South Australia’s Barossa Valley is a world-class wine region. They’ve been producing wine here for generations. Just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, this picturesque region was settled in 1842 by European immigrants and still retains its charming old-world character. Visit gracious heritage towns, century-old cellars and some of the world’s oldest shiraz vineyards. Follow a food and wine trail between boutique producers or take a scenic drive through the rolling countryside. Beyond the stone churches and world-renowned wineries there’s a thriving arts scene and spas for relaxation.
To reach the Barossa Valley from Adelaide you can drive yourself, take the daily bus service or join one of the many tours. Local companies offer everything from standard bus tours to more personalised experiences on motorbikes, vintage cars and even in hot air balloons and helicopters. Day and overnight itineraries combine cellar door tastings with food experiences, heritage attractions and sightseeing.
With 150 wineries and more than 70 cellar doors, there is certainly a lot to see, sip and taste in the Barossa Valley. Half of the cellar doors are open to the public, but most of the others happily open their doors on appointment. The magic of the Barossa region lies in its diversity of growing conditions. The Eden Valley produces distinctive cool-climate wine varieties, while the region’s flagship shiraz is grown in the warmer, low-lying Barossa Valley. Add abundant seasonal produce, artisan food producers and award-winning restaurants and you can see why the Barossa is a gourmand’s dream destination.
If you’re driving you can follow the Barossa’s carefully-designed food and wine trails. Taste delectable breads, smoked meats and other regional produce on the Butcher, Baker and Winemaker Trail. Or collect your esky of hand-made cheeses and begin matching at wineries along the Barossa Cheese and Wine Trail. Wind down the palm-lined Seppeltsfield Road past 11 cellar doors and local food and wine producers. If you’d prefer to stroll, the Para Road Wine path takes in four acclaimed cellar doors along the river in historic Tanunda.
Learn more about the Barossa’s rich history on the heritage trail which stretches from Kapunda in the north to Mt Pleasant in the south. It winds through the Barossa’s many villages, showcasing museums, pioneer buildings and some of Australia’s oldest wineries. Wander the rose garden of a majestic chateau and browse the Tanunda museum, housed in the town’s original 1865 post-office. Here church furniture, pottery and other relics help you imagine the life of the region’s early German settlers. Art remains a rich part of the Barossa tradition, and you’ll find art galleries, studios, craft outlets and antique stores everywhere. Wineries, cafes and restaurants often double as galleries for local artists.
Take the Barossa Scenic Heritage route through charming villages such as Bethany, Angaston, Nuriootpa, Greenock, Seppeltsfield, Maranaga and Tanunda. Drive through the Barossa Sculpture Park to the top of Mengler Hill Drive for incredible panoramic views of the Barossa’s lush valleys.
If you have the time, the Barossa is the ideal place to indulge and unwind. Play golf between the gum-trees on one of the Barossa’s championship courses or stroll through the fragrant lavender farm. Complete your Barossa holiday by checking into a day spa, healing retreat or luxurious vineyard resort.
Like a fine wine, it seems the Barossa just gets better with time.