money and a great 
way to take in some of South Australia’s forgotten history. On your way South out of Burra,
turn left just after the hospital and look for a sign pointing you to Thorogoods of Burra. 
Follow that sign!
Thorogoods of Burra
Tony and Susan Thorogood established an apple orchard in Burra in 1990, growing varieties 
such as Gravensteiner (an early Swiss variety), Coxs Orange Pibbin, Foxwhelp, Kingston Black 
(all English cider apples) and Yarlington Mill (reputed to grow on roofs of old mills). Tonys 
English background soon demanded some cider and they started to make it for home consumption. 
Experimenting with different production methods changed a hobby into a passion and culminated 
in todays venture growing more than 70 varieties of apples and producing a myriad of products, 
amongst them an Apple Sparkling (made by the méthode champenoise, or should I say 
traditional method to keep the French happy), different liqueurs, apple wine and even a couple 
of different apple beers. Tonys passion is absolute. His enthusiasm is infectious and he is more 
than happy to show you production methods, cellar, equipment, orchard or whatever might take 
your interest. One word of warning: He wont let you spit and as there are a lot of products to 
sample (and many of them at 18% alcohol) so youd better assign a designated driver before you 
start the tasting. His products are unbelievably good. His sparkling is a feast for the nose, yeasty, 
luscious and fruit-driven on the palate and showing off a fabulous bead. A real pleasant drink 
presenting a serious challenge to many sparkling wines and Champagnes out there in the market 
place. His dry apple wine could fool quite a few wine-buffs in a blind tasting and his apple liqueur 
is the perfect complement to Tim Pak Poy’s Pear Soufflé at Claudes. Interestingly, as these products 
are naturally oxidising during the fermentation process they have a much longer life than wine, 
once the bottle has been opened. He also makes an apricot / apple liqueur with a surprising balance 
between tart and sweet. They even offer a cooking cider for all the English chefs out there and it 
will certainly enrich a dish of Moules Marinières cooked the way they do in the Normandy. Prices 
are very reasonable and Tony is happy to accept mail, telephone and Internet orders and will ship 
the good to where ever you live.
From more information or orders:
Thorogoods of Burra
08 8892 2669
Spoehr Creek Wines
Pibbin in the Adelaide Hills used to make a very good rosé from Pinot Noir grapes and I wondered 
what happened to the vineyard when I stumbled onto Spoehr Creek Wines, not realising that this was 
the original Pibbin site, purchased by Margie Ringwood and Philip Reid in 2001, right in the middle of 
vintage. They inherited a Pinot and lots of Merlot (some of the sparkling merlot only being offered 
for sale in a couple of weeks time) and are offering a 2002 Viognier, Chardonnay and Grenache Rosé 
and now theyre first 
Sauvignon Blanc 2003. All their wines are bottled under stelvin (applause!) and the Sauvignon Blanc ($ 18) 
is particularly clean and refreshing, with a varietally true nose of gooseberry and asparagus, lots of 
the same on the palate with some grapefruit and preserved lemon thrown in for good measure and a 
clean, clear finish with just the right amount of acid. This is a really good wine to be enjoyed on its 
own or with a plate of freshly shucked oysters!
For more information or orders:
Spoehr Creek Wines
08 8398 0884
A visit to Adelaide is hardly complete without a lunch at the Star of Greece at Port Willunga 
(highly recommended) and on the way, a short stretch after the strange phenomena called 
the M2 expressway, (it is a three lane, one directional highway that is open going south in the 
morning and open going north in the afternoon) you'll see a sign-posted turn-off to your left to Fox Creek. 
Fox Creek Winery
This winery is mainly known in Sydney for Shiraz but a visit to cellar door will teach you that they 
have a lot more to offer. It’s true, their Shiraz is wonderful. The Fox Creek 2002 Short Row Shiraz 
has been judged the Best Wine at the 2003 McLaren Vale Wine Show; no mean feat, pitted against 
545 other McLaren Vale wines. On arrival you might be greeted by Shadow, the winery dog and I 
suggests you try his namesake the Shadows Run 2002, ($ 12) an easy drinking red 
(Shiraz - Cabernet Sauvignon Blend) with lots of character. Fox 
Creeks Sauvignon Blanc ($ 16) is another winner. It is not quite as herbaceous as some of the cool 
climate examples but fruit is very well developed and there is enough clean acid to balance. Bottled 
under stelvin this and the Shadow’s Run are very good value for money. Fox Creeks Verdelho, ($ 16) 
made since 1995, ages surprisingly well and rewards a 4 to 5 year cellaring with complexity whilst 
holding on to its fruit freshness remarkably well. Six of the reds are available in Magnums. 
For more information or orders:
Fox Creek Winery
08 8556 2403