The journey to Denmark did prove to be trying. Our red-eye flight landed in Perth at about 6.00AM and in an hour, we were off on our rental car towards Rockcliffe Winery, located in Denmark Australia.
Google Map had suggested our drive would take 4 and a half hours. We got onto Tonkin Highway and took a left onto Albany Highway. From there, it was straight all the way with optional pit stops at Armadale, North Bannister, Bannister and Williams.
What Google did not warn us was the drive took us through a monotonous landscape of Western Australia forests. The initial scenic appeal to a Singaporean lad was quickly dulled.
It became a test of endurance, patience and recycling of our Spotify playlists. How many times can one listen to Charlie Puth??
The lack of sleep on the flight from Singapore was an immediate regret. Jack Reacher 2: Never Go Back was definitely not worth sacrificing the sleep and risking our lives on the road for. No matter the appeal of Tom Cruise and Cobie Smulders!
And so we shouldered on. The clear blue skies that once looked picturesque was now a a hypnotic blue backdrop weighing on our focus. Occasionally, the continuous treeline breaks to reveal rewarding views of prairie hills and gentle valleys.
The change in topography as we approach the coast was a significant motivation. The forest grew thicker and the temperature feels cooler. We are getting close!
Google Map was counting down to our arrival as we turn right at Mount Barker and made our way through Mount Lindesay National Park. Our pulse quicken, our moods lighten and we sat up on our seats just as our anticipation rises. We are entering our final lap.
We turned left onto Hamilton Road. The paved road now changed into a brick red gravel path. The heightened sound from tyre friction seemingly compete (or perhaps mirror) the weirdly audible sound of "where is it?" in our minds.
The gravel path narrows making some parts accessible by a single car. We peered around for the destination. The trees are now towering against the side of the road limiting visibility to what's ahead and what's immediately adjacent.
And as we came down an incline, Rockcliffe Winery came into view. A beautiful grass field folds gently downhill to our right. The late afternoon sun just peeking through the treeline where the grass field ends. A lush green vision of vines rises uphill on our left, extending beyond view. A winery complex tucks in neatly at the top. All around, towering trees surround us.
We drove in, right up close to the vines. No big gates, no big flashy signs, no commercial presence, except for two single-storey houses.
A cool ocean breeze, a serene sense of tranquility and a familiar face greet us as we step out of the car. We've arrived at a wine eden.