Thursday, August 27, 2009

McLaren Vale: Cleanskin

Who says wine and ice don't mix?

O rosemount glass

In McLaren Vale, you will come to a rosey winery called Rosemount, one of the most popular wineries you'll find in this region.

rosemount winery

rosemount winery entrance

red roses

Rosemount has this sparkling sweet delight called O.

O rosemount sparkling wine and glass

It comes with its own O glass where you can fill it with crushed ice (preferably) and is one of the easiest wine you'll ever drink.

Light. Sweet. Bubbly. And Fun.

drinking sparkling wine

It only cost AUD10 but I didn't have enough luggage space so I had the forgo the purchase. T_T

Anyway, back to the beginning of my trip.

malaysia - melbourne - adelaide

On the day of my graduation, I met Max, a professor from University of South Australia. He invited me to dinner that night to talk more about my profession (blogger?) and wanted to conduct an interview with me for his radio channel in Adelaide.

max in chapel hill

Over our chat, he found out that I was to be in Adelaide only for a few days, mainly just to attend my graduation and I would be on my way for the next few weeks traveling further down south.

He also learnt that I wanted to do a roadtrip down to McLaren Vale - one of the three wine country I have not visited in South Australia state. The other two being Clare Valley and Barossa Valley.

on the road to mcclaren vale

So spontaneously, as always, he invited his friend and we all drove down to McLaren Vale the next day.

max and friend

Such was Australian hospitality. ;) (Thanks Max!)

26km to mcclaren vale

mcclaren vale

old small methodist church
A very old small Methodist church we passed by on the way

Our first stop over was a cute little winery called Chapel Hill (located at one of the northest part of McLaren Vale).

chapel hill winery

This house was a ironic little thing because Chapel Hill was really, a Chapel.

chapel window

chapel turned winery

Right. So they turned a holy place into a winery. Sweet.

tasting wine in chapel hill

standing in refinery
Check out their refinery!

It was also here in Chapel Hill that I learnt about the existence of Cleanskin wine.


Max explained to me that Cleanskin were actually label-less wine that's sold at a cheaper price than its label counterpart.

Why? Because there are simply wineries out there who tend to produce too much wine and in order to prevent selling them off at discounted price which would "lower the value" of their brands, they bottled them up and sell them off as Cleanskin.

cleanskin on sale in rosemount
Rosemount Cleanskins

Apparently, this is also a very Australian thing.

Cleanskin is very bit the same as a labeled wine,

chapel hill wines

so if you know where to look for (particularly at the wineries itself) and when, you'll be able to buy really good wine of your favourite winery at a dirt cheap price.

drinking wine from rosemount

(Once they go into wine shop, you'll never really know which winery they come from, apart from the region it's produced)

Now you learn something. *wink*

We stumbled into Oscars while scouting around for food.
(Click on link to view my food blog review)

oscars restaurant in mcClaren vale

Now Oscars has to be one of the nicest Italian restaurants/bars I've ever been in my life. Situated in a wine country, I couldn't ask for a better ambiance and environment!

And the pizza was just to die for!

two types of pizza

max and food

Later we stopped by a few more wineries for more wine tasting and cam whoring sessions.

me and weird looking tall bird

The more wine we took, the funkier we got.

max and bird

"Max, stop harassing the bird."

homey winery setting
Couldn't remember which FINE house-looking winery is this. But LOVE the setting!

We drove passed rows of grape vines and realised that we were all alone in the area, with no one around.

grape vines

So we did the only thing anyone would have done if they were in our position.


We got out the car and started plucking the grapes.

me and grapes on vines close up

me holding a bunch of grapes

Bunch and bunch of beautiful tiny grapes~!!!!


mini seedy grapes on vines

grapes on vines

So many of them!

me and grapes on vines

Such abundance!

me in vineyard

Rows after rows.

me posing in between vines="

Even Max's friend was going at it!

maxs friend

grapes in hand

hiding among vines

holding a grape

It was already early April so most of the grapes were going to drop off respective their vines. Some were beginning to shrivel up.

dried up grapes

Natural RAISINS!

raisins on stalk
Man they're sweet!

We gathered just about enough, had enough fun, before deciding to climbed back into the car and silently drove off.

grapes in car

white grapes
"Can someone say fruitful event?"

Don't worry. Those growers have more than enough to share a few bunch with us.

Later driving around McLaren Vale, we came to what has to be the valley's prettiest winery.

hugh hamilton overview

Hugh Hamilton.

entrance sign

When you drive up to the winery from the entrance, you'll be parking in front of a row of olive trees.

olive trees

Now I've never seen olive trees up close before, so it was a rather interesting point of fact for me.

green olives
Raw green olives.

I did learn that, no matter raw or ripe, NEVER attempt to eat an olive straight out from a tree!

ripe olives

They tasted foul!!! Bitter right down to the pit of your stomach!

Back to the beauty of Hugh Hamilton.

entrance to hugh hamilton

Love the design. Love the vineyard.

me in front of hugh hamilton

me overlooking hugh hamilton vineyard

Love the panoramic view of the vineyard from the circular winery.

me and vineyard

Love the grape vines hanging from the roof.

max friend looking up

Love the fact that they used sheep as their mascot.

oyster knives sign

Or the fact that they sold oyster knife?

oyster knife

But mainly, love their sense of humor.

sheep dip

Sheep Dip! Haha!!

(If you don't know what Sheep Dip is? Google it up)


  1. Hey, off topic. When you put your sunglasses on your head it makes you look like you're having mickey mouse ears. So cute I want to pinch your cheek.

  2. Wow, the pizza looks heavenly good. You must have great time there. Envying..

  3. Funny la you Jerine, but yes, dam mickey mousy cute!

  4. I wanna be in this winery!

  5. you have terrible dress sense, seriously.

  6. Soo lucky managed to see the green vineyard.. Today it was only a dead tree... T_T