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A short drive from the city saw us in the Adelaide Hills, stepping back in time into an alternative reality of retro farmsteads, rolling, rural landscapes, remnants of old towns, and, most importantly, wineries.

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The vines are bare now, but the spring blossoms are out.

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We followed a sign for flowers that led down a steep decline and stumbled across Barratt Wines.

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After a fairly scary dirt track we pulled up in their beautiful gardens, the only visitors. Dutifully the lady turned on the heating, put on a Natalie Merchant CD and very kindly opened seven new bottles for us. Most impressive were two Sauv Blancs, one bottled on my birthday, the other, unusually, slightly oaked. Purchases were made.

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A switchback ride down Greenhill Road brought us, very suddenly, back into the suburbs.