Australia’s Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s winemaking powerhouses, famed internationally for its mastery of the Shiraz grape viticulture and, for the last several decades, home to one of the most popular tasting trails in the entire Southern Hemisphere. No fewer than 150 individual wineries exist here on the undulating hillsides of the valley bottom, many with tasting rooms clustered around the towns of Nuriootpa, Angaston and Tanunda. They make use of the unique series of meso climates that define the patchwork of various terroirs all the way from Barossa to Eden and give rise to the region’s distinctive, full-bodied reds. What’s more, the quaint character of the timber houses and old Lutheran churches here make it a perfect place to taste in Australia, where curiously European culinary traditions and legendary hospitality only add to the allure.
The Rockford Winery is situated on dusty Krondorf Road just outside of Tanunda, and is a picture-perfect image of Barossa’s traditional take on the craft. The brewing houses and barns are all built in classic stonewall styles, while the fermentation equipment is noticeably rustic. This makes for an honest and earthy tasting experience that’s entirely void of the industrial machinations of big-business wine. Visitors should be sure to taste Rockford’s flagship Basket Press Shiraz, an old vine red that brings all the bonuses of this winery’s labor intensive methods to fruition.
Founded early in the 19th century, the Penfolds Winery began life as a medicinal vineyard for sherry and port production. Today, it is among the oldest names in all of Australian viniculture and operates no fewer than four individual wineries in the Barossa Valley alone. Since its establishment, Penfolds Wines has received in excess of 200 recognized awards for excellence, while visitors to its various cellar doors in Australia are quick to comment on the professionalism, friendliness and expertise of the staff. In short, if you’re looking for a winery that epitomizes the classic terroir of the Barossa Valley, this is it!
Glorious and grandiose Chateau Tanunda is one of the instantly-recognizable symbols of Barossa Valley winemaking as a whole. Set across acres of cultivated grounds, the regal Chateau house oozes with an historical charm that makes it one of the best introductions to the region’s brewing past on offer here. Visitors are invited to try the various strains of Tanunda’s iconic Shiraz, from the strong and full-bodied Lyndoch to the smoother Ebenezer; each sourced from different meso climates across Barossa and the Eden Valley.
While Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop is perhaps more of an all-in-one, farm-to-table foodie destination than a dedicated Barossa winery, it is still well-known for its production of the Alfred and Home Block, Tempranillo and Shiraz grape ranges. An overarching organic philosophy and a genuine passion for the agricultural wealth of the Barossa Valley as a whole has meant that Maggie Beer’s continues to be both a regional and international favorite, while a recently opened events center and tasting hall has increased seating capacity here to more than 160.
Last, but certainly not least, Australia’s largest and most definitive wine brand finds its home in the depths of the Barossa Valley. Here, guests enjoy one of the most comprehensive introductions to the history and techniques of regional production, along with tasting sessions that incorporate the best-known labels and flavors of Jacob’s Creek. This all takes place in a modern and sprawling visitor’s center on Barossa Valley Way, an easily accessible spot in the very heart of Australia’s winemaking mecca.