Day 154: Wine and chocolate

It has been another eating kind of day as I headed from Adelaide down to Victor Harbour and have ended the day in Glenelg’s Bracegirdle’s.

After days of 42°C and 36°C today has been 17-18°C and a hot chocolate to warm up felt necessary.

Bracegirdle’s, despite sounding like the name of heavy-duty underwear, is an artisan chocolatier that opened in Glenelg in 2005.

It doesn’t appear to have expanded beyond this small beach town but is Australia’s most awarded artisan chocolatier securing major wins for its handmade chocolates in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Hobart and, of course Adelaide.

This had to be sampled

The drinking chocolate was light and fluffy though I actually felt like I was drinking a liquid rather than breathing in foam… and it tasted of chocolate rather than sugar.

It’s been another gruelling day.

Another gruelling day of sampling food and drink.

After spotting a koala in a tree by the road put of Adelaide, the first stop was Hahndorf.

The town was settled by Lutheran migrants largely from in and around a small village then named Kay in Prussia and now known as Kije in Poland.

Many of the settlers arrived aboard the Zebra on 28 December 1838.

The town is named after Dirk Meinerts Hahn, the Danish captain of the Zebra. It is Australia’s oldest surviving German settlement where traditional German food can be found, notably the cheesecake.

This generous, to say the least, serving of apple cheesecake was fabulous and was a great way to start a venture into a very soggy Hahndorf. (It will feature in the round up of Australian cakes so I won’t discuss it here).

Hahndorf is a very pretty town – original colonial buildings lining the Elm tree lined main street and it’s one of very few places where the trees are free of Dutch Elm Disease.

When the settlers arrived in Adelaide, which was colonised by free settlers rather than convicts, the intended travellers were advised to bring trees and plants as “there were none here”… not particularly accurate advice.

The landscape from Adelaide past Hahndorf to Victor Harbour is predominantly pastoral – rolling hills, pastureland grazed by cattle and sheep.

The rain rather limited my exploration of Victor Harbour which is the largest town on the Fleurieu Peninsula, around 50miles South of Adelaide.

The tram crossing to Granite Island.

On the way back, the journey took me through McLaren Vale which is a wine region about 24 miles south of the Adelaide city centre.

As I learned at the National Wine Centre yesterday, it is internationally renowned for the wines it produces and included within the Great Wine Capitals of the World.

There is some disagreement about who the region was named after: either David McLaren, the Colonial Manager of the South Australia Company or John McLaren (unrelated) who surveyed the area in 1839.

Although initially the region’s main economic activity was the growing of cereal crops, John Reynell and Thomas Hardy planted grape vines in 1838 and the present-day Seaview and Hardy wineries were in operation as early as 1850.

Grapes were first planted in the region in 1838 and some vines more than 100 years old are still producing.

Today there are more than 88 cellar doors in McLaren Vale. The majority are small family-run operations and boutique wineries.

I called in at Hardy’s Tintara Cellar Door for a wine tasting.

If I thought yesterday’s experience was good value… today’s only cost 5AUD and Harrison the barman explained the wines while I sampled the seven reds on the menu.

I ended up with an eighth because an extra bottle of Grenache was already open. It’s often a good idea to trail in after a (well-behaved) stag party.

And after that, I came down to Glenelg, where there is to be a Fatboy Slim gig on the beach.

How do I know this? I looked up why the pier had been closed.

Categories: Australia, Cake, TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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