Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Leaving Adelaide

Our last day in South Australia was a bit of this and that.

We had a late breakfast in the Dovecote Cottage and I was washing the dishes when the woman who owns the place came over to collect the rest of the money due. "It's nice to see a man doing the washing up," she said. I sniffed and told her I do it all the time." I started to tell her it's become a traditional role for the men in the family, but she had walked away before I could add anything else.

We had a few hours to kill before our flight so I had mapped out a plan to visit two of the top wineries - Peter Lehmann and Penfolds. I think Lehmann makes the very best red wines in the country, and I wanted Robert and Jaki to have a taste. The woman at the cellar door was super friendly and was ready to pour all 40+ wines they had if we wished. It was only 11, so we stuck with just a couple of the top reds.

Up the road to one of the leading wine producers in the country, Penfolds. Penfolds makes a range of wines from low-priced to ultra high-priced, and even at the bargain end of the range you usually get a good drop. Penfolds is also now owned by a beer company, Fosters, which owns dozens of wine brands, including the Beringer label in the US.

It may be the sign of a bloated corporation, or it could be the sign of an employee who just didn't have a clue, but either way our experience at Penfolds was 180 degrees south of that at Peter Lehmann. Jaki and I went to the tasting bar to try the wines. There was another couple getting a taste of something or other from the woman behind the bar, so I took the time to read the tasting list - which showed me quite clearly that Penfolds wasn't about to let anyone taste their better wines as Peter Lehmann does.

Anyhow, I could have read a lot more because the woman pouring the tastings didn't come over to us once. She chatted with the other couple, left the bar to get something to read to them, read it to them, laughed and discussed the wine they were drinking, and once nodded in our direction. I think that was to show that she knew we were there but she didn't care.

After a very patient wait, Jaki and left without once sampling the wine. And the annoying thing is that Fosters makes about 1 billion bucks a year off its wine brands and no one is ever going to care that people who actually support its products were treated shabbily. Make that, who once supported its products. Believe me, there is more than enough great wine in the world that I can ignore Penfolds as easily as their employee ignored me.

Anyhow, that was our last stop and we were on the road to the Adelaide Airport with Honor leading the way and LK overseeing our route. All was well until we were within a mile or so of the airport. That's when I went straight through an intersection when LK had been saying to turn right.

Strangely, neither LK, Jaki or Robert said much. But I could feel the eyes rolling in the back seat. Anyhow, Honor plotted yet another course to make up for my directional deficiencies, we arrived at the airport and caught the plane to Melbourne where we transferred to Hobart.

We're home, Linda said as we landed, which felt a bit odd to hear for the first time. Especially since we won't have a house to move into until our tenant vacates. Nonetheless, we are in our new hometown. More about Hobart next time.

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