Monday, October 14, 2013

Aussie Rules On Wine: HEADING OFF-PISTE

A word about official wine trips: they are not vacations.

When you see the endless twitter stream of vineyards and bottles and meals, you may not believe this. And I certainly won’t try to convince you that they are less fun than a day of PowerPoint presentation in a badly-lit conference room.

But they are not vacations.

They are highly orchestrated and intensely scheduled, down to coffee breaks and even restroom stops. Days often run late and that much-desired late afternoon hour of scheduled rest and wifi usually evaporates into less than 15 minutes. Work back home? It either doesn’t get done, or gets squished into the twilight hours when jet lag has you by the throat and just won’t let you sleep. And sleep… actual, real, restful sleep? Well… maybe on the plane.

And no matter how well-considered the official schedule, there are almost always people or places you want to see that aren’t on it. And given the above, there’s clearly not much time to do it. Some may tinker with the official program, but my “good girl” gene always kicks in and keeps me from playing schedule-hooky. I supposed I’m afraid of being put in wine detention. So the alternative is forgoing even more sleep and shoving any off-piste activity into the early morning, late night, or what would otherwise be pre-scheduled nap time.

Which is what this next bit will be about – an off-piste trek on what would have been an otherwise restful day. But when Mr. Anton van Klopper, the wildman winemaker of the Adelaide Hills, offers to pick you up in this:

And take you to visit this:

So you can drink this:

...and this:

...and eat this:

Well then, as the saying goes, you can sleep when you're dead.

Because this is not a vacation....but it sure is fun.

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