We stopped in Adelaide for a few days, couchsurfing with Tony C. He’s a good guy, but like many Australians, he’s quite the character. Adelaide is one of those cities that at first glance is pretty, well-ordered and gives every outward appearance of a comfortable prosperity. People still say, “thank you” to the bus drivers here when they reach their destination. And indeed, Adelaide is in a bit of a bad spot. There isn’t enough water for South Australia’s growing population, and the economy isn’t growing as fast as it could be. It has the lowest average wage of all of Australia’s major cities and the highest unemployment rate. Young people have been moving to Melbourne, Sydney and Perth in search of better opportunities. Part of the problem is the country’s location. While Perth is often called the most isolated big city in the world, it’s still got a thriving port, a vibrant mining industry and access to world markets via the Indian Ocean. Likewise, Sydney and Melbourne are both closer to Pacific ports than Adelaide is. South Australia and Adelaide is an inconvenient distance from both hubs and from Darwin on the northern coast. There’s little incentive for companies to locate near Adelaide. I guess that’s why they make such good Shiraz and Riesling wines in the region. I managed to pick up a bottle of excellent Wolf Blass Shiraz when Tony, Julia and I popped into the winery one boozy afternoon.
On one end of the spectrum is d’Arenberg, which makes some knockout Shirazes and is currently building an ambitious piece of modern architecture called the Cube; when completed it will house a restaurant and cellar door where visitors will be immersed in a ‘wine fog.’ I had a lot of fun doing the blending course, in which you taste and learn about the juice that comes from different parcels and then craft your own wine.
After the fixtures at Adelaide Oval don't you dare step back to your hotel room. Adelaide Zoo Pandas. Well we all agree that they are the cutest. Make some time for these adorable bamboo suckers after your date with cricket.At the center of the city, Adelaide zoo is the second oldest zoo of Australia and is the only non profit one. It is the home for Australia's Pandas and is also a major attraction with over two thousand species.
Brash Higgins Wine Co
There are also avant-garde producers making wines you’ll likely never find at home, like Brash Higgins, where former New York sommelier Brad Hickey is making Zibibbo and Nero d’Avola in clay amphorae, or Primo Estate, a gorgeously modern winery where Joseph Grilli is showing what Australia can do with Sangiovese and Nebbiolo.
I loved the wines at Bekkers, stylistically some of the most elegant I tasted on my trip, like the 2013 Syrah with typical blackfruit and chocolate notes but an unusually perfumed nose, and fresh liveliness on the palate.I happened to be in McLaren Vale during the annual convention of the region’s winemakers. They gather under a big tent in a field, have lunch, and enter their wines in a competition judged by their peers. When I arrived the lunch was over, and the group was mingling over more wine and discussing the winner from SC Pannell, which took first with one of its Touriga blends. It was a true community gathering, and even though I was an interloper, I was welcomed with a hearty handshake and a glass. It felt so emblematic of this place, sophisticated but casual, serious but fun-loving. I couldn’t have enjoyed myself more.The DetailsGetting There- Adelaide is the gateway to South Australia, with frequent connections from other Australian cities.Hotels