The Barossa is close enough to Adelaide for a day trip but, with so many wonderful wineries to explore, you may wish to book a room and settle in for a weekend of indulgence.
Happy Holidays: 20 wineries to visit in the Barossa
The western ridge of the Barossa Valley is home to Pindarie, a 300-hectare property that has sheep grazing amongst 100-year-old olive trees and the thousands of native trees planted by Wendy Allan and Tony Brooks, the sixth generation of Brooks family involvement with the land. The first vineyards were planted in 1998, with red varieties including shiraz, tempranillo and sangiovese. The cellar door showcases their many wines in the restored stables building, with light lunches of pies and platters served in the old grain store next door.
Established in 1994 by Martin and Sally Pfeiffer, 2019 is a big year for Whistler Wines as this October marks the 20th year for the winery’s very popular cellar door. As Martin and Sally take a step back, the winery has been handed over to their sons Josh and Sam and their families to take Whistler into the future, continuing their biodynamic processes and minimalist winemaking techniques.
Turkey Flat are proud custodians of an unbroken line of commitment to viticulture and wine that stretches back five generations. Turkey Flat make premium, elegant and refined wines, that can be enjoyed at their cellar door tucked away on the edge of Tanunda, surrounded by vineyards dating back to 1847. Slow down and enjoy a glass of wine in the 1860s bluestone building, which was once the Schulz family butchers, and now a place for everyone to enjoy the Barossa lifestyle, wine and food or a Museum Masterclass.
St Hallett Winery
Nestled between lush vineyards and the Para River, St Hallett Winery was first known for its fortified wines, but continues to reinvent itself to present rich and diverse drops. Turning 75 this year, St Hallett has released a modern Barossa Blockhead range, and continues to produce the Butcher’s Cart Shiraz, first released as a one-off for the winery’s 75th birthday.
Penfolds has played a significant role in South Australia’s wine industry since 1844, with what is now the Barossa cellar door built in 1911. Visitors can try their hand at winemaking in the laboratory and create their own blend from grenache, shiraz and mataro, and even take home a bottle of their own blend. Guests can also book ahead for a Taste of Grange Experience to discover the philosophy and spirit behind one of Australia’s most recognised wines. 2019 marks 175 years of Penfolds winemaking and several new wines are being released to celebrate the anniversary.
Charles Melton has produced limited release, premium red wines at the Krondorf Road winery since 1984. The award-winning cellar door is the best place to taste their range of classic dry reds including a grenache/shiraz/mourvedre blend called the Nine Popes and the cult-following Rose of Virginia rosé.
1847 Chateau Yaldara
At Lyndoch’s Chateau Yaldara, new visitor experiences include The Art of Fortified, a blending masterclass and leisurely lunch in a private tasting area, as well as the new daily Tour and Tasting through the cellars and maturation areas with one of the wine ambassadors. Book a table at Hermann’s restaurant to enjoy lunch with views of the North Para River after your tasting.
Peter Lehmann Wines
Peter Lehmann Wines mark their 40th anniversary this year, sourcing fruit from growers in more than 800 vineyards across each Barossa subregion. For more than three decades, the winery has been crafting popular shiraz such as The Barossan, an intense, full-bodied shiraz made to reflect the soul of the region. Visitors to the cellar door will be welcomed to the red gum bar, with more than 40 wines on offer for tasting. The gum-shaded picnic tables are the perfect place to relax with a bottle of wine and one of the winery’s famous Weighbridge Platters.
Two Hands Wines
Founded by two friends 20 years ago, Two Hands Wines explores the diversity of Australian shiraz, sourcing fruit of the variety from six prized regions of South Australia and Victoria. Inspired by the creative and hands-on approach of winemaker Michael Twelftree, the wines each reflect their microclimate for unique small batches.
Barossa Boy Wines
Sixth generation Barossa winemaker, Barossa Boy Wines founder Trent Burge grew up on the soil from which he now harvests his vines. Barossa Boy is Trent’s passion project as he draws on the wisdom and vines of his ancestors and blends with a fresh, modern palate. A combination of fruit from long-term Barossa growers is used to allow each variety to express the bold qualities of varieties that evolve each vintage.
