South Australia is renowned for its wine regions, and my personal favourite is the Barossa Valley. It seems I’m not alone – Lonely Planet’s ‘The Travel Book’ ranks sampling a Barossa Shiraz amongst the best things to do in all of Australia. I whole heartedly agree. Even if you’re not necessarily a wine buff, a visit to this region is a spectacular way to spend a day or so: great food, FREE wine that is some of the best in the world, friendly people and great scenery.
One of the hardest things about visiting the Barossa is working through the dozens and dozens of wineries and trying to come up with an itinerary. For most people, 3 wineries is a good number to visit in a day. You can do 4, but it will be very rushed (especially if you have lunch) and you’ll be so tipsy by the end of it that you a) can’t trust your taste buds and b) can’t be trusted in charge of your credit card! On the other hand, 2 wineries will probably leave you itching for more!
Now, as a disclaimer, I have not even come close to visiting every winery in this region, despite having been at least half a dozen times. There are plenty more and I would love to hear about your personal picks… however, here is a run down of the wineries I’ve visited, hopefully to help you out with your decision making!
MY NUMBER ONE FAVOURITE: Rockford Winery (Krondorf Rd, Tanunda)
If I could only take someone to one winery in the Barossa, it would be Rockford. Set in a beautiful, historic farm house with antique farm equipment scattered around, this family owned winery is very historical and extremely interesting. The staff are friendly, and usually family members. And then, their wines are absolutely beautiful. Their ‘Rod and Spur’ is one of the greatest wines the Barossa produces, and definitely worth trying. I highly, highly recommend Rockford.
Jacob’s Creek (Barossa Valley Way, Rowland Flat)
Jacob’s Creek is the most well-known Barossa wine for most overseas visitors. Though many wine drinkers (myself included, to be honest!) believe their wine is not the best in the Barossa, they are exceptionally well set up for international and interstate visitors. They have a visitor’s centre with a lot of information about the region and winemaking process, the staff are very knowledgeable and you can actually go out and have a look at the vines and grapes. It is definitely a good place to start your Barossa adventure, as it will give you a very good basic understanding of wine production and tasting!
Bethany Wines (Bethany Rd, Bethany)
Bethany Wines is a very small, family run winery near the historic town of Bethany. There is a beautiful view, it is very quiet, and the area itself is incredibly historic. This small winery is a great comparison to Jacob’s Creek, and a real favourite of mine. As you come in, make sure you keep your eyes out for the incredible German homes that are from the 1800s. The Barossa is a very historic region and Bethany really does give you a sense of it!
Seppeltsfield Winery (Seppeltsfield Rd, Seppeltsfield)
One of the most famous wineries in the Barossa, I think Seppeltsfield has managed to retain its family charm and charisma a lot more than Jacob’s Creek. Set on a sprawling property with many original buildings from when Joseph Seppeltsfield originally migrated from Silesia, there are also huge palm trees which stick out bizarrely amongst the vines and grapes. The tasting centre itself is wonderful; with very warm, friendly staff and fantastic wines. Their specialty is fortified wines, selling a one hundred year old Port. You can’t taste it unless you pay about $40, but there’s plenty of other wines on offer for free!
Charles Melton (Krondorf Rd, Krondorf)
Another absolute favourite of mine, affectionately known as “Charlie Melton’s”, this is a great place because rather than your traditional stand-up wine tasting experience, you can sit along the long table and taste sitting down. For couples or small groups (3 – 4), this is a wonderful way to taste, and the wines are some of the greatest in the Barossa, in my humble opinion!
Do you have any other recommendations? Or are you looking for something specific that I could help you with? Comment below!