If you’re anything like us, you’ll agree that there’s nothing much better to do with a free day than to visit a winery.
Sure, heading down to the wine shop to chat to the assistants about their new releases can be fun, and enjoying a glass of your old favourites at home in the evening hits the spot, too, but nothing really beats getting to the source of it all.
Stepping out into a professional, well-loved vineyard, and hearing the crunch of the soil beneath your feet, feeling the sun which ripens the grapes warm your skin, and heading inside to see the wares on display is a magical way to spend your time.
If you’re interested in Australian wine, then the chances are you’re a fan of Barossa Valley. This unique and impressive wine region has a history and culture that stretches back over one hundred and sixty years, and is renowned for its family run wineries (many of which are now in their sixth generation of winemakers) and the quality of its produce.
This is the spiritual home of Australian Shiraz, the country’s flagship grape varietal, and there’s nowhere on earth better to get a taste of what the Aussies do best.
So, next time you’re in the area, make sure you spare some time to check out a winery or two in Barossa Valley - there’s a lot of them, though, so here are our top tips for wineries to visit.
You can’t miss the entrance to Seppeltsfield Winery in Barossa Valley; it’s lined by dozens of massive palm trees, tempting you along the lengthy drive to the winery and giving an imposing and iconic welcome.
The main attractions here are the staff - they’re renowned for their friendliness and happiness to chat for ages about what they do, and what makes their beautiful estate so effective when it comes to producing their unique and characterful wines. As well as this, there’s the food. For a small fee, you get a multi-course tasting menu to have alongside your wines, helping you reveal the subtleties of the Shiraz and bringing a truly laid back, elegant feel to the whole day.
No visit to Seppeltsfield is complete, however, without tasting their 100 year old tawny Port. It’s a game changing experience that will stay with you for a very, very long time!
Image by Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage
Hentley Farm was awarded winery of the year in 2015, and it isn’t difficult to see why. It’s welcoming, open, elegant and utterly beautiful, and the restaurant/bar in their converted barn house will blow you away with its awesome cuisine and - of course - the wines they serve. Their 2012 Shiraz Cabernet blend was showered with awards upon release, and chances are, you’ll be leaving with more than one bottle for yourself.
Image by Seppeltsfield Vineyard Cottage
Peter Lehmann Wines
This part of Australia is all about the slow life, the good life, the warm, relaxed afternoons spent watching the world go by. That’s more or less the philosophy behind Peter Lehmann Wines - this is a chilled out place, and if you visit in the late afternoons (once most of the visitors have said their goodbyes) you get the beautiful vineyards to yourself, as well as the incredible hospitality of the hosts.
The cheese, the meats, the signature sparkling red wines are all awe-inspiring… you won’t want to leave.
Image by Adelaide Now
No trip to Barossa would be complete without popping into the reigning champions of the region - Penfolds. Stunning views, beautiful architecture, award-winning restaurants and a wine cellar stocked with arguably some of the finest vintages to ever be produced in Australia all await those who come to visit. An iconic winery, and the zenith of what Barossa can and should be.
Image by Penfolds
A true family winery in the heart of Barossa Valley, Grant Burge is now in its fifth generation of local vintners, and you can sense the passion and expertise they put into producing their characterful red and white wines the moment you step through the door.
Although their vineyards are beautiful to wander through any time of the year, see if you can visit during one of the winery’s events - they regularly hold launch nights for their vintage wines, as well as a range of festivities across the seasons.
Now that you have heard all the right reasons to love the wineries in Barossa Valley, it's time to discover the wines you should sip on once you visit the region... put your palate to the test and discover wines that you will love! Take our quiz below to find out your top 3 wine types.