Pat Kent, 42, is originally from Mount Isa in northwest Queensland the Australian Outback. He and his wife, Sally, manage Kingsford Homestead ( www.kingsfordhomestead.com.au), a high-end resort in South Australias Barossa Valley wine region.
Q: What kind of property is this?
Kingsford is a luxury country retreat on the western edge of the Barossa Valley, 45 minutes from Adelaide. Its an 1856 heritage-listed homestead that opened to the public July 1 with boutique accommodations.
Its named after Stephen King, who crossed the North River at the ford here. He was a wealthy man from Lincolnshire, England, who purchased 3,500 acres, built a sandstone Georgian home station and set up a sheep station what youd call a ranch. The sandstone is from Scotland; it came over as ship ballast.
Its a grand, two-story building with a formal lounge, dining room and library and an amazing cellar we converted into a 14-foot dining room; theres a wine cellar as well. The upstairs has been converted into suites, all with a French Provincial-modern kind of thing and with incredible views.
Weve had a good wet winter, so spring (autumn in North America) is looking fantastically picturesque at the moment. As well as the vineyards and the rolling hills of wheat and barley and peas and beans.
Q: But vineyards are what put the valley on the map.
Its Australias premier shiraz wine district, one of the most famous wine-growing districts of the world.
We dont have grapes on the property we have Black Angus cattle on our 225 acres but the nearest grapes are five miles away, at the Pindarie vineyard.
There are at least 50 to 100 wineries within a half hour of us. We can take people on wine tours or organize tours with experts. We can even organize tours by helicopter.
Q: What are your favorite wineries?
Pindarie, Hentley Farm and Yalumba.
I like Pindarie because its closest to us and is in a beautifully restored old barn and has a big wine verandah that looks over the valley. The winemaker there spent 15 years with Penfolds and makes unpasteurized Mediterranean-style wines like tempranillo.
I like Hentley Farm because they just built a new restaurant from an old barn. Its one of the nicest places in the valley and has beautiful wines to go with it.
I like Yalumbas fantastic heritage its an old family winery.
Q: And your place?
Our property is all about beautiful walking trails and the cattle. And we have a signature offering a claw-foot bathtub in a hidden corner of the grounds. It has total privacy and hot and cold water for an al fresco experience. We set people on the decking with towels and bath salts and let them have an hour or two de-stressing and getting back to nature.
Q: Does nature there include kangaroos?
Yes, as well as beautiful birds, like red-ruffled and ring-necked lorikeets and the Adelaide Rosella parrots. There are plentiful water birds on the river that runs through the property.
Q: How much does it cost to stay there?
$790 Australian dollars (about $820 U.S.) per suite per night. Its all-inclusive meals, open bar and the signature riverside bar.
Q: Riverside bar?
Thats where the bathtub is.