One of Australia’s best-known wine regions, the Barossa Valley is a viticulturist’s utopia with 60 wineries only too happy to share their produce with eager enthusiasts. Even if you’re not overly passionate about wine, the region, easily accessible being only 60km northeast of Adelaide, is picturesque with soft rolling hills and fertile valleys.
Named by Colonel William Light in 1837 in memory of the British victory over the French at the Battle of Barrosa, the Barossa Valley was originally colonized by German and British settlers. There are three major towns in the Valley. Tanunda is considered the most German, while Angaston has the strongest English influences. The largest town, Nuriootpa has a mix of both and today is the commercial hub of the area. It was the original settlers that successfully planted vines, spawning an industry that thrives today. In fact South Australia produces around half of all the wine made in Australia, with the bulk coming from the Barossa.
While you can visit the region at any time, summer is the best time to explore the environs. During summer, temperatures rise to around 80 degrees, while in winter they hover around 60 degrees during the day. Rain is more frequent in winter and not a deterrent.
Held every second year at the end of April, the Barossa Vintage Festival celebrates the region’s food and wine. The Festival was first held in 1947 to mark the end of the harvest and as such is Australia’s oldest and longest-running wine fête. Experiencing a food and wine tour is an absolute must if you are visiting this part of Australia.