Because friendships are precious it’s important to make time to spend together. We often get so caught up in our own lives that we don’t manage to connect with our friends as often as we should.

So, when we received an invite to a wedding near Adelaide we took the opportunity to indulge ourselves by extending our visit an extra few days to relax and enjoy a culture change.

Planning a Day Together with Friends

We decided to visit the Barossa Valley, one of our favourite wine regions. Being just a half hour north of the city and world-famous for its wines and beautiful countryside, I contacted friends to suggest we do a wine tour together. Spending a day together was a luxury for both of us as we live 3000 kilometres apart. A total indulgence!

Our criteria were simple – good quality wine tastings, a lovely lunch and some sightseeing. We researched to find a day-tour company that could make this happen!

John and Brenda arrived at our hotel excited to be heading out for our day together. Steve, our tour operator, arrived on time and before long we headed for the hills – literally!

A Mediterranean Climate in the Middle of Australia

Australia is known for its harsh unforgiving weather; however, the city of Adelaide is our best kept secret. Close to the coast, and a short distance from the cooler Adelaide Hills region, the city of Adelaide is known for its moderate Mediterranean climate.

Adelaide is becoming an exciting must-see location with a reputation as a modern city with great cafés, arts and music. It’s one of our favourite cities to visit.

A short trip from Adelaide city led us through picturesque countryside and we watched as the scenery changed. It was a perfect opportunity to catch up with friends as Steve highlighted points of interest along the way.

Exploring the Wine Country of Adelaide Hills

The Adelaide Hills is an interesting region with over 60 wineries leading into the Barossa Valley, which is world renowned for its wine. Early European settlers established the vineyards and orchards of the region. It’s a unique and quaint area to visit.

Steve was full of interesting information, having lived in the area. We learned about the region, the farmers, the early settlers and the iconic wineries of the Barossa.

Barossa itself is Old World, first settled in 1842 by English and German settlers. Many of the German settlers brought their vine stock with them and settled in the cooler, more European-style climates of the Hahndorf and Tanunda regions. These townships are noted for their beautifully crafted stone cottages and European village-style atmosphere.

Sharing Food and Wine

We visited three wineries before lunching at “The Winemakers Office,” which showcased a modern cuisine style and quite possibly the very best Arancini Balls ever!

The wineries offered a selection of wines that we selected to our individual tastes, but it was an opportunity to try some new or different wine styles without committing to a glass. Each of the wineries was quite different, with some favouring the old traditional methods with others utilising new, modern themes. The places we visited included:

Kersbrook Estates

A small boutique winery with a broad selection of wines.

TeAro Estates

Over a 100-year-old family winery offering a number of outstanding wines for our tasting.

Rockford Wines

An old, traditional-style working winery, noted for several significant wines. A cosy tasting room filled with wine barrels and personality.

Murray Street Vineyards

A spectacular winery famous for its handcrafted wines, with beautiful stone buildings, acres of vines and strong aromas from the rose bushes, lavender and rosemary growing nearby.

The wine tasting at each winery was great fun with much laughter, attitude and assumed wine expertise, but as our day unfolded it was clearly more about reconnecting and enjoying our friendship of many years.

Old Friends Are Precious and Rare – Just Like a Good Wine

As we settle into our years where our work is not our priority, we are looking forward to a time when we can do less of what we must do and more of what we want to do.

Old friends catching up, laughing together and sharing stories. Our trip to the Barossa was about the important things in a friendship – spending the day together, laughing, having fun, sharing a meal and celebrating our friendship.

Value your friendships, for they will inspire and re-energise you.

Have you re-connected with old friends lately? How often do you travel with friends? Do you re-connect over shared interests? Please share your stories in the comments.

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