English author Alexander McCall Smith visits Barossa

Elizabeth McCall Smith, Greg West (Chateau Tanunda), Alexander McCall Smith, Mitch McKenzie (Chateau Tanunda). Photo: M McKenzie.
Elizabeth McCall Smith, Greg West (Chateau Tanunda), Alexander McCall Smith, Mitch McKenzie (Chateau Tanunda). Photo: M McKenzie.

Barossa literature lovers happily gathered at Chateau Tanunda on Wednesday to hear from renowned author Alexander McCall Smith.

The Englishman was invited to the region to engage with fans of his books and to share his literary work by Barossa Council library staff.

Selling over 20 million copies of his highly successful series, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Mr McCall Smith was greeted by more than 270 readers – making it a sell-out event.

Piling inside the chateau’s grand ballroom, visitors were treated to a question and answer session hosted by Triple Bfm, where Mr McCall Smith shared his early life in Rhodesia, his travels, time in Scotland, and fielded questions from the audience about his books and popular characters from his novels.

He later took time out to sign books and interact with his fans.

Mr McCall Smith – who shared to Chateau Tanunda staff his love for wine from around the world, explained this was in fact his first visit to the wine region.

Accompanied by his wife Elizabeth, the couple were taken on a grand Barossa introduction which included a private tasting of Chateau Tanunda Old Vine Expressions range and a private dinner.

For Chateau Tanunda managing director Michelle Geber, who attended the evening, she was “happy” with the event’s turnout.

“Capital cities would be jumping over each other to offer exclusive events from names like Mr McCall Smith, but it is the Barossa that he selected, and I think that really says something about the high appreciation of the arts, in particular great literature, in our Barossa community.”

“It was such a pleasure for Chateau Tanunda to host, but this was all only possible thanks to the amazing co-ordination of the team at Barossa libraries,” she said.