Next time you are perusing the wine list at the restaurant, make a note of the origins of the wines. Chances are some Australian wine will be on offer. And for good reason. Australia produces award winning wine – world class wine. The climate in the south of the country is perfectly suited to a selection of grapes and there are a few famous vines that have been growing for well over a hundred years. Given the relatively young age of modern Australia, this is a good indication of the importance wine has had over the years.
Within Australia, South Australia on the south coast is premier wine country. And if you get the chance to visit, don’t pass it up.
Adelaide is South Australia’s capital city, and a good base if you are heading into the best known wine region of the state – The Barossa Valley. Less than 70km north of Adelaide, it is an easy drive.
Australia’s longest living Shiraz vines are here, in the Barossa, and the region is known for its delectable selection of Shiraz. That said, award winning wines across a range of grapes are coming out of the region. From Grenache and Cabernet to Semillion and Chardonnay, there is something to tease every palate.
There are well over 80 wineries, so you will have to make a choice. Some of the better known names include: Baltazar, Eden Hall, Penfolds, Peter Lehmann, Saltram and Yalumba. But you would most certainly miss out if you didn’t knock on one of the lesser know cellar doors.
With the exception of Summer (December – February), the evenings are cool, so some warm clothing is recommended. Winter nights are best spent curled up in front of a nice cosy fire. Summer days average in the high 20’s (80F) and can get into the 30’s (90F).
A wine tourist mecca, there is no shortage of romantic cottages and cosy B&Bs in the Valley area. If you choose to spend more than a day here – and that’s a wise choice – there is a fantastic array of accommodation to meet your needs. From larger, modern accommodation choices like the Novotel, to smaller historic options such as Jacobs Creek Retreat, you will find your accommodation needs met in style.
There is a huge selection of organised tours and private companies offering cars to take you on a tour of the region. The Barossa Visitor Information Centre has a wealth of information and the first port of call for anyone planning a visit.
Barossa Visitor Information Centre
66-68 Murray Street, Tanunda SA 5352
Tel. +61 8 8563 0600 or 1300 852 982
Fax +61 8 8563 0616