As much as I love Clare, Barossa is the wine region of South Australia. With over fifty wineries, great food, events and sights what’s not to love? Since it’s only an hour and a half from us we went as much as possible and this is what we found.
Torbreck – Mutually decided this was our favorite tasting experience. With so many cellar doors it’s hard to know where to start in the region, but you have to remember it’s the people who make worthwhile. Also known for their incredible wines, Torbreck came in first because all the hosts were phenomenally personable and honest. My favorite was the 2013 RunRig, but unfortunately the $255 price tag was a little out of budget.
10/10 would recommend though.
Two Hands – Fantastic wines and outdoor patio. They give you a tasting menu with room for notes and a pen, so obviously I took copious notes but the moral of the story is you have to go. Try everything. Regret nothing.
Hentley Farm – Fine sparkling but really loved their reds! Great cabs and I fell hard for their 2014 Shiraz called “The Beast.” Killer intimate tasting room too.
Rockford – Old school and absolutely a must-see. Every wine we tried was wonderful, and they also had a great sparkling black shiraz and tawny. Also fantastic because of the people and when the crowds died down, they were able to show us around.
Penfolds – By far one of the most well-known Australian brands. I personally loved their 2014 Bin 128 Coonawarra Shiraz, which retails for $45 AUD better than The Grange which can go for upwards of $700. What we walked away with though was the Father Grand Tawny (check?) for $40 because the tasting fee is waived with purchase and it was actually delicious.
Artisans – If you’re interested in trying some smaller producers Artisans is a must. They have a massive tasting list with producers from all over the valley, of all different styles. Awesome patio and valley views too!
- Schwarz Wine Company 2016 Chenin Blanc
- Sons of Eden 2007 Freya Riesling
- John Duval 2014 Entity Shiraz
If You Have the Time:
Rolf Binder – Good wines, good people, good times. We left with a bottle of their 2014 Cab, but I also enjoyed the Bull’s Blood which is made only from pressings*.
Whistler – Go for the events, not the wine. Throughout the year they put on lots of fun events for free with live music and food trucks that are worth checking out! We went to one on a summer night as well as Easter day and both were great, but the wine was just alright.
Seppeltsfield – Touristy, but known for fortifieds. My favorite was their Para Grand Tawny. Also the drive there was lined with palm trees which was pretty sweet.
Elderton – A simple stop, I enjoyed their Chardonnay which you don’t see too often in the valley and thought they had some nice reds.
Sidebar: Eden Valley
If you’re going to Barossa you might as well drive the extra 20 minutes to Eden Valley. Known for their sharp Rieslings like Clare, there are some wonderfully elegant whites that are interesting to see compared to the big bold reds next door.
Henschke – Everything was fantastic, but the Hill of Grace (2010) stole the show. Also extra points for the cute dog.
Eden Valley Regional Wine Room – The easiest way to try a lot of local producers in one place, we found that by stopping here and at Henschke we got a good feel for the region.
- Eden Hall 2016 Riesling
- Mountadam Vineyards 2012 Patriarch Shiraz
- Forbes & Forbes Red Letter Day Sparkling Red
- Rileys of Eden Valley 2016 Gewurztraminer, 2015 Pinot Noir and 2013 Jump Ship Shiraz
Anyway happy tasting! And if you have any recommendations of your own let us know in the comments!
*Pressings are what you call the juice that comes out when you press the skins at the end of fermentation. Free run is the juice that comes out before applying any pressure.