With a little prompting from Vellovino, I am starting a thread about the Tour Down Under which is a bicycle race in South Australia which forms part of the Pro Tour leading ultimately to the Tour de France.
Many of the top teams use the Adelaide race as their season starter and often an important part of trying out new riders, bikes etc.
Lance Armstrong chose this race to make his comeback some years ago and will farewell pro cycling at this years event.
So why talk about a bike race on a wine site?
Well a couple of reasons:
Bicycle racing is a major global sporting spectacle that has its roots in many of the great wine growing regions of the world. The French, Spanish and Italians are the dominant countries in world road racing and many of the great tours go through some of the worlds great wine regions, like lat year when a key stage of the Tour de France was from Bordeaux to Pauillac.
The Adelaide Race has many stages that take in our major wine regions
Sunday January 16th
The prelude is the Cancer Council Classic, which is a closed street circuit race of 51km around Adelaide
Monday January 16th
Stage 1 - 138 km from Mawson Lakes about 15 km North of city centre to Angaston in the Barossa Valley about 75km NE of the city centre
Tuesday January 17th
Stage 2 - 146km from Tailem Bend about 100km South East of the city centre through the Northern Adelaide Hills Wine Region to Mannum on the River Murray about 90km east of the city centre.
Wednesday January 18th
Stage 3 - 129km from Unley an inner suburb on the southern fringe of Adelaide heading south to the McLaren Vale Wine region, the winding north east through some of the central Adelaide Hills Wine areas to Stirling in the Adelaide Hills about 20 km SE of the City Centre
Thursday January 19th
Stage 4 - 124km from Norwood an inner suburb about 4km east of the city centre [this is where I grew up and near where I live today, the start point is popular eating area with many cafes and bistros and its where we shop for food and wine] through the Adelaide Hills wine region, this time covering a large portion of the Hills region, including some crossover with previous stages, to Strathalbyn which is about 60km SE of the City Centre.
Friday January 20th
Stage 5 - 131km circuit race around the McLaren Vale Wine region and some parts of the Northern Fleurieu Peninsula region. This area is aboout 50km South of the City Centre.
Saturday January 21st
Final Stage - 90 km [20 x 4.5km circuit] set around the North of the City Centre, starting and finishing vitrually next to Parliament House.
The official race site is
The site has some very good info on the race , the pro tour and plenty of maps to help follow the race.
So what I will do this week is try to identify some wines which match the region of each stage and hopefully they will be affordable and accessible to all who wish to "cycle the wine of South Australia" and you can enjoy them with me as we follow the race.
Tour Down Under
- Reply by dmcker, Jan 10, 2011.
Good work, Stephen. I can see Vello hitting the Seattle wineshops based on your list. So what are candidates for the prelude and first few stages?
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 11, 2011.
So getting prepared for the prelude
This is a race around the CBD of Adelaide.
For the record Adelaide is the capital of South Australia and has around 20,000 residents in the square mile of the city, the greater Adelaide population is around 1.1m
Until 1986 Adelaide was certainly a very quiet regional city which was often referred to as a large country town. But in 1986 the Formula Grand prix came to Adelaide and that event dramatically changed life in Adelaide. In particular we saw the development of the cafe/bistro/coffee culture that is found in Italy, which is hardly surprising given a very large italian migrant population in Adelaide.
Wine has also been a large part of our culture due to the predominatly German settlement of the Barossa Valley which probably explains why Riesling is a strong component of our wine heritage here.
So I think a good start to the Tour Down Under would be to focus on Local Sparkling Wine and some local Beer.
I will try and select some wines that should be accessible in most parts of the world and show the different styles and price points you will see from the Tour Route Regions
Sparkling White/Rose [ie Champagne style]
Petaluma Croser NV - AUD20
Petaluma Croser Vintage - AUD30
Bird in Hand Sparkling Pinot Noir - AUD20
Henschke Blanc de Noir NV - AUD35
Grant Burge Pinot Noir Chardonnay NV - AUD20
Sparkling Red [richer style]
Rockford Black Shiraz - AUD60
Barossa Valley Estates - E&E Sprarkling Shiraz - AUD50
D'Arenburg NV The Peppermint Paddock Sparkling Chambourcin - AUD30
The Cooper family make very distinctive Ales and Stouts and for those who are suffering the Cold of the Northern Hemisphere winter these are ideal drinks [One of there Advertising slogans is "The drink for when it is so cold that it will freeze the nuts of a brass monkey"]
Coopers Sparkling Ale
Coopers Pale Ale
Coopers Extra Stout
Coopers VIntage Ale
Coopers Dark Ale
The forecast weather for Sunday is 30C here so we will probably be looking at fresh seafood and Antipasta platters [We have lots of great salamis and meatwursts from our italian/german heritage]. From the northern Hemisphere, the sparkling reds are probably good drinks to have with thick soups, stews and casseroles. Maybe even a nice Lasagne or tomato based pasta with the sparkling reds ands ales. Sparkling White - you will all have your favourite matches.
