With its majestic hills, quiet country roads, picturesque villages, garden-fresh gourmet fare and timeless beauty, Barossa is a little slice of ecstasy
DEDICATE A DAY TO THE VINES
Sharing a bottle of wine can make your romance bloom and when the location is as divine as Barossa Valley, it’s hard not to feel starry-eyed.
The name Barossa is synonymous with great wine; all varieties from gutsy Shiraz to delicate Riesling. Drive down the highly-photographed palm-tree lined Seppeltsfield Road to reach the historic Seppeltsfield Winery that houses world’s oldest continuous collection of fortified wines dating back to 1878. Here, you have the rare opportunity to try your own birth year or wedding anniversary year vintage tawny directly from the barrel. Sip wine as old (or young) as your partnership is!
Enter the winemaker’s laboratory and try blending your own wine at the Penfolds cellar door – the historic winery that dates back to 1911. Get creative with varieties of Grenache, Shiraz and Mourvèdre and pour resulting blend into your bottle to enjoy for later
Jacob’s Creek at Rowland Flat is where you can indulge in flavorful wines and master the art of wine and food pairing
To soak in the vista around its 103-acre picturesque site, cycle along the dedicated bike track that weaves between the vineyards or relax and picnic under the shade of a river red gum tree; all you need is a glass of wine and some delectable gourmet produce from their kitchen garden.
To see wine barrels being shaped, toasted and finished, head to Yalumba, the only family-owned winery in Australia to operate its own cooperage. Witness artisans at work, creating oak barrels in the time-honoured tradition.
WALK THROUGH LAVENDER LABYRINTH
“As rosemary is to the spirit, so is lavender to the soul”
Walk amid a dreamy bed of lilac and breathe in a magically calming scent at the Lyndoch Lavender Farm that boasts of 90 lavender plant varieties. This two-hectare working lavender farm is situated amid beautiful rural surroundings, with an abundance of birds, butterflies and bearded dragons in spring and summer. “The lavender comes to life in the spring, blooms all summer and is dried and collected in late fall,” says farm manager Matt Allanson. So, make sure you plan a visit accordingly.
Reward yourself with a lavender iced or hot chocolate and their locally-flavoured cheese and meat platter
Can’t get enough of purple flowering plant? Carry the aroma back home by choosing from a whole lot of lavender-based products like essential oils, bath salts, linen spray and lavender-flavoured cookies, chocolate toppings and more. The nearby Rose Garden at Lyndoch Hill, part of the Barossa Chateau Estate is a mecca for rose lovers. This 25-acre garden was opened by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002 and holds around 30,000 roses and some lovely spots to reflect and admire.
INDULGE IN “THE GOOD FOOD”
The region serves up a smorgasbord of delicious treats, including smoked meats like mettwurst, lachsschinken and ham, virgin olive oil, artisan cheese, craft beer, homemade relishes, jams, jellies, chutneys, and more. For casual picnic fare at lunch time, head to local legend Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. Fill your wicker basket with delectable goodies from the humble farm shop and enjoy them at one of the tables on the patio area, overlooking the dam and olive groves. Or watch Maggie put on her apron and whip up some dishes during an afternoon cooking demonstration at her studio.
For one of those formal, intimate dinner dates, look no further than the national-award winning restaurant Appellation at The Louise. Here, the executive chef Ryan Edwards and his team are passionate about freshness, seasonality and regionalism; they harvest from their kitchen garden, bake their own bread, and cure their own meat. With a four-course menu that unashamedly reflects the local growing seasons, you’re sure to have an unforgettable dining experience.
WHERE TO STAY
Located in the heart of Barossa and surrounded by verdant vineyards, The Louise in Marananga specialises in suites with a private outdoor area that offers gorgeous, uninterrupted views. The staff at Louise is more than happy to organise special somethings for you and your partner. So, don’t hesitate asking for a bottle of champagne, in-suite massage facilities or exclusive experiences like breakfast with the kangaroos and trike tours.
BEST TIME TO GO
If you are planning for a trip to Barossa Valley, it is wise to know about the weather and temperature here.
Spring (September – November) – Sunny days with mild temperatures. Great weather for outdoor activities. You’re likely to see fruit trees loaded with pink, white and red blossoms.
Summer (December – February) – Sunshine and warm to hot days. Balmy evenings are ideal for outdoor dining. Grape harvest begins. Watch ripened grapes being hand-picked and transported to wineries.
Autumn (March – May) – Mild but sunny, with evenings getting colder. Vines bring out fiery shades of autumn. Splendid sunsets are a treat. Orchards yield quinces, figs, apples and pears in abundance. Don’t miss the Barossa Vintage Festival. The nine-day festival is a great chance to be a part of fun events, sample some great wines and enjoy fresh local food and music.
Winter (June – August) – Chilly nights. Enjoy Barossa hospitality in front of a cosy wood fire. Though vineyards lose their leaves during this period, paddocks sown with cereal crops are bright green. Ripe olives are harvested for oil or pickling. The best part? You can enjoy the renowned Barossa Gourmet Weekend.