The Barossa Valley wine region is one of the oldest and arguably the most important in Australia, with a reputation for producing the world class Shiraz (known elsewhere as Syrah) that first put the country on the international map.
Located in South Australia, only 35 miles northeast of Adelaide, the Barossa wine valley is inextricably linked to early German settlers who arrived in the country after fleeing persecution from what is now Poland.However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that Barossa Valley wine became properly recognised – when the emergence of several family-owned boutique wineries specialising in a distinctive style of Shiraz propelled the region into the attention of an international audience.
Barossa Valley red wine is similar in varietal profile to that from the Rhone Valley in France, with Shiraz dominating and supplemented by Grenache, Mourvedre, and more recently Viogner, Marsanne and Roussane being introduced. The best Barossa wines are typically full-bodied red styles with rich chocolate and spice notes.
Many of Australia’s leading winemakers, including Penfolds, Wolfblass and Peter Lehmann, have extensive holdings in the Barossa wine valley, which is complemented by a continental climate that sees temperatures fall as they climb from the valley floor to the surrounding hillsides. The Barossa Valley wine region’s low supply of rainfall during the growing season is combatted by extensive use of irrigation, although there are strict regulations over the amount of water being used by vineyards.
Among the other grape varieties grown by Barossa Valley wine makers are Riesling, Semillon, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. And, despite its reputation as a red wine region, the Barossa wine valley also produces a fair amount of white wines – with Riesling historically being the region’s most important white grape.
Some of the best Barossa wines feature Riesling that has been grown in the nearby Eden Valley, which is included as part of the geographical Indication (GI) of the Barossa zone but produces white wines with more intense acidity that age well as a result of its elevated hills and cooler climate. The Barossa Valley wine region can be easily visited from Adelaide, although with over 150 different wineries to explore you should consider at least an overnight stay – with main towns in the area including Lyndoch, Tanuda, Nurioopta and Angaston.
Aside from sampling the best Barossa wines, other things to do in the area include an excellent farmers’ market selling local produce and natural attractions such as the Whispering Wall, which is curved in such a way that if you whisper at one end it can be heard over 100 metres away. There is also an opportunity to explore the region from the skies as part of a hot air balloon ride or helicopter trip.
At Wine Paths, our local experts in Australia can organise exclusive tours of vineyards across the Barossa Valley wine region, which can include elaborate tastings, luxury accommodation, fine dining experiences and some unique experiences. All of our private tours can be tailor made to meet your specific requirements, ensuring every detail is taken care of so that you can relax and enjoy the matter at hand – sampling highly acclaimed wines amid a wilderness scenery.
Contact Wine Paths for more inspirational ideas before planning a trip Down Under to taste Barossa Valley wine at its source.
Get all our exclusive travel inspiration and tour packages straight to your inbox!