Good Luck, I will be drinking Vintage Croser and E&E Sparkling Shiraz that night. [and a riesling or two, rielsing and shiraz are our staple wines, kinda like a water substitute]
- Reply by Lucha Vino, Jan 13, 2011.
Stephen - Thanks for the excellent details!
Many American Football fans are still trying to recover from my hometown Seattle Seahawks defeating the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints last weekend - me included.
What does that have to do with the TDU and wine drinking? Seattle's next game is on Sunday in Chicago, the same day as the start of the Tour down Under. The weather forecast is for 20F. I think that qualifies as brass monkey ball freezing weather so I will follow your lead and drink some Coopers on Sunday!
Looking forward to other recommendations for the rest of the stages. I will be hitting up the Australian section of my local wine shop in the next coupld of days.
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 13, 2011.
Don't forget to have a Sparkling on Ice in case the Hawks win. I think have finally worked out how American Football works. I had a rare couple of sick days in November with Gastro. So I spent a whole day on the couch and watched 3 consecutive games on ESPN.
The first stage is Barossa so I will post my recos for that tonight [my time]
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 16, 2011.
So now to Monday and Stage 1
This is the Barossa Stage so it should be all about Riesling, Shiraz and a sprinkling of GSM blend
Pewsey Vale [09 or 10]
Pewsey Vale Contours
Peter Lehmann - The Wigan
Jacobs Creek Steingarten [avoid 07]
Penfolds Bin 51
Grant Burge Holy Trintiy
Penfolds Bin 138
Penfolds Bin 28 Kalimna - $25 [avoid 00,03,07]
Penfold RWT - $175 [avoid 00,01,03]
Peter Lehmann - $20 [avoid 00,01,03,07]
Peter Lehmann Stonewall $80 [Avoid 00,01,03]
Rockford Basket Press $75 [avoid 00,03]
Jacobs Creek Centenary Hill $45 [avoid 00,03]
Orlando Gramps $20 [avoid 00,03]
Two Hands Bellas Garden $55
Turkey Flat $45 [avoid 00,01,03]
Grant Burge Filsell $35 [avoid 00,01,03,07]
Grant Burge Meshach $90 [Avoid 03]
Barossa Valley Estate E Bass $25
Barossa Valley Estate Ebeneezer $40 [Avoid 00,01,03]
Barossa Valley Estate E&E $90 [Avoid 00]
Elderton $25 [Avoid 00,01,03,07]
Elderton Command $90 [Avoid 00,01,03]
Well that should be enough to find something to enjoy on Monday our time or Sunday night in th US. Given its winter, A big Barossa Shiraz should warm the system
I hope those who can watch it will enjoy the ride to and around the Barossa.
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 18, 2011.
This takes in the Adelaide Hills and in particular the Northern Part of the Adelaide Hills
So it will be Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cool Climate Shiraz
Nepenthe [If you can get the Petrea which is oak aged it is very good]
Shaw & Smith
Bird in Hand
Nepenthe Ithica [07 won award for best chardonnay at 2009 London Wine show]
Shaw & Smith M3
Pappanappa Tiers Vineyard
Bird in Hand Nest Egg
Nepenthe - The Good Doctor
Ashton Hills Estate
Ashton Hills Reserve
Penfolds Bin 23
Penfolds Cellar Reserve
Shaw & Smith
Bird in Hand Nest Egg
Good luck in finding and enjoying some of these
- Reply by dmcker, Jan 18, 2011.
Very good work, Stephen. By the end of the tour it seems it all could be combined into an interesting article.
- Reply by Lucha Vino, Jan 19, 2011.
I fell off the back of the peloton and found myself a healthy number of kilometers South of the tour. Tonight I opened a bottle of Henry's Drive 2006 Shiraz from my cellar.
And as luck would have it I received two bottles of 2006 Penfold's Cellar Reserve Pinot Noir in the mail today. I will open one tomorrow and that should get me reconnected with the Tour!
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 19, 2011.
