It’s no secret that I’m a pretty big wine taster! I have been wine tasting all over Australia and the world: in Australia in the Barossa Valley, Margaret River, Tamar Valley, Mornington Peninsula, McLaren Vale, and Hunter Valley; in New Zealand in Central Otago, Nelson, Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, Matakana, and Wairarapa River; in South Africa in Stellenbosch and Franschhoek; and in the US in Napa, Sonoma, Santa Barbara, and Woodinville.
It’s a long list, I know! Having been to so many wine regions, I can honestly say that the most interesting of them all is the Barossa Valley just outside of Adelaide, South Australia.
Wine tasting at Langmeil Winery, Barossa Valley
Wine tasting at Turkey Flat Vineyards, Barossa Valley
The World’s Oldest Vines
What makes the Barossa Valley so unique is the age of the vines coupled with the warm growing climate. Australia’s grape vines were imported from Europe in the 1800s, and when Europe was grappling with phylloxera (a vine-eating pest), South Australia protected its grapes with strict quarantine laws—so some of the vines in the Barossa Valley have actually outlived their European ancestors.
Not only are Barossa vines the oldest in the world, but many of them are not racked, so you’re looking at these amazing gnarled plants and you can simply tell that they are going to produce some amazing wines.
The Barossa Valley really shines with its fortified wines; you’ll taste ports and tawnies here that you can’t get anywhere else. Plus, you can create your own blend at Penfolds (with a bottle to bring home, of course!) or head to the famous Seppeltsfield to taste a vintage tawny from your birth year straight from the barrel. Hentley Farm is another world-renowned winery in the Barossa Valley and they just so happen to be good friends of the Down Under Endeavours team!
Make your own wine blend at the famous Penfolds winery. Image: Tourism South Australia
Stay Longer… It’s Worth It!
Since the Barossa Valley is just an hour outside of Adelaide, you can do some wine tasting on a day tour, but I would highly recommend staying in the area for at least 2 nights. There is something about sleeping among the vines and awaking to beautiful views of the countryside.
My favorite property in the Barossa Valley has to be The Louise. This is a beautiful property with large villas that look out to the vines. The Louise is part of Luxury Lodges of Australia, which means they have spared no expense on your comfort, from the huge shower to the super comfy bed. I could have stayed there for weeks! Their award-winning restaurant, Appellation, is worth a stop all on its own, with delicious and innovative cuisine that highlights the best flavors of Australia’s culinary capital.
Vineyard views from The Louise. Image: Tourism South Australia
Want to learn more about the Barossa Valley and the other incredible wine regions of South Australia? Give me a call at (312) 951-8517. I would love to chat and help you plan your trip here!