heard about SA

A local explorer, venturing out to find ALL of the things in South Australia!

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Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre

Banrock Station

Sometimes a brand can be so completely familiar to you that you really don’t think about it at all. It’s just always been there, in your peripheral, never really coming into focus because, you know, it’s always been there.

This is what Banrock Station was like for me. A name so familiar I never thought twice about it. I knew nothing about it other than the fact that I always saw Banrock Station wine around the place. I didn’t even know where Banrock Station was. It was just there.

On a recent trip home from interstate, BW pointed out that we were going to drive past Banrock Station’s cellar door, stated that it was supposed to have an amazing view and asked if wanted to stop in. Never one to say no to a winery visit, we pulled off the main road and wove our way along the dirt road that led to this never-before-considered cellar door.

Set in the middle of nowhere, overlooking a wetland, Banrock Station does indeed have an amazing view, reminiscent somewhat of Maggie Beer’s in the Barossa but on a much larger scale. The Wetland Circuit at Banrock Station is an 8km round trek but there are two shorter options if you don’t have that much time to spare and, during our visit, we overheard a young family exclaiming about all of the wildlife they saw on their little jaunt around the wetlands. It sounded impressive!

With only enough time to sample some wine before we needed to hit the road again, BW and I tucked into a few tastings with the friendly ladies behind the bar and I have to say, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much of their wine I really enjoyed. Another very, very pleasant surprise was the phenomenal discount you get if you join as a VIP member of Banrock Station – a thing you can only do if you happen to make the journey out there to see them in person. We’re talking 50% discounts on some of their wines people! I kid you not.

And why wouldn’t you make the journey out there? If good wine and amazing views with wildlife-filled walks weren’t your thing, I hear that the food they serve up is amazing. Completely worth the three hour drive from Adelaide (if that’s where you happen to be originating from) is the rumour, which I will be sure to test out at my earliest available opportunity. In fact, the lovely ladies serving us advised that several groups of people make a day of journeying out to see them for lunch. It’s gotta be good to warrant a six hour return trip, right?

Banrock Station Wine & Wetland Centre can be found 34km east of Waikerie. Here’s a handy little map for you.

They’re open every single day from 9am except for Good Friday, Christmas and New Years Day. For the exact hours of operation of the cafe and the wine centre itself, check out the web site here.

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Mollydooker 2012 Velvet Glove

Mollydooker Velvet Glove

“Pull my tongue out and stroke it… With a velvet glove” – Fab

And so our tasting of Mollydooker’s premier wine, the (2012) Velvet Glove, began.

I have been looking forward to cracking open this amazing bottle of shiraz for well over six months now and without a slither of a doubt, it was worth every single staring-longingly-at-the-bottle-micro-second of the long, long wait. The packaging alone was tempting enough, having arrived in a beautiful black box decorated with shiny, black swirls and rich, gold writing. We opened up the box to find the gorgeously shaped bottle inside, luxuriously labelled with velvet, which none of us could stop stroking. It sounds a little wrong, I know, but trust me… It was so, so right.

We decanted this little bottle of mana for optimum effect and we were not in any way disappointed, other than with the fact that there wasn’t more of it. The Velvet Glove fills your mouth and gives you the sensation of having your tongue and cheeks coated with soft, smooth satin. With caramel (possibly delicious burnt caramel) on the nose, there’s a certain creamy ‘condensed milk’ feel to the wine as you taste it. Full of cherry and other red and dark berry fruits, this wine also delivers elements of chocolate and cinnamon in a perfect combination. It’s smooth. It’s full-bodied. It’s vanilla and spice. It’s quaffable. It is faultless.

The 2012 Velvet Glove has a 96% fruit weight, which means that this wine coats almost your entire palate in velvet, sending you packing to your happy place, before you even begin to experience any of its the structural components. Awarded 97 points by the Wine Advocate and 96 by the Wine Spectator, this is the wine you want to pull out when you’re looking for that ‘wow’ factor.

As we sipped and savoured our way through our bottle of Velvet Glove, we were constantly amazed at its silkiness and in awe of the way that every mouthful brought yet another rich, full flavour to our palates. With comments like “700ml is just not enough” and “words cannot describe it”, it is no wonder we were clinging to our glasses, hoping for their contents to never run out.

So, if I can offer any advice with respect to Mollydooker’s Velvet Glove, unless you covet that whole “wanting more” feeling, it would be to make a somewhat obvious observation: gloves really do work best in pairs.

If you feel the need to either impress or be impressed, you can pick up a bottle of Mollydooker’s Velvet Glove from their lovely cellar door on Coppermine Road, or right here online. At $185 per bottle it’s certainly not one you will serve often, but you will most definitely look forward to those occasions when you do.

Mollydooker and Heard About SA are working in partnership for this review series, with Mollydooker providing Heard About SA with the bottle of  2012 Velvet Glove discussed in this review.

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Pressed Juices

Pressed Juices

A few weeks ago one of the women I work with came in with a brown paper carry bag filled with numbered bottles, declaring she would not be chewing any food that day! What now? So, for a whole day, I watched her travel backwards and forwards to the fridge every two hours, each time emerging with a different, brightly coloured numbered bottle. The next day, she said she felt refreshed, clean and healthy and stated that she would definitely be partaking of another one-day juice cleanse in the near future.

A few days later, another one of the women I work with came in with another brown paper carry bag filled with more numbered bottles, declaring she would not be chewing any food for three days! You what? So, for three whole days, I watched her head to the kitchen every two hours and come back with something green, or something orange, or something clear-ish and zesty looking. After three days she did admit that she got a little sick of not chewing food but, she did say that she also felt fresh, healthy and more energetic.

