September 11, 2020 | 4 minute read
Ahh, the Barossa Valley! As a wine lover, it’s hard to go wrong with a visit to the Barossa. From historical sites to award-winning restaurants and wines, it seems to get better every year. It's definitely more traditional in its wines than other South Aussie regions, such as the Adelaide Hills and McLaren Vale, perhaps as much for its extra distance from the city, as well the length of its history. Whilst there are many great places to visit, here are some tried and tested favourites to ensure you get the full Barossan wine experience.
* At the time of writing, activities and places mentioned in this guide are at varying stages of recovery from COVID-19. Please check government and business websites for specific details on opening times and any restrictions before you travel.
Pop through this charming Tanunda verandah and pine-panelled cellar door setting, for a taste of intimate Barossan hospitality done well. With Charles’ daughter, Sophie, graduating from viticulture and oenology this year, the future is looking bright for this family brand. While they’re known for their Shiraz and blends, if you’re partial to a fruity rosé, get around the Rose of Virginia!
Grant Burge and their distinctive branding is well-known for a reason – their wines are crowd-pleasers. When you’re in town, visit Meshach cellar atop the hill at Krondorf road, a striking blend of new design and old materials nestled among the vines. If you like everything, it's probably best to try everything. With wines from sparkling to iconic reds and fortified varieties, this is a winery to keep everyone happy. If you’re a Merlot drinker, theirs will please both you and your nan. They have a café too!
Becoming as well-known for the winery restaurant as their wines, it’s worth noting that the wines here consistently rank very well – if you’re into that kind of thing. What matters really is that everything here is going to taste damn good, and their cellar door is utterly charming. Don’t pass up their Museum release Shiraz – Clos Otto, and The Creation.
Another beaut, sun-kissed patio with views over the vines, Murray Street Vineyards deserves a look. With an exciting new winemaker at the helm, enjoy this cross-section in time where you can taste vintages under the old winemaker, and some younger vintages under Jack Weedon’s guidance. Priding themselves on maintaining approachable pricing, their white label Rosé is absolutely delicious, as is the very juicy Black Label Shiraz.
Which came first, the Barossa, or the Penfolds? Regardless, Penfolds deserves your time for the pure synonymous nature of the region and this particular winery. Built in 1911, you can taste, and even blend, your own wine while soaking up the historic surroundings. While you’re on your historical bandwagon, stick your beak in at Seppeltsfield to experience history re-imagined!
Oh, it’s beautiful here. Many seasoned South Australian wine drinkers consider Rockford Wines Basket Press Shiraz the cream of the crop when it comes to Barossan wines, so when in the Barossa… do as the South Aussies do! Rockford’s winemaking follows tradition. In their cellar door, you’ll find basket-pressed reds, white Frontignac, a selection of fortified wines, and of course, that infamous Alicante Bouchet.
'Family-owned, estate-grown' stands as the company line for Schild Estate Wines – which is pure humility when you dig a little deeper. Known for their Moorooroo Shiraz made from four rows of 170-year-old vines, this wine has serious status. While ticking the boxes for traditional regional varietals, the Schild family are Shiraz through and through. A must-visit if Shiraz is your jam.
When you need to retire to a cosy little space after a day of expansive winery exploration, Z Wine is your stop. As much bar as it is cellar door, and as much a tapas and snack stop as a bar, the Zerk sisters have created a space in which you can settle in for a couple of vinos and plates, or coffee and cake if it’s still in the am.
Fridays and Saturdays are a must for live music and a late close, while Thursdays and Sundays see the team stay open until 8 pm. Wines range from Riesling and Rosé to Grenache and a range of back vintage Shiraz – in Magnum and Jeroboam form too, if you’ve got the time. They even have a kid's tasting plank, so bring the whole family.