South Australia Wineries
One of Australia’s best-known wine regions, the Barossa Valley is a viticulturalist’s utopia with 60 wineries only too happy to share their produce with eager enthusiasts. Even if you’re not overly passionate about wine, the region, easily accessible being only 60km northeast of Adelaide, is picturesque with soft rolling hills and fertile valleys. How about you raise your glass to the Barossa?
Named by Colonel William Light in 1837 in memory of the British victory over the French at the Battle of Barrosa, the Barossa Valley was originally colonised by German and British settlers. There are three major towns in the Valley. Tanunda is considered the most German, while Angaston has the strongest English influences. The largest town, Nuriootpa has a mix of both and today is the commercial hub of the area. It was the original settlers that successfully planted vines, spawning an industry that thrives today. In fact South Australia produces around half of all the wine made in Australia, with the bulk coming from the Barossa.
While you can visit the region at any time, summer is the best time to explore the environs. During summer, temperatures rise to around 27 degrees, while in winter they hover around 15 degrees during the day. Rain is more frequent in winter and not a deterrent.
Held every second year at the end of April, the Barossa Vintage Festival celebrates the region’s food and wine. The Festival was first held in 1947 to mark the end of the harvest and as such is Australia’s oldest and longest-running wine fête. Experiencing a food and wine tour is an absolute must if you are visiting this part of Australia.
Located only 60km from Adelaide, most visitors fly to Adelaide and then explore the region either as an organised tour or by hiring a car and exploring independently. Adelaide International Airport is located seven kilometres from the CBD. There are direct flights from most major Australian capitals. The following airlines fly to Adelaide:
Flying from Sydney to Adelaide takes about three hours, while Melbourne to Adelaide takes just over two hours.
The region is close to the state capital, Adelaide so it’s possible to explore the area as a day trip. International luxury chains in Adelaide include the Crowne Plaza, Hilton, InterContinental and the Stamford Grand. For those preferring to stay in the Valley, there are luxury options including The Louise in Tanunda.
To find out more about the range of holiday accommodation available with Travel Associates call 1800 017 849 or enquire online.
Sights to See
This is serious wine country, with many manufacturers throwing open their cellar doors and inviting visitors to sample their produce. The region is best known for its red wines, namely the Shiraz. Other grape varieties include Riesling, Semillon, Grenache and Cabernet Sauvignon. The drive through the region is extremely picturesque and very pleasurable. A trip can be most rewarding without any set agenda; just see where the day takes you and which vineyards spark your interest.
The Valley is also a major food producing region. Dried fruit, cheese, meat and bread are made for local consummation and export. Many of the restaurants in the area serve local produce, some even offer traditional German delicacies following in the tradition of the ancestors. There can be nothing more rewarding than enjoying a delicious meal and accompanying wine made from produce grown in the area.
For stunning views over the Valley, drive up to Menglers Hill Lookout. There’s no walking involved because the road leads straight to the summit. The large car park makes appreciation of the vistas easy.
Don’t Leave Without…
Perhaps enjoy a light breakfast, so you’re not too full to enjoy the fabulous food and wine offerings made fresh in the Valley.
Things to be careful of…
Wine tasting can be great fun but drinking and driving don’t mix. Enjoy within moderation, alternatively enjoy an organised tour and be driven in luxury from vineyard to vineyard.