The combination of beautiful sunny days, stunning vineyards, old vines and good old fashioned local community spirit help to make the small patch of dirt known as the Barossa Valley, some 60km north-east of the Adelaide city centre, one of the most inspiring and welcoming wine regions in the world.
There’s just something about the Barossa Valley that makes you feel warm and special. Iconic names such as Penfolds, Yalumba and Seppeltsfield have grown grapes for wine production in the area since the mid-19th century, and the region is steeped in history and tradition. To this day, it still turns out some of the most decadently delicious wines being made in Australia.
The early German influence in the area is still to be seen in many of the delightful old churches that litter the countryside, and it was these German settlers that have defined the area’s viticultural path ever since. The continental climate is ideal for viticulture. The range of microclimates, when you venture up off the plains and into the hills, allow a patchwork of grape varieties to co-exist together with Shiraz, Grenache, Mataro (Mourvedre), Cabernet (and even the odd splashing of Semillon, Riesling and Chardonnay), giving local winemakers the opportunity to produce a dazzling array of wine styles.
Once seen as a one trick pony, pushing out big, jammy high-alcohol blockbuster reds, the Barossa has taken stock, and although still able to turn her hand to deep, concentrated, full-bodied wholesome wines, there’s an array of new winegrowers that have been seeking out cooler sites to express the more elegant side of this stunning region. This combination of tradition and innovation has ensured that the Barossa has not only remained relevant in the current viticultural landscape, but has flourished! With old vines dating back over 150 years (20-year old vines, seen as being pretty old elsewhere, are merely adolescent in the Barossa!) it’s not tough to see why this little corner of South Australia is once again on everyone’s wine radar.
The established icons of the area continue to strive to be the best, and Yalumba and Penfolds are still releasing incredible bottles of Barossan goodness on a regular basis. The young wine guns of Torbreck, Teusner, Head, Spinifex, Standish and Barossa Valley Estate may be relatively new names on the block, but their experience and local knowledge shine through in the truly stunning wine they release vintage after vintage. There’s so much to love about the Barossa and so much to rediscover, so it’s time to start exploring this gem of a region.
What better way to explore the wares of this renowned region than joining the crew at Vintage Cellars in Elsternwick on Friday 26th June at 4pm, where Bonnie from Barossa Valley Estate will lead you through the tales that shape the region and splash through a range of the delicious wines crafted by this outstanding producer. Here’s to another 150 years of good times and great wines of the Barossa!