Sitting 70 kilometres north of Adelaide, the beautiful Barossa is one of Australia’s great wine regions. Brian Johnston suggests three ways to sample its delights.
The Barossa can be enjoyed on an easy day trip from Adelaide, but why rush? Its snug, historic towns invite languid exploration, and you can learn about the region’s history and wine production at the cellar doors of Jacob’s Creek and Penfolds. Then explore off the main routes to find smaller family-run wineries. You can also sample hearty German deli food, soak up the character of settler towns and enjoy the scenery, especially beautiful in autumn.
Stop at Lyndoch Bakery and grab some great bread ($10) for your picnic before a vineyard tour ($12.50) at Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, which will teach you about the wine-making process and this internationally-known label. A little further north, Maggie Beer’s Farm lets you wander, taste and finalise your picnic fare ($15). After lunch, head to Seppeltsfield, an historic property where you can do a Heritage Tour ($15) and tasting ($5, refundable if you purchase wine). Stay at the Vine Inn Barossa (from $135 for two, including breakfast), which has good pub grub (mains $22).
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Take the scenic route from Adelaide via Birdwood and Mount Pleasant: longer than the main road, but more scenic. Stop at Angaston for lunch at Vintner’s Bar & Restaurant (mains $17–$38), where treats include Shiraz-glazed veal shanks or tea-smoked duck. Then call in at Saltram Winery and take an Underground Tasting Journey ($30) to learn about the winery’s history. Have a pizza ($23) or main meal (around $30) at its restaurant Salters and take home a Mamre Shiraz 2010 ($30). Stay at lovely Collingrove Homestead (from $280), a charming 1856 house with individually-decorated guest rooms.
Head to Nuriootpa and the cellar door of Wolf Blass, where you can look around the museum before joining an informative session ($40) to create your own Black Label blend. Then head over to Penfolds where you can have a one-hour Grange Tasting ($150) and sample Australia’s best vintages. Stay at the luxurious, all-suite The Louise (from $525), where you’ll have splendid views over the vines and won’t have to look for dinner: its restaurant Appellation is one of the region’s best, and has a five-course degustation menu with matching wines ($160).
Barossa Valley has a detailed website where you can download visitor guides and maps and find hotels, restaurants and cellar doors.