Top 5 Barossa (regional guide)
Australian wine areas don’t get much more iconic than the Barossa. Without getting into too much detail, the Barossa ‘wine zone’ is divided into two official ‘wine regions’: the cooler, higher Eden Valley in the east and the warmer Barossa Valley in the west; plus a small stretch further west without vines, where gold was found briefly in the mid-1800s. Settled in the 1830s by Silesian Lutherans fleeing religious persecution, sponsored by British free settlers keen for farmers and tradesman to help establish the new colony, it’s a wonderful example of early multiculturalism. The descendants’ fierce determination to keep their heritage alive, combined with German placenames and family names, foods and festivals, makes the entire Barossa a wonderful area to explore. Here are five things not to miss when you visit.
Stay Enerby Farm Cottage, Cockatoo Valley
Along a short dirt track in the heart of the old Barossa goldfields, this rustic-outside-cosy-inside heritage-listed stone cottage dates to the mid-1800s. Hosts Tom & Rosemary live nearby, keep it well stocked with house-baked biscuits and breakfast treats and are a wealth of local knowledge.
Eat Hentley Farm, Seppeltsfield
I’m a sucker for well-restored old buildings, exposed stonework, heavy wooden beams, wattle and daub ceilings … and Hentley Farm has it in spadefuls, from the atmospheric cellar door for a pre-prandial tasting, to the restaurant in the old stables serving a delicious (at times theatrical) degustation of great local produce.
Drink Henschke, Keyneton
Think Barossa, think big reds … but the cooler Eden Valley produces crisp whites and elegant reds. Stephen Henschke, fifth generation Barossan, produces iconic Hill of Grace shiraz, named after the Gnadenberg church, for which his family donated land in 1860, and the vineyard opposite, founded in the same year.
Cellar Door Seppeltsfield Winery, Seppeltsfield
One of the Valley’s oldest wineries, Seppeltsfield, offers an impressive cellar door experience, with tastings from entry level to 100-year-old Para ‘port’, great eats at Fino restaurant, and the chance to view artisans at work in the Jam Factory craft centre, from knifemakers and milliners to potters and glass blowers.
German Heritage Linke’s Central Meat Store, Nuriootpa
Graham Linke runs the butchery his grandfather started from the back of a horse-drawn cart in 1928, producing mettwurst, lachsschinken, jaegerbratten and kassler from Opa’s recipes and smoked over red gum at the back of his shop. Sample some on the ploughman’s platter at his cousins’ bakery across the road.
Visit Barossa Tourism at www.barossa.com for more information.