Winter is all about feeling cosy and enjoying the thermal pleasure of sitting in the warm indoors when you know it’s crisp outside. What better way to get that warm and cosy feeling than to head to South Australia’s Barossa Valley where you can rug up with a glass of vino while admiring endless rows of beautiful vines.
Famous around the world for producing the finest Shiraz and Riesling, the Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s most significant and acclaimed wine regions. As a popular tourist destination, the Barossa Valley is jam-packed with everything from boutique wineries to internationally recognised brand names. Unless you have a month to spend working your way through the Barossa, chances are you’re going to have to narrow down your list. Not sure where to start? Here are our top picks for must-see wineries.
Image credit: City of Burnside
One of the most internationally recognised Australian wine brands, Penfolds gets a spot on our list because it offers guests a truly unique and hands-on experience. Step inside the Wine Maker’s Laboratory and become a winemaker for the day. The expert team will guide you through your blending experience where you’ll create a unique blend from Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvedre (depending on your personal tastes and preferences) using grapes sourced directly from the valley.
You’ll learn about the winery’s distinct history as you experience the wine-making process first hand. At the end of the experience, Penfolds will bottle up your creation for you to enjoy. If you want to purchase any of the wines on location, take advantage of Penfolds’ free shipping so you don’t have to worry about finding space in your luggage.
Image credit: Chateau Tanunda
Established in 1890, this majestic bluestone winery and vineyard has been a staple in the Barossa Valley for over 125 years. Once the largest winemaking facility in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s worth stopping by Chateau Tanunda Estate to delve into the rich history and read about the many famous names that left their mark on the property.
As one of the oldest vineyards in the region and Australia’s largest and oldest wine Chateau, this winery has well and truly earned its official place on the Register of State Heritage Places. Make sure you don’t get lost in the history and forget to taste their award-winning wines, after all that’s the reason they’ve been in business for well over a century.
Image credit: Jacob’s Creek
From picturesque bike trails, native garden walking trails, cooking classes, tours, an interpretative gallery, superb seasonal menus and of course, wine tasting, there really is something for everyone at this 42-hectare site.
With so much on offer it’s no wonder the Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre has won Best Major Tourist Attraction three years in a row, was inducted into the South Australian Tourism Hall of Fame and won the 2011 Australian Tourism Awards for Best Tourism Restaurant and Best Tourism Winery. There are 14 grape varieties to see and taste as you explore the banks of this world famous creek (yes, the real Jacob’s Creek flows through the winery grounds).
Image credit: Seppeltsfield Winery
Lined with large palm trees, the road to Seppeltsfield Winery will have you enjoying the experience before you even step foot inside the cellar door. The best way to explore these vast vineyards is on a bicycle or Segway tour, where you’ll weave through the property and learn about its history which dates back to 1850.
A visit to Seppeltsfield Winery isn’t complete without sampling their famous Centennial Collection. To this day Seppeltsfield Winery is the only winery in the world to release a 100-year-old, single vintage wine each year. Watch out, the taste is intense so it might be worthwhile to share a glass with your travel companions.
Image credit: lkonya / Shutterstock.com
Largely credited with shaping the Australian wine industry for over seven decades and recognised as the original Baron of the Barossa, Peter Lehmann is arguably the most famous man in Australian wine.
This winery was established when Lehmann decided to take a gamble and create his own wine as a rescue mission to save the livelihood of 60 family growers in the region. Here you’ll find out all about the man who was awarded an International Wine Challenge Lifetime Achievement Award and an Order of Australia for his contribution to the industry. As you walk through the vineyards, sipping on one of the 40 varieties available, it’s hard to believe Lehmann pulled it all together in just a mere five months.
Image credit: Tom Jastram / Shutterstock.com
Escape to Europe in the heart of the Barossa Valley! Chateau Yaldara is home to 1847 Wines and the historic grounds are reminiscent of a European winery thanks to founder Hermann Thumm, a European migrant who made sure his vineyards were both visually appealing and practical.
Situated on the banks of the North Para River, 1847 Wines produces estate grown hand-crafted wines which can be paired with locally-produced artisan foods at the on-site Hermann’s Restaurant for a well-rounded Barossa Valley experience. Plan your visit to coincide with the weekly ‘Fortified Fridays’ event to sample the taste of rare fortified wines and 30 to 40-year-old Tawny Ports.
For more information on Barossa Valley Wineries, please visit southaustralia.com
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