The wine guy Eddie McDougall: Time to hit the Barossa

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Illustration by Elis Wilk

It can’t get any better than waking up early, heading out among the vines and taking a breath of fresh air while a mob of kangaroos bounce across the turf in front of you as the morning sunlight shimmers. Then, a few hours later – after you’ve lined your stomach with the local barista’s brew and some poached organic eggs on home-baked sourdough – you ready yourself to try some of the world’s most acclaimed wines. In this place, the opportunities to soak up the exhilarating feelings of purity, passion and inspiration are plentiful. This place is the Barossa Valley.

Only an hour away from the South Australian capital, Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is home to wine producers like Yalumba, the country’s oldest family winery, and Penfolds. The region itself is a unique showcase of Australian migrate history as it oozes with interesting Prussian-style architecture across its major townships of Tanunda, Nurioopta and Angaston.

Unlike some regions in the Old World, though, the producers of the Barossa Valley are extremely welcoming when it comes to offering their wines and hospitality to the vinous traveller. The cellar door experience can spread from the tiny old sheds with ma and pa serving their finest to the glitz and glamour of shiny glass rooms sacked with special glassware and technical taste notes. No matter which ones you decide to visit, each place will offer up an unforgettable experience through a smile in the glass.
Here are some tips for a snob-free trip to the Barossa Valley:

Getting there and around

  • Fly to Adelaide. Plenty of direct flights from Hong Kong every day.
  • Rent a car or catch a train or bus to the Barossa Valley townships.
  • If you want to enjoy the wines, don’t drive. Best to join a tour that takes you to the best and most interesting places. Some organise private barrel tastings with the winemakers themselves.

Famous varietals and wine styles you must explore

  • Shiraz
  • Old vine Grenache
  • Semillon

Wineries and their top wines

  • Charles Melton – Nine Popes red blend, Sparkling Shiraz
  • Rockford – Basket Press Shiraz, Hand Picked Riesling
  • Torbreck – The Struie, Run Rig and Botrytis Semillon
  • Two Hands – Garden series wines

Top restaurants

Sleeping

Tweet me @eddiewinemaker for more travel tips! 

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