Comedy, wine, and people. Three things that we’d struggle to live without, and three things that underpin the Grapes of Mirth festival with live experiences that highlight the best of Australia’s wine regions. If the idea of sharing a laugh, a bottle of wine, and the company of some equally-minded people is in your domain (join the crew) and come check out the festival when it touches down in a wine region near you.
We had the chance to fly to Adelaide, South Australia, and check out the Grapes of Mirth festival while exploring the surface of the Barossa wine region over a weekend. What we found are some of the best restaurants and vineyards weaved into some of the most spectacular countrysides in all of Australia. The best part? It’s just 1-hour out of Adelaide CBD. In the first part of our article series, we’ll be highlighting the festival, let’s check it out.
Grapes of Mirth Festival in Barossa Valley
When: October 29th and 30th, 2022
Where: 730 Seppeltsfield Rd, Seppeltsfield SA 5355
Tickets: from $109pp
After checking in at the Novotel Barossa Valley Resort on Saturday morning, we pre-gamed a few glasses of water before heading onto the shuttle bus to make our way to the Grapes of Mirth festival held at Seppeltsfield Barossa Historic Winery Estate. Arriving around midday we jumped straight into a few glasses of Seppeltsfield wine just in time to catch a few of our favourite comedians on stage.
The lineup featured household names such as headliners Rhys Nicholson (Best Show at Melbourne Comedy Festival 2022) and Melanie Bracewell (Cheap Seats, Have You Been Paying Attention) alongside Peter Hellier, Dave Thornton, and Luke Heggie.
Appearances from celebrity chef Melissa Leong (Masterchef), renowned Australian wine legend Mike Bennie, and podcasters Mid-Flight Brawl and The Chaser Report were some of the highlights of the festival with comedy legend Merrick Watts hosting the event.
Grapes of Mirth is a wine festival that tours around the country and is popping up in a region near you. Merrick Watts is bringing his wine expertise to Gledswood Homestead & Winery, NSW, on November 26, 2022, before the next festival hits De Bortoli Wines, Riverina, NSW on March 25, 2022. More information on the festival can be found via the link below and we hope to see you at De Bortoli in March! Now for the 100-Year-Old Tawny.
Tasting 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawny
As the afternoon settled in and we’d tasted our fair share of Seppeltsfield Rose, Riesling, and Sparkling it was time to head over to the cellar door where we’d get the chance to end our day on a high note by tasting the 1922 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawny.
It’s the 45th consecutive 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawny to be released from the historic 1878 Centennial Cellar – seeing 100 Summers and Winters maturing in oak – and has received the full 100 points in the 2023 Halliday Wine Companion.
While we’re whisky absolutists at heart, this is the first time we’ve found a liquor that truly guns for the crown. In no way are we experts in the field of quality Tawny, however, if you have the chance to try just a nip of this old, rare, and expensive drink there are few words to describe how special it truly is. We leant on the words of the custodian of the Seppeltsfield Centennial Cellar, Fiona Donald, Chief Winemaker of the 1922 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawny.
“Great intensity harnessed by citrusy acid and notes of sun-dried stone fruit – nutty, spicy, with terrific length. A more savoury expression with focused lift and intensity of spicy walnut liqueur – woody, toasty, some herbal notes too,” she said in her tasting notes, and we aren’t going to disagree with her.
The 100-Year-Old Para Vintage Tawny can be purchased in 100ml bottles for $1,500, although, we recommend checking out the website for pricing on your family/friends’ birth year Tawny. It makes a great present, however, be warned that ‘baby boomer’ years are getting harder and harder to find so prices reflect that!
The Next Grapes of Mirth Festival
A full list of experiences associated with the Grapes of Mirth comedy and wine festival The Balvenie 25 ‘Rare Marriages’ is a Flawless Combination of Casks. Stay tuned for their next event festival as it hits De Bortoli Wines, Riverina, NSW on March 25, 2022. And stay tuned for part two of our South Australia trip which includes a tour of the region’s best restaurants, a museum, and of course, the best wineries in the Barossa Valley.
Ben McKimm was a guest of the South Australia Tourism Commission.
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