Travelling Australia - Journal 2012
18 June 2012 - Barossa Valley Visit
Today was a between cruise day on the Murray Princess. We had completed the three-day cruise and the ship was being turned around before departing on the four-day tour at 4:30 this afternoon. Twenty-four passengers who were remaining with the ship for the next tour would be in the way if they stayed onboard during the busy activity of preparing for the next cruise so the company included a bus tour of the Barossa Valley to get us off the ship.

We left Mannum at about 9:30 in a comfortable touring bus for a little less than an hour to get to Barossa. The tour guide gave us an excellent commentary as we passed through grain (oats, wheat and barley) paddocks which had recently been seeded and were visibly germinating. Rainfall had been low this year and farmers were hoping for rain to ensure their crops continued growing. The rain which began as we moved into the hills between Mannum and Barossa was described as very welcome. As soon as we reached the Barossa we stopped for a cup of coffee with scones, jam and cream. Rain had set in and continued for the time we were in the Barossa.
Rainy vineyard Wet, windy and cold vinyards in the Barossa Valley

Wineries and vinyards were fairly quiet because of the season and the weather. The main activity in the vinyards was pruning now that most vines had lost their leaves. A very few pruners were working but most vineyards were deserted.

The first winery we went to was Yalumba. Here we discovered an advantage of being on a bus tour when we were shown into the cooperage and spent some time watching wine barrels being made; a very interesting visit. We went to two more wineries. At one a cold meat lunch bought from the ship was laid out for the group.
Barrel being made Yalumba operates a cooperage where wine barrels are made.

After visiting three wineries we drove back to Mannum and rejoined the Murray Princess just before the bus arrived from Adelaide with another batch of passengers joining for the four-day cruise.