Wine lover’s guide to SA

There’s a reason ‘Barossa’ rhymes with ‘Berocca’. Too. Much. Fun. Gnarly old growth vineyards, exuberant locals and a cornucopia of fresh produce give this wino hotspot a decidedly hedonistic vibe. Forget Jack Daniels; Bacchus lives here.

I was lucky enough to have Sharon Wild, a Master of Wine-in-the-making, as my guide for the Barossa Food and Wine Festival (August 19 – 21) so full credit to my leggy blonde friend for showing me around and introducing me to her awesome mates.

Visit a heap of cellar doors

Well, obviously (and there are tonnes to choose from). My favourite was Langmeil with honourable mentions to Peter Lehmann’s, Jacob’s Creek and St Hallett’s. Third generation winemaker James Lindner is a well-versed advocate for the Barossa region and will happily tell you where to go (and what to drink when you get there). The Langmeil cellar door, which is set in an old German blacksmith’s workshop, has an air of gravitas that offsets the cheery carry-on that goes on at the tasting bench.

Have a treatment at Endota Spa at the Novotel Barossa

Everyone speaks very softly at Endota Spa. They pad around like gentle deer, offering organic herbal teas to blissed out guests. I tried a detoxifying red wine soak which was essentially a spa bath anointed with a burgundy potion. Despite my disappointment that I wasn’t bathing in actual wine, the treatment left my skin feeling soft and my hangover eased up (but that might have been due to the scalp massage delivered by Whispering Goddess).

Eat some German meat at Café Zinfandel

Care for a slab of German SPAM? Or perhaps some spatzle noodles fried in butter, sauerkraut, red cabbage, fried potatoes, bratwurst and a schnitzel the size of Tasmania? The food here is the genuine article; vinegary, spicy and heavy on farmyard menagerie.

Go for a wander in Angaston and Tanunda

These two villages are the embodiment of pretty. Antiques, cafes, gift shops and craft make them entirely impractical (ie don’t visit in the hope that you can buy some engine coolant and a five pack of undies) but what you will enjoy is the village feel and the immaculately kept gardens that look like something out of a Jane Austen mini-series.

Watch the sunset from Mengler’s Hill Lookout

Sculpture gardens are puzzling things, and none so much as the Sculpture Park set high on the hillside overlooking an endless valley. Contemporary stone and bronze artworks are set on a path that wends it’s way around the hillside. Who knows what it all means and who really cares. It’s cool. Front up at sunset with a six-pack and watch the sun set in style before you head off to dinner at someone’s house (because by now, someone has probably invited you over).

For more information about the Barossa Valley, click here.

2 comments on “Wine lover’s guide to SA

  1. Aww, sounds awesome!

    I too am disappointed that the red wine soak doesn’t actually mean you’re sitting in a bathtub full of wine – perhaps we can DIY at home?

  2. The Barossa is fantastic if you have a driver, and someone to share the wine tasting with.

    A couple more hidden gems:

    – Maggie Beer Farm Shop (there are peacocks wandering around the carpark – beautifully ridiculous. Also, you have a chance of actually catching a glimpse of Maggie herself, which I did. An exciting moment!)

    – Grant Burge Cellar Door (yes these guys are a pretty common wine all over the country, but the cellar door istelf and the grounds it occupies… breathtaking. Also, their sparkling pinot noir is about $10 cheaper per bottle than it is in Sydney!)

    – The German Bakery in Tanunda; ZOMG the cakes!!! Those Germans knew what they were doing when they colonised the Barossa all those years ago!

    – The Wiental Hotel/Resort. This place does food that is to die for. I was there with my partner for Valentine’s Day and it was quite possibly the best dinner out I have EVER HAD. If the weather’s nice, dine outside – their garden is very picturesque.

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