So, about a week later, I came into work with a brown paper carry bag filled with eight numbered bottles and I declared that I was trying this one day juice cleanse thing and I was excited! I started off my day with a delicious tasting almond mylk made with dates and vanilla bean – such a pleasant, non-chewable breakfast that didn’t have me feeling like I was missing out on a single thing by not having my usual staple of oats and banana. As the day progressed, I sipped my way through green juices consisting of kale, cucumber, spinach, celery, apple and other such green things, root juices filled with carrots, parsley and ginger and zesty citrus juices with lemon and cayenne pepper. There wasn’t a single moment in the day where I felt hungry or like I was missing out, and throughout the day I felt light, healthy and like my skin was glowing from the inside out with all of the nutrients I was throwing into me.

After work I headed out for a fairly intense cardio training session and had no issues whatsoever keeping up with the demands of my trainer (you know, other than the usual!). Then, at the end of the day, instead of dinner I settled in with another creamy, delicious, almond mylk based smoothie that filled me up just nicely before bed and was exactly what I felt like after my session. I curled up, satisfied and feeling good about myself, and drifted off into an easy, fruit-and-vegetable-and-almond-mylk-dream-filled sleep.

So, where did we get all of these juices from? Pressed Juices have a neat little store tucked in on Rundle Street (near Frome) in the CBD that soothingly whispers to you of wholesomeness and health as soon as you come into eye-shot. They have a myriad of juices, mylks and smoothies to choose from and you can pick up just one, or order several days worth of juices for a three or even a five day cleanse if you so wish. The delightful staff will help guide you in your selection of drinks and are happy to chat with you about their favourites and what they would recommend. All of their drinks are made fresh and they taste like it.

I’ve now completed two one-day juice cleanses and have felt great both times – it’s definitely on my regular to-do list now.

Pressed Juices can be found at 231 Rundle Street in Adelaide.

Conveniently, you can pick up your juices both before AND after standard work hours! Pressed is open from 7am until 6:30pm Mondays through Saturdays and on Sundays from 8am until 5pm.

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Smiling Samoyed Brewery

Smiling Samoyed Brewery

I have known of the existence of a brewery in Myponga for decades. Eons even! Ok, maybe not quite that long, but a good while and yet, despite harbouring a penchant for boutique and micro-brewery beers and despite having driven through Myponga on several occasions, it was only recently that I finally managed to get myself through their doors… Now I can’t wait to go back!

The Smiling Samoyed Brewery is everything you would expect of a micro-brewery out in country Australia – the walls and ceiling are covered in beer memorabilia including bottles, signs and coasters, there’s a ‘back shed’ feel to the place (although it’s a fairly decent size for a micro-brewery), there are friendly, relaxed and easy-going staff to provide you with tips, thoughts, beer and food, a wood oven for all of your pizza needs, occasionally there’s live acoustic music and there’s a dog! A Samoyed even. Who’d have thought?!

Being a marginally wet day, BW and I tucked ourselves into some very comfy arm chairs inside the brewery and proceeded to share a tasting plate of their beers. Served in cute, miniature schooners tucked into a tray made out of old vinyl records, the tasting plate is phenomenal value at only $7 for five tasting glasses. Seriously. $7! We sipped our way around from the Kolsch (a German style golden ale) to the Stout (we had a choice of Stout or Extra Special Bitter), reading our tasting notes along the way and delighting in the flavours and the vast differences between each of the beers. Once we’d emptied our glasses we found we weren’t quite ready to leave yet, so a full sized glass of the IPA was purchased and we settled in to admire the decor and to try and tempt Poppy, the smiling Samoyed, to wander over and indulge us in her powder-puffery fluffiness!

Although we didn’t get anything to eat this time around, we did witness several other tables who were, or had been enjoying what looked like absolutely delicious pizzas and meals. The menu was very tempting and I’d be lying by omission if I didn’t say that, even after a very satisfying lunch had elsewhere, I was contemplating ordering the home-made chocolate stout cake they had listed for the entire length of our visit. In fact, that cake still comes up in conversations over a week later… In fact, that cake (and the wood oven pizza) could be what gets me back to the brewery even sooner than I otherwise would!

The Smiling Samoyed is an absolute gem of a place, not too long a drive out of town, with a welcoming atmosphere, a selection of very tasty beers, and even a local market right next door. Why don’t you head over and check it out one weekend? I’ll probably see you there!

This little ripper can be found at 46 Main South Road in Myponga on the Fleurieu Peninsula. Entry is via Hansen Road. You’ll need to put yourself right here.

Open Fridays through Sundays (and most public holidays) from 11am until 6pm. They can also open via appointment too, so if you fancy some quality one-on-one time, just give them a call. Their contact details can all be found here.

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Adelaide Night Market

Adelaide Night Markets

For six months, from October through until March, the Adelaide Night Markets will be springing up on North Terrace on the last Sunday of each month (unless we’re talking December, in which case it’s on the 14th of the month… tricky Christmasy/New Yearsy stuff and all that). Which, you know, is ok if you like that whole live music, wide range of food, collection of interesting stall holders thing.

With daylight savings here to play, the Adelaide Night Markets are more than worthy of a late afternoon or evening stroll. Wander amongst the trees of North Terrace, soak up the easy-going atmosphere and breath in the delicious scents of the various food vans and vendors scattered amongst the stall holders selling their various wares. From t-shirts to hair towels and from jewellery to candles, the eclectic mix of gifts and goodies will undoubtedly offer something for everyone whilst the shaded grassy areas lining the market place provides plenty of space for you to sit and relax, listen to the live musicians or just watch the kids run and play.

Who says Sunday evenings were boring?

On North Terrace, in the Prince Henry Gardens.

On the last Sunday of every month up to and including March, from 4-8pm. Except for December. Forget about the last Sunday in December – it’s on the 14th in that month.


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