Anyone who reads this blog would know I am rather fond of wine regions. One of my favourite (if not favourite) wine region in Australia is the Barossa Valley. Perhaps I am a little biased because I’m a South Aussie girl at heart, but despite this, it really is an absolute must-visit when in Australia.
The Barossa Valley is famous internationally as one of the world’s greatest wine regions, renowned for its food and wine. The picturesque region is home to some of the world’s most spectacular vineyards, nestled within a colourful patchwork of rolling hills and historic villages.With over 80 cellar doors and 150 wineries, it takes much more than a weekend to discover all the secrets the Barossa has to offer.
Here are some highlights from my most recent visit, with a focus on smaller boutique wineries. Thank you Barossa Dirt for the wonderful recommendations; still many more to discover for next time…
Rockford Wines will always hold a special place in my heart. It was one of the first wineries I visited when I was growing up and I’ll never forget the pleasure when tasting my first Alicante Bouchet Rose, one of Rockford’s signature wines. My taste has changed a little since then, but the Alicante is always a crowd favourite amongst my pals at a summer bbq.
With one of the prettiest cellar doors in the Barossa , the winery and cellar door centres on a beautiful paved courtyard and a stone settler’s cottage and buildings dating back to the early settlement of Krondorf.
What I love the most about Rockford is their ability to carry on traditional Australian winemaking techniques. The vintage shed also tells the tale of the region and is equipped with all kinds of treasures from the pioneer era.
Rockford Wines feature high quality traditional wines made from some of the best old Barossa vineyards. Don’t miss their famous Basket Press Shiraz! But be warned it sells out quickly.
Their cosy cellar door is a great spot to enjoy a comprehensive wine tasting. Their expert staff are more than happy to have a chat, make recommendations and share their knowledge of the history, culture and wines of the region.
A 131 Krondorf Road Tanunda SA 5352
T +61 8 8563 2720
Cellar Door Sales Open 7 days 11am – 5pm.
There’s so much to love about this boutique winery which is located slightly off the beaten track down a little red dirt road in the heart of the Barossa. The winner of best winery in 2015, Hentley Farm’s charismatic cellar door is housed in the property’s original 1840s homestead.
If you’re visiting the cellar door, The Tasting Room is a great spot to perch on their stylish leather bar stools while enjoying some of their incredible wines on offer. Or retreat to the outdoor verandah to enjoy some fresh country air in the sunshine.
The Hentley Farm Restaurant is one of South Australia’s finest restaurants. Set amongst the vines, in an elegantly restored stable building – your taste buds will be in for a treat at this award-winning venue. If you’re looking to linger for a longer lunch or dinner, you must try the ‘Discovery Menu’ – the ultimate gastronomic experience. Expect to be delighted and surprised by a journey through different textures, flavours, ingredients and unique pairings. Trust me you won’t be disappointed.
A Corner of Gerald Roberts Road and Jenke Road, Seppeltsfield, South Australia, 5355
T +61 8 8562 8427
Cellar Door Open 7 days a week 11am – 5pm
Just a little further down Krondorf Road is one of my favourite boutique wineries in the region – Charles Melton.
Operating since since 1984,this family run winery operated by Charles and his wife Virginia, specialises in the production of limited release premium red wines. Charlie himself is responsible for reviving old vine Grenache based wine and saving some of the world’s most ancient vineyards. In the 1980’s Charlie and a small number of winemakers turned their winemaking efforts to what was then considered a couple of unfashionable varieties, Shiraz and Grenache. And we are glad they did!
Their premium red table wines are spectacular – ranging from the The Rose of Virginia (named after Charles’ ‘wife) to the Nine Pope’s – Australia’s premier Rhone-style red. If you prefer dessert style wine, try their newest member, the Sotto di Ferro, which is a Vin Santo style desert wine. The dry reds are matured in both French and American Oak, which give them a beautiful rich fragrance.
The Verandah is the perfect spot to have lunch on a sunny day. Or you can retreat into their atmospheric cellar door and enjoy a wine or two on the communal tasting table beside the roaring fireplace.
A Krondorf Road, Krondorf, SA 5352
T +61 8 8563 3606
Cellar Door Sales Open 7 days 11am – 5pm.
As far as locations go, you can’t beat Pindarie, a picture perfect winery boasting spectacular views over the Valley’s Western Ridge and surrounding landscape.
The old grain room and heritage stables have been beautifully transformed to the cellar door it is today. Owned and operated by Wendy Allan and Tony Brooks, the original farm buildings have been restored by hand by Tony himself.
Home to Pindarie’s western ridge wines, the gorgeous cellar door offers a full tasting of the estate-grown wines in a warm, inviting atmosphere. The climate at Pindarie is best described as a warm continental climate, with a Mediterranean influence, resulting in deep rich wines.
Wines produced each vintage include the Western Ridge Shiraz, The Risk Taker Tempranillo, Schoff’s Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, Bar Rossa Tempranillo and Sangiovese, and La femme Savagnin. The Black Hinge Tempranillo and Black Hinge Shiraz are limited to select vintages.
Of course no wine trip is complete without a cheese platter. And the Shearer’s Platter at Pindarie certainly doesn;t disappoint with a selection of charcuterie, terrine, cheese and preserves.
Don’t leave home without saying hello to their furry friend Patch the dog. I may have fell slightly in love with him on my first visit…
A 946 Rosedale Road, Gomersal SA 5352
T +61 8 8524 9018
Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop
Although it’s not a winery, Maggie Beer’s famous farm shop definitely deserves a stop of its own to stock up on gourmet treats.
Stocked with Maggie Beer’s gourmet goodies including mouthwatering pates, preserves and olive oil, the farm shop encourages visitors to wander around and taste all the products before you buy it.
The alfresco verandah overlooking the lake is the perfect spot to rest your weary legs while enjoying Maggie’s all day picnic baskets or simply a coffee and sweet treat for afternoon tea,
If you’re lucky, you may even see Maggie herself in the kitchen– she was having a photo shoot in the kitchen last time I visited.
And don’t forget to say hello to the friendly pheasants in the farmyard.
A 50 Pheasant Farm Rd Nuriootpa SA 5355
T +61 8 8562 4477
Open 10.30am – 5pm everyday.
What are your favourite spots in the Barossa Valley?