The rich history of St Hugo can be explored on the St Hugo Past, Present & Future Tasting Tour for an immersive look at the vineyards, unique cork trees and a tutored tasting, before a four-course lunch matched with the famed reds. The restaurant also offers a Chef’s Table look into the site and dishes that make the reds shine.
Janelle and Kristen Zerk are fifth-generation Barossans and are the only sister duo in the Barossa Valley who own and operate their own business and make their own wines. Their wines can proudly stand alongside many well-known wines on the world and local stages. Four different labels and 17 awarded wines are available to explore at a new cellar door and wine bar in the main street of Tanunda, offering regional produce and local live music to accompany the selection of distinct wines.
To mark their 150th anniversary, the Henschke family opened a new cellar door at their Keyneton property in November 2018. The Henschke cellar door is housed in the original 1860s grain barn built by Johann Christian Henschke, an early pioneer of South Australia, who planted the family’s first vines in the area. The original dry-stone walls of the old grain barn have been brought to life to become a new Henschke tasting experience, that includes a spacious tasting area, courtyard, underground cellar, a private tasting room and the Henschke Wine Room displaying the full Henschke collection, with VIP experiences on offer.
Built in 1890, this iconic bluestone winery is a landmark in the Barossa and testament to the long history of winemaking in the region, with vines dating back more than 100 years. Today, Chateau Tanunda lives on through the restorations and wines made by the Geber family. At the barrel hall cellar door, visitors can take a trip through the wines, take a tour, enjoy a cheese platter or play croquet on the lawns.
Langmeil Winery hosts intimate long table degustations several times during the year to celebrate the seasons, vintage and the wine. Held in the old barn which was once part of the original Langmeil Village, the five-course lunches are limited to just 22 people and include wines to match the seasonal cuisine. The historic cellar door is warmed by an open fire in winter, where you can taste through the wines or book yourself in for a Freedom Experience tour and tasting.
Eden Valley’s Thorn-Clarke Wines have recently added a driving range to their cellar door experience, where visitors can try their luck for a hole-in-one. They also offer a collection of small-production cellar door exclusive wines that constantly change, from vineyard expressions through to fortified. Seasonal platters from local producers complement the wine tasting, while every October, Thorn-Clarke host their annual Feast and Forage event, full of family fun, with a live band, children’s entertainment and food trucks.
Grant Burge Wines
Since 1865, Grant Burge Wines has combined its finest vineyards, and hands-on techniques with modern winemaking to express the iconic Barossa Valley region, through sparkling, whites, reds and fortifieds. In the heart of the valley, the region’s diversity of terroir and fruit expression, together with the Mediterranean climate, provides the perfect environment to create quality wines full of rich and generous flavours. With impressive views across the Barossa Valley, the Krondorf Road cellar door is open daily, and groups can taste in The Meshach Cellar by appointment.
Yalumba celebrated their 170th anniversary this November, with a string of events throughout the year. Barossa Gourmet Weekend in September will be celebrated with lunch cooked and hosted by the winemakers. New experiences and tours through the Angaston cellar door are also now on offer, with tours of the grounds, museum cellar and underground workings, as well as the on-site cooperage in action and more Wine Room exclusives to come, including a selection of rare fortifieds up to 50 years old.
Home of the Scholz family from 1845, Johann Gottfried Scholz, a former bonesetter in the Prussian army, established Willows Hospital on site. Willows Vineyard began after the fourth generation planted vines on the property in 1936. Willows Vineyard continues to source all fruit from their Light Pass vines, with wines produced by sixth-generation brothers Peter and Michael Scholz.
Elderton Wines is a small, family-owned winery, situated in the heart of the Barossa Valley. Today Elderton is run by second-generation brothers, Cameron and Allister Ashmead, who work to produce world-class wines from grapes grown on three vineyards across the Barossa. Elderton celebrates the individual terroirs of each of the vineyard sites, producing wines that show true regional history and character, with their Command Shiraz vineyard celebrating 125 years in 2019. The Elderton Tennis Classic will take place again on Sunday, November 10.
This story first appeared in the SALIFE Food & Wine List 2019.