Barossa Travel Guide
About the Barossa Valley
The best way to experience the Barossa Valley is on a guided tour. With over 13,000 hectares of vineyards and over 150 wineries through the Barossa Valley and Eden Valley an experienced guide will makes all the difference. Although wines are the primary reason to visit the Barossa, local produce, history and culture are also major attractions.
Barossa Shiraz and Eden Valley Rieslings are the premier wines of the region, with new varieties now getting the recognition they deserve. Merlot, mataro and grenache are some of the reds while the whites such as semillon is beginning to rivalling the wines of the Hunter Valley, with viognier also beginning to get noticed.
In the very early days the region was known for fortified wines. As more Australians started to develop a taste for wine, the big shiraz went out of favour and lighter table wines took over. The 80’s brought in another change, money was flowing and everything had to be big including the wine! Shiraz and the Barossa were back in fashion. It was during this time that Penfolds and Henschke came into their own and were very important in putting the Barossa back on the map and also the world stage!
Barossa Valley Weather
Summer (Dec – Feb): Min 12°C Max 29°C
Avg monthly rainfall 18mm Avg rain days per month 8
Remember sun protection during the day!
Autumn (Mar – May): Min 7°C Max 26°C
Avg monthly rainfall 38mm Avg rain days per month 14
The days may still be warm but the nights are starting to get cooler.
Winter (Jun – Aug): Min 3°C Max 16°C
Avg monthly rainfall 65mm Avg rain days per month 29
Spend your nights next to a warm fire with a nice red wine.
Spring (Sep – Nov): Min 6°C Max 24°C
Avg monthly rainfall 45mm Avg rain days per month 18
Mornings can still be cool / cold so remember to layer up.
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Barossa Valley Events
10th to 20th January 2019 Santos Tour Down Under
This is the inaugural event of the UCI World ranking Calendar and Australia’s only Pro-tour event. Nine days of world class cycling accompanied by special events throughout South Australia. For more information Tour Down Under
11th to 13th January 2019 Barossa Seasons – Summer
A long weekend with everything from indulgent tastings to wine masterclasses, showcasing the best regional food and wines.
More information Barossa Gourmet
17th February Declaration of Vintage
On the third Sunday of February the Barons of Barossa hold the declaration of Vintage and announce their Winemakers and Vignerons of the year. This is followed by the harvest parade in Tanunda
More information Barons of Barossa
5th to 7th April 2019 Barossa Seasons – Autumn
A weekend with everything from indulgent tastings to wine masterclasses, showcasing the best regional food and wines.
More information Barossa Gourmet
24th to 28th April 2019 Barossa Vintage Festival
This is the largest and longest running wine tourism event in South Australia. As well as wine the festival has also featured music, art and culture.
More information Barossa Vintage Festival
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History of the Barossa Valley
How did the Barossa get its name? It is named after the Battle of Barrosa in Spain in 1811. Colonel William Light, an Englishman, fought in the battle, and named the ranges, Barossa Ranges in memory of the battle he fought in. The name was misspelt when it was registered and that is why it is spelt Barossa and not Barrosa!
The Barossa started off in the 1840’s. Communities of Eastern Europeans with their distinctive culture and willingness to work hard, were the first pioneers. They loved wine and by 1929, 25% of Australian wine was produced in the Barossa Valley. A lot of the wine was exported to London.
After this period, they experienced the Great Depression and World War 2 and a big downturn to the markets. Mr Gramp returned from WW2 via the Napa Valley, California, and discovered their modern techniques and brought them back to the Barossa. The next phase saw the dry red table wines return, last seen in the 1860’s! 1951 saw the first Grange Hermitage, Orlando developed wine for “the masses” in 1956 and in 1958 the first vintage of Henscke’s Hill of Grace was bottled.
The 60’s saw growth however by the 80’s there was an oversupply so the South Australian Government introduced a scheme for growers to pull out under performing vines. The industry lost wonderful 100 year old shiraz and grenache vines. Small vineyards stayed focused, started promoting cellar doors and a new type of tourism was born.
2000 was the start of another oversupply of wine, large corporations suffered as their investors wanted returns, some disappeared, but once again the small to medium size producers survived and thrived.
Barossa Valley Wineries
If you are interested in a tour that includes the wineries mentioned in this section click on the wineries name. Please read the itinerary carefully as some tours pass by, or offer as an option but do not stop at the listed wineries. All itineraries are subject to change.
From a historical point of view Seppeltsfield, Yalumba, and Chateau Tanunda are some of the oldest wineries. Seppeltsfield is the only winery in the world to release a 100 year old single vintage wine each year. Of course the most renown is Penfolds located in the Barossa Valley, desired the most for its Grange.
The Barossa Valley and Eden Valley are very different in terms of soil and climate and although they grow similar grape varieties the end result is very distinguishable.
Jacob’s Creek is a name synonomous with fine Australian Wines with the vineyard dating back to 1847.
There are many wineries, big and small that have a great cellar door experience each with their own history, charm and, of course, great wines.
Barossa Valley Other Attractions
From this lookout you will have a great vista of the Barossa Valley. The road from Tanunda and Angaston crosses the hill. There is also the Barossa Sculpture Park to see here as well.
Stop here and have some fun! At the Barossa Reservoir you will find the thin arched retaining wall and it has secret powers! A voice can be clearly heard from one side to the other( 140 metres). That is how it earned the name “Whispering Wall”.
There may have been a story about an old lady who lived in a shoe, but there is a true story of the family who lived in a tree and that is true! Make sure you visit Herbig Tree, the first home of the Herbig Family.
Barossa Valley Food Delights
Barossa is also a working community and there is a tradition of family owned and run businesses. Once you have visited the area you will see just how important these businesses are. Everyone works together sharing their knowledge.
As well as the wine local produce is also why people visit this area. The one person who has done so much to put the Barossa and the produce on the map as well as the world stage, is the wonderful Maggie Beer. The Maggie Beer Farm Shop showcasing the spoils of the area and there are tours that visit her Farm Shop.
The wonderful recipes from English and German settlers have been passed down through the generations. Along with tradition comes innovation both sit very comfortably side by side. You certainly get a feel of respect throughout the Barossa.
Our Favourite Barossa Valley Tours
A great day in the Barossa Valley enhanced by beautiful wines. Visit a Chateau, famous cellar doors and have lunch at Peter Lehmann’s winery. Historic towns and lookouts are also part of this tour.
- Explore Tanunda
- Lunch at Peter Lehmanns
- Langmeil – the world’s oldest shiraz
- Magic of the Whispering Wall
This tour has a flexible itinerary allowing you to visit the wineries of you choice from the hundreds of excellent wineries in the Barossa Valley, or choose to allow you guide to surprise you with their favourites.
- Flexible itinerary
- Small group
- Lunch at Keis Winery
- Visit 3 to 5 wineries
See the famous wine making regions of the Barossa Valley, Adelaide Hills and Hahndorf. Enjoy a two course lunch at Wolf Blass and a Penfolds tasting, with free time in the afternoon at Hahndorf.
- Wolf Blass tastings
- Penfolds tasting during lunch
- Seppeltsfield Estate
- Learn the wine makers art.