What does Barossa mean?

Written by: Cameron Ward

Published: 03/22/2019

Reading time: 2 mins

Barossa is the wine capital of Australia, and has been since the 1840s. Rolling hills cover the landscape and some of the best wine brands in the country are here. Know for its unique and rich taste, the prominent wine region is famous around the world.

History of Barossa

Before any Europeans came to the Barossa region, the local Aboriginal community, the Peramangk people, cultivated the area. Their traditional farming and land cultivation techniques are the reason the Barossa is a fantastic wine growing region. They continually used fire across the area to help regenerate the vegetation as well as to drive away animals from the undergrowth. This resulted in the landscape to become open grass areas, a naturally perfect space for vineyards. Additionally, it helped to change the soil composition, making it rich in nutrients perfect for growing crop.

The European settlers noticed this immediately and began the development of the wine region in 1842. There are now six generations of grapes growing in the Barossa Valley, with some still relative to the very first vineyards planted here.

The Meaning Behind the Name

The area was named Barossa Valley in 1837 by the Colonel William Light, one of South Australia’s first surveyors. Barossa was honours the memory of the Battle of Barrosa, a Spanish battleground where the British reached victory over the French. However, the name was incorrectly registered as ‘Barossa’ as they misread the lettering.

What you can do there

Although the area offers a range of activities for the whole family, most visitors are keen on the wineries. Ranging from popular and expansive wine brands to boutique family-owned vines,  the Barossa Valley has you covered. Travel inside the wine making workshops and discover the process of each individual wine. Learn about the unique traditions of each winery and their wine making secrets. Sit at cellar doors and listen to the professional winemakers share details of each unique taste. Meanwhile, dig into a delicious local cheeseboard, specifically made to compliment your wine. Look out to the lush greenery surrounding each winery, with their large glass windows or outdoor terraces promising breath-taking lookouts.

Sit down for a meal at one of the many award winning restaurants. Indulge in a fine dining degustation experience, or take a picnic out on the green lawns to enjoy. Local artisan products perfectly compliment the wines.

Cameron Ward
Cameron Ward
Managing Director at Sightseeing Tours Australia

Cameron Ward turned his travel passion into a thriving Australian tourism business. Before he co-founded his own business, Sightseeing Tours Australia, he was enjoying being a Melbourne tour guide. Even now, Cameron delights in helping visitors from all around the world get the most out of their incredible Australian trip. You’ll see Cameron leading tours or writing about his favourite Australian places where he shares his local insights.

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