When Silesian Lutherans first settled here back in the middle of the 19th century, they gave the valley a subtle European look and charm, which reflected in the wine making process. This made the Barossa wine region home to some of the very popular wines that quickly became Australia’s ambassadors around the world. Australia’s tourism policy puts a great accent on the country’s food and wine culture, which results in a large number of tourists visiting the Barossa wine region, where more than 150 vineyards and 70 cellar doors are open during all seasons.
Barossa wine region is mostly famous for the production of some terrific Shiraz red wines. Although it was long believed that Australian wine makers aimed towards some massive, jammy wines, nowadays they’re actually aiming for elegance and finesse. Cabernet Sauvignon is also present in Barossa, but due to heat, it can be tricky. You can find it in some sub regions of the valley. Another trademark of the Barossa wine region is the Eden Valley’s Riesling, one of the best in Australia. As you can see, the huge diversity in growing conditions makes the Barossa wine region home to many different wines.
Once in Barossa, the “must do” activity is to wine and dine. The region offers some unique and very unconventional restaurants, with local ingredients on the menu. Pretty much all the restaurants support local wineries, so you’ll experience the Barossa to the fullest anywhere you choose to dine. A good place to start with is Appellation, where you can try professionally prepared meals with local ingredients like sausages and bacon, and taste some amazing wines. Here are a few suggestions:
- Barossa Valley Estate Shiraz 2012 – with flavours of red plum and fresh blackberry;
- Domain Barossa Black Tongue Shiraz 2011 – fruit flavours reminiscent of dark chocolate, pepper and black currant;
- Fernando Special Release Shiraz 2012 – a complex and elegant wine with very rich taste;
- Grant Burge Benchmark Chardonnay 2013 – plush, rich and peachy Chardonnay;
- Grant Burge Shadrach Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 – with flavours of blackberry, ripe plums and layers of chocolate, coffee and a little spice, this wine is elegant, strong and expensive.
Complete your wine tasting experience with a visit to some of the famous wineries; almost all of them have some cellar-door operation, from wine tasting bars to tours and cafes. You can start with Rockford, where you can see the open-top slate fermenters and oak casks. Moreover, you can purchase as much as you want of the Basket Press Shiraz. Other wineries worth visiting are Seppeltsfield, where you can try some great fortifieds; Henschke, Yalumba and the newest ones, Two Hands and Torbreck. And to finish your wine tasting tour, visit Jacob’s Creek, the first and the oldest commercial vineyard in Barossa wine region.
For accommodation in Barossa, you can choose from various hotels. If you enjoy and can afford luxury, Louise is the place to go to. Every apartment has an outdoor shower and a whirlpool tub, and the bathrooms are very large and comfortable.
There are a lot more things to see and experience in Barossa. Rent a car or a bike, and go on a trip. A local’s advice is to spend an afternoon in the lovely Kaiserstuhl Conservation Park and enjoy the native flowers and kangaroos. Visit heritage towns and learn more about the history of this region. Discover the work of artists in art shops, galleries and craft shops. Or, go on a guided tour and get a rare insight of this amazing part of Barrossa.