Wineries & kids? We love that so many wineries these days are kid friendly!. However, do the kids actually enjoy it as much as the grown ups? Livin’ in a Van Down Under’s 10 year old Stella gives us the low down on riding the Riesling Trail in the Clare Valley on bikes!.. Real Stories | Real Families…

You may be thinking, ‘why would kids enjoy the Riesling Trail?’ Sure, I have eight years to go until I can drink the stuff but my brother, sister and I had a ball. The brochures we found at the tourist info centre said the Valley is one of Australia’s oldest wine-making areas dating back 150 years.  It has this fantastic trail that is suitable for walkers, bikes as well as wheelchairs and pushers. We learned the Riesling Trail is an old railway track that gently winds its way 33km through the Valley’s 5000 hectares of vineyards.

We only rode a small section as it’s a bit hard when you have a sooky little sister who keeps complaining “my legs are sore” just 10 minutes into a ride.

First stop was The Little Red Grape bakery for a pie. Dad was a pig and ate two. We laughed when mum said “I bet he says they are the best pies he’s had all day”. Next stop, the Sevenhill Winery. This vineyard was settled by Jesuit priests in 1851 to make sacramental (we learned what that word meant) wine for mass. While mum and dad were tasting wine, we got to play different sports games on the lush green lawn and even went down into an ancient cellar. There’s a huge beautiful church there and we learned about what a confessional is. Of course, dad had to spend a good hour or two there.

We then rode onto Pikes Wines where they had a band playing for what they call a ‘Sunday Sesh’. It was great dancing and jumping around while again, mum and dad tried more wines. The lovely lady at the cellar door told us the Clare Valley is most famous for its white wine called riesling.

The next and final stop for the day was Paulett Wines. This was amazing. After mum and dad had ANOTHER tasting, internationally ‘acclaimed’ (we learned that word) wine maker, Jarrad Steele took us on a tour out the back where they make the wine.  We learned that with white wines they take the juice out of the skins and store them in the big vats but the red wines are made differently. They keep the red grapes sitting in the vats with the skins which gives it the red colour and tannic (dry) taste. We even got to taste some of the juice that didn’t have alcohol in it. YUM!!!

It was beautiful riding through the vines and although we got sick of waiting for mum and dad to finish their tastings, we learned a lot about the Clare Valley, wines and best of all we got to ride our bikes.

Stella Austin – 10 yrs

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