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Wine Tastings

Lucerne, Switzerland
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243 posts
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Wine Tastings

We're going to Australia in July / August. We also visit the Barossa Valley and wanna do some wine tasting. Most places - people told me - you just can walk in. We did lots of tastings before in Napa Valley and also in Spain. Some few in France. Everywhere you pay. But I've heard many in Australia offer it for free. Is that so?

And if so....is it a bit strange to have a tasting but not purchase their wine afterwards? Because we plan to do quite some amount of tastings...and we can't just buy a bottle everywhere we go, just to be nice.

Sorry to post this here AND on the McLaren Vale forum....just wanna be sure to get lots of feedback.

Thanks!

6 replies to this topic
Adelaide, Australia
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1. Re: Wine Tastings

Cellar door tastings are free, then you have the option to purchase, but with no sales pressure, and that is certainly not anything strange or out of the ordinary here.

So that you do not need to drive whilst tasting wines, many here take an organised bus tour which will visit a number of wineries, including a stop for lunch.

If you have something specific you looking for, here is a reviewed list of all the wineries available for you to choose from, with address, size, and name of the winemaker: winecompanion.com.au/wineries/…wineries

Edited: 11:12 am, June 29, 2014
Sydney/Melbourne
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17,804 posts
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2. Re: Wine Tastings

On a recent trip to the Hunter Valley wineries I happened to engage one of the staff serving wines in conversation and it seems that RSA regulations have hit the wineries at last.

They are now limited to serving 20 ml per tasting and no more than 5 wines per person. So no working your way through the whole list anymore.

Assuming you arrive, taste, look around and have a chat before driving off to the next location, that works out at less than one standard drink per hour so unless you really try it's now quite difficult to go over the BA limit.

And yes, it's true that you don't have to buy at the winery. We rarely do. If we like a particular wine we get their email or website address and order a case online when we get home. Normally at the end of a day of tasting we have accumulated just one or two bottles to take out to dinner that evening.

Adelaide, Australia
Destination Expert
for Adelaide, Las Vegas, South Australia
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3. Re: Wine Tastings

Welcome to South Australia!

Here is a recent thread on wine touring:

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g255093-i698-k7298…

Bon voyage!

Edinburgh, United...
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for Edinburgh
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4. Re: Wine Tastings

Hi,

I love wine tasting in Australia. In the last 18 months I've done organised and self drive winery tours of Hunter Valley, Margaret River, the Barossa, Coonawarra and Southern Tasmania.

I have never had to pay for tastings. Sometimes they hold back a special vintage and charge for that. Penfolds had a special Grange on tasting for $50 for a 25ml tasting! But that was very unusual, and you could still taste all their other wines for free.

I have never felt pressured into buying. That said, the cellar door wines are often not outrageously expensive, I've bought plenty of great bottles for $20-40. I've learnt to always ask which bottles are a cellar door exclusive - as the bottles that they sell to bottle shops can often be purchased for cheaper in the bottle shops. The other tip I always use - if I am feeling ambivalent towards the wines but I don't want to insult the winemaker, I ask for details of their website or mailing list. That way I can avoid insulting their wine by simply saying I want to go away and think about ordering from home! (I'm sure they are used to people simply saying they don't like the wine - I'm probably overly polite!)

I have never been limited to 5 tastings either - at Kellermeister wines in the barossa I tasted 14 wines! The average is somewhere along the lines of 1 sparkling, 3/4 whites, 3/4 reds and a dessert/fortified. It would be a shame if that was to change.

Barossa has some fantastic sweet dessert wines and excellent Shiraz. We took an organised tour and also did a self-drive to many others. Jacobs creek is very commercialised, but it was a barossa must-see for us. There are so many wineries in the barossa, and some of the best wineries we just happened to stop at whilst driving by. Explore!

My partner simply did not taste if he was driving. There are spittoons if you don't want to swallow the wine.

Enjoy!!

Abs :)

Lucerne, Switzerland
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243 posts
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5. Re: Wine Tastings

Thanks a lot guys!

Adelaide, Australia
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6. Re: Wine Tastings

Please include a visit to the Clare Valley. There are lots of boutique wineries to explore and this and small surrounding towns are lovely.

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