Guide to the Barossa Valley

Nowhere quite does wine like Barossa Valley. Nestled amongst rolling green fields and traditional wineries to the northeast of Adelaide, Barossa Valley is the perfect pit-stop for foodies, as well as those on the hunt for a little vintage culture. As well as high-end vineyards, the valley also encompasses a gamut of charming villages that boast cobbled high streets and a hint of Germanic history that dates back centuries.

As well as the beautiful scenery, there is also a great range of things to do in this part of Australia.

Barossa Valley

The History of the Barossa Valley

Aboriginal Times

Back before there were any European settlers coming to Australia’s shores, the country was inhabited by the local indigenous community; the aboriginal people. Within the Barossa Valley region, the local community was named the Peramangk people. The area was rich in supplies, with edible plants and grubs to gather, together with small animals such as kangaroos to hunt. The community used fire to help regenerate the vegetation and to drive animals away from the undergrowth, leading to natural open land spaces. However, even before the European settlers came, there was war in this area. With the River Murray aboriginal people doing seasonal trading which eventually led to war between the two tribes. By the time the first colonists made their way into the area in 1837, the Peramangk tribe had all but disappeared. However, the remanent of the ancient Aboriginal people still remain, with rock paintings, artefacts, and important sites remind later generations of this significant era.

European Settlers

The first surveyor of South Australia was Colonel William Light. He named the area after the Barossa in Spain, which is a long beach in the municipality of Chiclana de la Frontera, Province of Cádiz. Due to the Aboriginal community’s past fire clearings, the land was perfect for the possibility of vineyards. Thus, began the development of the famous wine region, with Barossa going down in history as being the largest collection of old vines in the country. Nowadays, there are six generations of grapes growing in the Barossa Valley, with some dating back to the 1840s.

The Collection of Cellar Doors

Barossa Valley is a famous wine-making region home to some of the most recognisable brands in the world. Here, you’ll find the vineyards that make Rockford, Penfolds, Jacob’s Creek, and Henschke wines, amongst many, many others.

This high-end selection of world-class wineries is a huge draw for tipple-lovers, who can sample some of the delicious flavours, tour the cellars, and even get to make their own blends.

 Jacob’s Creek,

The Villages of the Barossa Valley

The wineries of the Barossa Valley are nestled in between charming little villages that hark back to yesteryear. Cute boulevards are lined with family-run cafes and restaurants, which make the perfect hot spots for kicking back, relaxing, and watching the world go by.

These villages include Bridgewater, Crafers, Stirling, and Aldgate, all of which boast a lengthy heritage that is evident in their charming surroundings and great range of activities.

In all four of them, there are plenty of cafes and restaurants to check out, as well as picturesque streets to wander that are lined with boutique stories and artisan shops.

There are numerous cultural buildings to indulge in, too, like the Stirling Theater in Stirling, which has also been dubbed South Australia’s ‘Book Village’ because of its many bookshops and venues – check out Chapter Two Books, Matilda Bookshop, and The Hut Book Shed while you’re in town.

In between the villages, there is incredible countryside to explore. The patchwork landscape is filled with rolling greenery, vast open spaces, and, of course, plenty of wineries to enjoy. If you’re in the Barossa Valley, be sure to check out the many cute villages around for a taste of the rich history and a taste of the delicious flavors and tipples that make the area so well-known.

Top Things to Do in the Barossa Valley

Visit Wineries

Jacobs Creek

Jacob’s Creek is undoubtably the most sought-after winery in the Barossa Valley. The name of the brand is named after the nearby creek that cuts through the valley, named after William Jacob, who was one of the main forerunners in founding German Lutheran immigrants to the area. The very first Jacob’s Creek vineyards was planted in 1847, and has continued ever since, growing and producing some of the best wine around. Venture to this winery for an afternoon of delights, learning about the winemaking process, sampling the delicious varieties, and enjoying the stunning atmosphere.

Seppeltsfield

Seppeltsfield is a perfect place to visit for a country experience away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Stretching out to 420 acres of vineyards, Seppeltsfield is bursting with lush greenery, stunning architecture, and cosy atmosphere. It is one of the top wineries around, once winning the international Best of Wine Tourism award last year, so it is guaranteed you’ll get your money’s worth. The brand has been around since 1851, cultivating quite a reputation among locals and tourists. After enjoying a glass of the crisp white wine, why not inspire your creative side when visiting the on-site gallery. Named the Jam Factory Contemporary Art and Design Studios, the gallery has local beauties in all kinds of mediums. Afterwards, you can refuel at the on-site restaurant, named IIFINO to tuck into a delicious lunch or dinner. As a bonus, it is as well the only winery in existence that releases a 100-year old single vintage wine every year, so make sure you ask about this year’s spectacular wine when visiting.

Seppeltsfield

Wolf Blass Winery

For the history and art buff tourists, Wolf Blass Winery is for you! With a rich history showcased at the winery, the winery lets visitors discover the secrets of the brand through both the wine and the information offered. A large display the entire range of black labels ever created at the winery, with some being just as old as the winery itself. For art lovers, there is a gallery on-site, with the iconic ‘Wolfie’ art piece. Made with oil and acrylic, the art piece was created by David Bromley, one of the most recognisable artists in Australia, and was done to celebrate the brand’s 80th Birthday. Wolf Blass is one of the valley’s biggest treasures, with both their yellow and black labels flying off the liquor racks all over the country.

Wolf Blass

Other Incredible Activities Around Barossa Valley

The Marvellous Markets

Wine regions are known for their country markets, and Barossa Valley is no different. There are a number of small, locally-run markets knocking around this part of Australia, but none quite match the standard of the Barossa Food Markets in the cute town of Angaston. Here, visitors can wander through stalls piled high with free-range meat, home-grown veg, chutneys and sauces in every flavour, and sumptuous pastries.

The Fine Food Selection

The quality of food on offer at the markets just shows how much of a foodie region Barossa really is. There are plenty of delicious experiences to be had in the area, from modern Australian cuisine at a stone villa, South-East Asian fusion food, fresh takeaways, and fun snacks from the collection of village cafes. To top it all off, TV chef Maggie Beer also has a farm shop in Barossa Valley, where you can stock up on fruits, jams, and chutneys, and tuck into baked pastries and home-cooked meals in the adjoining café that overlooks a lake.

The Fun Festivals

Barossa Valley is also known for its foodie festivals, too. In autumn, the Barossa Vintage Festival takes over town. This one-week event brings together wine, food, art, culture, and music for the masses to celebrate the end of the grape harvest. In August, Barossa Gourmet Weekend offers an itinerary packed with foodie experiences, wine tasting, markets, music, and cooking classes.

Barossa Vintage Festival

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