Thanks D, will do but for now we are onto third stage which is McLaren Vale and the Southern Adelaide Hills.
So as this is a bit of a mixed bag region wise so lets make the wines.
I will put in some McLaren Vale but will focus on that in the latter stage that hits MV as its main route. In fact many MV wineries have Adelaide Hills Wines so lets look aqt some of those
Lets Start with
Petaluma Croser 05 or NV Sparkling
Ashton Hills Salmon Brut NV
Henschke Blanc de Noir NV
D'Arenburg Feral Fox Pinot Noir
D'Arenburg Laughing Lizard Chardonnay
D'Arenburg Broken Fishplate Sauvignon Blanc
D'Arenburg Last Ditch Viognier
Wirra Wirra Adelaide Hills Chardonnay
Henschke Lenswood Croft Chardonnay
Henschke Littlehampton Innes Vineyard Pinot Gris
Henschke Giles Pinot Noir
Henschke Abbots Prayer Merlot Cabernet
Howard Cabernet Franc
Geoff Hardy K1 Shiraz
Longview Yakka Shiraz
Longview Riserva Nebbiolo
This lot should get you through the task of watching the Adelaide Hills Run
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 20, 2011.
Apologies to missing yesterday, but stage 4 does not trverse any new region.
Although I should point out that its start point in Norwood is where I grew up and the Parade [the Road its starts out from] is still a favourite haunt for Cafes, Bars and Restaurants as well as the Home ground of my local Football Club, my High School - Norwood High and at the top end the original home for Penfolds - the creators of Grange.
The original winery still exists and some Grange is stll fermented their in open concrete vats. So probably a good time to try some Penfolds Wines
My favourites in approx price order are
Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet - AUD15
Koonunga Hill 76 Shiraz Cabernet - AUD20
Bin 51 Riesling - AUD20
Kalimna Bin 28 Shiraz - AUD25
Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz - AUD40
Cellar Reserve Pinot Noir - AUD40
Cellar Reserve Sangiovese - AUD40
St Henri Shiraz - AUD65
Bin XXA Chardonnay [XX= vintage year] - AUD80
Yattarna Chardonnay = AUD95
RWT Shiraz - AUD150
Bin 707 Cabernet - AUD150
Grange Shiraz - AUD500
Hope you find something you like in this lot
- Reply by Lucha Vino, Jan 21, 2011.
Thanks for the lists Stephen! I have several of these right on hand so will be sure to open several this weekend.
How do you rate the Sangiovese?
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 21, 2011.
The 07 Penfolds Cellar Reserve Sangiovese is vey good, not tried the 08 but my expectaation is that it should be OK.
The next stage is a real McLaren Vale rumble
So we should have another dose of their wines avoid 07 McLaren Vale and try either 06 or 08 [04 & 05 are good]
Samuels Gorge Shiraz - AUD30
Coriole Fiano - AUD25
Coriole Shiraz- AUD20
Coriole Sangiovese- AUD25
Coriole Lloyd Reserve - AUD70
Chapel Hill The Vicar Shiraz - AUD45
D'Arenburg D'Arry's Original Grenache Shiraz - AUD15-20
D'Arenburg Ironstone Pressings GSM - AUD50
D'Arenburg The Custodian Grenache - AUD35
D'Arenburg Footbolt Shiraz - AUD20-25
D'Arenburg Dead Arm Shiraz - AUD70
Wirra Wirra RSW Shiraz - AUD60
Kay Brothers Shiraz - AUD30
Shingleback Shiraz - AUD30
Shingleback D Block Shiraz - AUD50
This should warm your soul on cold night in the Northern Hemisphere and don't forget if you need a beer
Coopers is our local fiercely family owned Brewer and their Sparkling Ale, Dark Ale and Stout are all great cold weather beers
- Reply by Lucha Vino, Jan 22, 2011.
Enjoying a 2006 Penfold's Cellar Reserve Pinot Noir right now! It has been a busy day so I have not been able to check in on the TDU. I think there is going to be live video streaming available in the US.
I am having my family over to celebrate Mom's birthday so I am not going to be able to watch the race. Therefore, I will have to drink more wine...
- Reply by Stephen Harvey, Jan 23, 2011.
It is sad when the alternative is to drink more wine!
The Penfolds Sangiovese particularly the 07 is very good.
TDU wrapped up yesterday with the final street race around Adelaide
The really amazing thing about the TDU is the fact is has got so many people back riding bikes, either semi seriously or just for fun
Anything that gets people outside and fitter has to be good
Look forward to your botes on your TDU wines