Updated: Feb 8
The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s oldest and most famous wine regions, housing some of its most renowned wineries. The valley is an hour’s drive northeast from the city of Adelaide, the Barossa Valley has a history that dates back to the 1800s where German migrants settled in the valley.
The region is best known for its Shiraz and vines that are over 150 years old. The wines themselves boast rich notes of chocolate and spices. You’ll also find other grape varieties, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Tempranillo, Mourvedre, Riesling, Semillon, and Grenache.
With the rolling hills covered in vines and picturesque landscape, the Barossa Valley is a beautiful day trip from Adelaide. You can tour the wineries yourself, which we did, or you can join a tour. I was told the tours are also great. Whatever you choose, you’re destined to find yourself with a delicious glass of wine and in the company of wine specialists dying to share their knowledge with you.
South Australia, the state, is most well known for being a wine region. However, we’ve been staying in Adelaide, also known as the city of churches, and have also been enjoying the architecture and relaxed beach vibe.
Things to Do
The Barossa Valley is made up of several small towns that you can drive around. Each town has its own personality, good food, and specialty wines, be ready to stop and take photos all along the way.
You’ll assuredly need a rental car to get around. We packed a lot into a day, but if you stayed for several days, you’d easily fill your time exploring.
Of course, this is the main attraction. I don’t like to drink often, but when I do, I like to drink quality wines! And I found myself sampling and tasting lots of wines throughout our day.
Most wineries in the Valley offer a tasting menu for around $10, and for that price, you get to try between 5 and 10 wines. It is perfect! They’ll start you with their lightest variety and move into the deeper, dark steak pairing wines.
Vineyards we would recommend include Chateau Tanunda Estate (the oldest winery), Pindarie Winery, Seppeltsfield Winery, and Kellermeister. We got our recommendations from close friends in the local area and other winemakers we met.
Chateau Tanunda Estate
Chateau Tanunda is over 130 years old and is an icon of the Barossa Valley. While there, we saw Mark from the Netflix show “Instant Hotel,” we had a fun chat with him about his instant home in the area. It was a pleasure to see a bit of a local celeb and know that this is where he hangs out. If you’re ever in the area with a group, Chateau is perfect.
According to the Chateau website, “Château Tanunda, the birthplace of the Barossa, was established in 1890 and is the site of some of the Valley’s first vines planted as well as its first winery. The majestic bluestone winery and vineyards is a living testament to the colorful history and pioneering spirit of Australia’s most famous wine region.“
Visiting this winery is a bit like visiting a small castle. Inside you’ll find barrels and barrels of wine in a giant cool, dark cellar. You can sit in their showroom and try all their latest wines.
This winery we visited on recommendation from a friend, Kahli, and she told us it was her favorite. Pindarie is a small winery with a personal vibe that makes it a very comfortable place to spend an afternoon. They serve you in an original building from the 1800s that used to be a horse stable. It was here that we purchased three bottles of Australian wine.
Here is some history from their website, “Pindarie is located at the gateway to the Barossa Valley, on Gomersal Road on the Western Ridge. A family-owned property, with Tony Brooks at the helm after taking over from his grandfather in 1990. Together with Wendy, the transformation of Pindarie began.
What was once a run-down and over-cleared farm has become a sustainable and regenerated property with Tony and Wendy planting over 12,500 trees in the last 20 years.”
Our server, Stuart, was the best! He gave Rasmus and me a one-hour tasting and a VIP history lesson on the wines and property.
When To Go
When I asked our bartender when to go, he told me that every season has its perks. So if you find yourself in the region, just go. We were here in mid-January and enjoyed 100 degree days, which was divine.
The red line below shows a regular year -
I loved the heat in January, primarily because it is so foreign to me as an American. But the wet season is June, which would be winter, so the fields would be the most green. Fall features changing leaves, and spring brings flowers. I’m sure we could have enjoyed the wineries in any season.
Up Next: Perth, Western Australia
Rasmus had his debut game on Friday night; his team lost in overtime by just 3 points. It was brutal! Luckily we get to play them again this Wednesday.
I am currently in the NBL bubble of sorts. Special regulations are barring us from doing certain things or seeing certain people.
(See Raz hit a three in that game below)
For their last game, I sat in a COVID “clean” section with my mask in a stadium with 7,000 other people! It was surreal. This country has done an excellent job with the virus, and it’s been fun for us to reap the benefits.
When we aren’t under regulation, we’ve been able to visit the beach, go to restaurants unmasked, and genuinely enjoy all that Australia has to offer. Not exactly sure what the next few months hold, but we are eventually trying to make our way to New Zealand with the team.
I know many guys on Raz’s team have families in NZ and are dying to get home. For now, though, Perth, Cairns, and Melbourne are on the docket. I’m using the few freedom hours we have to explore! I’ll keep you updated here.