Get up close and personal with Australia’s favourite wine region on the back of a three-wheeled chopper.
Speed is such a subjective thing – 80km per hour in a car on a highway can feel sluggish, in a boat hellish. On the back of a bright yellow, custom-made chopper, with the patchwork vineyards of the Barossa laid out before you, it’s absolutely perfect.
Piloted by expert tour-guide and motorbike aficionado Tony Tscharke, this canary trike is the crown jewel in Tscharke’s nine-year-old wine touring business. What started out as Barossa Trike Tours is now Barossa Unique Tours, and the success of Tony and wife Amanda’s one-of-a-kind, personalised tours of this famous wine region has resulted in an additional trike and a luxury Jeep being added to their service.
Both trikes are custom made – part Mustang, part Volkswagen – and can fit up to three passengers comfortably along the elevated back seat. Tony has an extensive background in wine – including 15 vintages in the Barossa and California for companies such as Wolf Blass and Penfolds – and a clear appreciation of the history, architecture and scenery of this picturesque corner of the world.
Service levels are exemplary – Tony meets his guests at their accommodation (or wherever suits their schedule), before fitting them out in gloves, a warm jacket and a helmet. The latter comes complete with a bluetooth headset to ensure conversations at 80kph are audible and not a minute of his astute knowledge of the region is missed.
As much as possible, the aim is to personalise tours – the Barossa’s array of wineries, large and small, make it possible for Tony to cater to those who want to focus only on delicate Eden Valley whites, dedicate their time purely to Barossa Shiraz, or those who simply want to take in the best views and the best food.
Yalumba, Penfolds, Chateau Tanunda, Seppeltsfield and Wolf Blass are all regular stops, as are smaller wineries such as Hentley Farm, Gibson’s, Whistler and Murray Street Vineyards.
Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop gives visitors a true taste of the Barossa – there’s room in the back of the trike to load up on as much verjuice, vinegar and sugo (Italian pasta sauce) as you need – as does The Barossa Valley Cheese Co. in Angaston (try the award-winning Barossa Washington).
But the real joy of this tour is the feeling of whipping along at 100kph amongst the moss rocks, rolling hills and paddocks of the Barossa, the lack of windows and doors allowing you to enjoy the smell of eucalyptus and the freshness of the country air. Unique by name, unique by nature – a Barossa experience not to be missed.
By Tess Fisher
Tess experienced the 1.5 hour Chopper Cruise tour, valued at $90pp.
Barossa Unique Tours
t: 0438 623 342