Australia’s unofficial wine capital
Not many cities can boast having one of the country’s finest wine regions just an hour’s drive from the CBD. Adelaide is considered the unofficial ‘wine capital’ of Australia and in the Barossa, located 60 kilometres northeast of Adelaide, you’ll come across the cellar doors for globally recognised winemakers such as Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Peter Lehmann as well as a lovely bunch of boutique wineries doing bold and innovative things with wine and ultimately, producing lots of it.
Shiraz is the specialty drop of the Barossa and large proportions of Barossa shiraz is used in Penfolds Grange (Australia's most famous wine) but there are several other rouge varietals on offer – riesling, semillon, grenache and cabernet sauvignon - as well as some fortified wines and you’ll want to try them all. Best practice is to arrange a designated driver or join a wine tour and then you don’t have to worry about the drive back. Because, even if you only plan to have a taste, chances are you’re going to meet some of the friendliest winemakers who are generous in sharing their delectable drops and before long you’ll be rocking your happily ‘drunk in the daytime’ eyes.
Wine isn't the only highlight of the Barossa Valley however; the range of local produce is also a huge drawcard. The valley is blessed with a strong German heritage and possesses some of the richest cheeses, dried fruits, fresh meats and pastries. There’s no doubt the residents of the Barossa eat and drink well. With much reason to celebrate, the region has hosted a week-long Barossa Valley Vintage Festival since 1947 to traditionally mark and celebrate the completion of the year's vintage season with an elaborate street parade, concerts and gourmet food events every April.
As you wind through the region, it’s hard to miss the beauty of the hectares upon hectares of vineyards, especially when viewed from Mengler Hill lookout.