Road-tripping through the Barossa Valley

The Farmers’ Market is a Saturday morning fixture at the Mount Pleasant Showgrounds, kicking off at 8am and showcasing all sorts of goodies from regional producers. It’s also a fantastic spot to enjoy a hearty breakfast — and it’s the first stop on our Barossa Valley Drive.

Leaving Mount Pleasant in the SA Weekender Isuzu, we headed towards the Barossa on the route that comes up through the Mt Lofty Ranges side, because there’s a favourite stop-off along the way.

The Barossa Reservoir was built at the turn of last century near Williamstown – and its 36-metre high arched wall was such an impressive engineering feat that it attracted attention from all over the world. Thousands of visitors now flock here for another reason…To whisper sweet nothings at one end of the dam’s wall that can be heard perfectly clearly 140 metres away on the other side.

Our next stop is one of our favourites – the charming village of Greenock. Not only because it offers up some spectacularly good cellar doors to visit, but because an unexpected piece of Colombia has taken root in here.

Normally ‘El Estanco’ operates as a  licensed cafe, but we’ve managed to arrive on “little and local day” — when the café plays host to small local winemakers, and food just keeps coming from the wood oven.

Owners Julian Velazquez and Abby Osborne cook what they love – and want it to be enjoyed with friends — and wine, of course.  In Colombia, the Estanco is a traditional tobacconist and general store where locals gather to socialize. We certainly saw a chance for visitors to do a bit of that, and chat with local makers.

If you pop in to the café during the week for breakfast or lunch, you’ll find whatever fresh local produce has caught Julian’s fancy. Plus, there’s an added attraction once a fortnight, as Abby explains.

“So every second Friday night is pizza night,” she said. “We use the big oven, and then we mix it up with Julian’s heritage. So it could be Argentinian, Columbian… and we’ve even done different regions in Columbia, so it’s what Julian feels like doing for that week. And we literally decide on a Monday over a glass of wine.”

You’ll find El Estanco in Murray Street Grennock, and it’s open from 8am – 4pm  every day except Tuesdays, and late on Friday nights.