Barossa Valley Getaway
11 Aug 2020
Barossa Weekend Getaway
With hot, dry summers and cool, moderate winters, our very own Barossa Valley located an easy 65km drive north of Adelaide is one of the world's great wine regions. A must for wine fans, the Barossa is a compact place measuring just 25km long, yet more than 600 grape growers and 100 or more wineries produce some 21% of Australia's wine.
Settled by Prussian and Silesian migrants from 1842, these early pioneers bought with them a raft of agricultural and construction skills, not to mention plenty of vine cuttings. Here in a sunburnt land thousands of miles from the Teutonic empire, they created a Lutheran heartland where German traditions endure today. Cultural legacies include some Germanic-style wines, wurst and bakehouse producers, an appetite for sauerkraut and pretzels and a slew of locals and street signs with very German-sounding names. I recently enjoyed a Barossa Valley getaway on a sunny August weekend.
Start with a night or two at The Louise Barossa Valley.
A member of Relais et Chateaux and a founding member of Luxury Lodges of Australia (think Sal Salis at Ningaloo Reef, Lizard Island, Capella Lodge, Emirates One and Only Wolgan Valley amongst other members), The Louise is arguably one of the finest places to stay in SA, if not Australia.
Wine, fabulous food, heritage architecture and friendly people. Enjoy a wealth of activities in a stunning Australian landscape. The Louise offers exceptional accommodation, an award-wining restaurant - 'Appellation', casual dining at 'three75 bar + kitchen, and fitness centre with a sauna and gym.
Relax in spacious comfort, experience pure indulgent luxury and sophisticated contemporary design. All suites, regardless of type, include a wide array of premium features and amenities such as king beds with crisp linens, flat screen TV’s with DVD players, BOSE iPod docking stations, writing desks with complimentary wired and wireless internet access, a complimentary stocked mini bar, tawny-style fortified wine, tea and Nespresso coffee, walk-in rain shower, towel rail heater, separate toilet, dual hand basins and walk-in robe with luggage store.
What we did:
Breakfast at The Topiary at Newman’s Nursery (best hash browns ever, washed down with Alpha, Box, Dice Prosecco).
Wineries – The Barossa is easily navigable with some good choices on Krondorf Road, Bethany Road, Murray Street (towards Nuriootpa) and of course Seppeltsfield Road including Marananga and Seppeltsfield itself.
- Rockfords – for the iconic but sold-out Basket Press Shiraz, their Alicante Bouchet Rose and their Rifle Range Cabernet Sauvignon
- Charles Melton – for their Rose of Virginia and their beautiful ‘Nine Popes’ – a very good incarnation of the French ‘Chateauneuf-du-Papes’ from Avignon.
St Hallett Road:
- St Hallett – Their Blackwell Shiraz is a real winner, and their Old Block Shiraz I made from the best fruit in the Barossa.
- Turkey Flat – you can’t go past their easy to quaff summer Rose, their Barossa Shiraz is in the Langton Classification (their 2017 is blockbuster) and we always go there to get a couple of bottles of their Pedro Ximenez – a delicious fortified perfect for breaking out at Christmas or dinner parties.
- Greenock Creek Wines – their Apricot Block Shiraz is the bomb. We always grab some of this, and some Casey’ Block Shiraz. Their Roennfeldt Road Shiraz is $195 bottle, but the lower priced range is very quaffable! Just next door is a very fashionable looking gin distillery. Gin’s not my thing, but the fashionista’s with their Ned Kelly beards, drainpipe jeans and stick insect girlfriends were in full flight here.
- Tscharke – It’s just across the road from The Louise. We make jokes of ‘organic-pesticide-free’ wine, as anything we’ve ever tried from wineries that espouse that, usually taste like the wine equivalent of ‘I Can’t Believe It’ Not Butter’ or ‘chick’n’ or ‘crumbed frawns’ or ‘grilled King George frighting’…Tscharke’s wines are very approachable and reasonably priced. Their cellar door is very attractive, and their rest rooms offer creative types inspiration for how to repurpose wine barrels!
- Dinner – Saturday night at Appellation back at The Louise – 6-course Chef menu - $105pp. Wine pairing $45pp (recommended). Bookings essential.
- Breakfast at The Louise.
- Drive this morning along Seppeltsfield Road past the beautiful Gnadenfrei Church along the Canary Date Palm-lined road to Seppelstfield.
- Do some tasting, but also go to Vasse Virgin – for a full selection of olive oil products. Plus they also stock my favorite jacquard French dish cloths.
- From here, return down Seppeltsfield Road to the Murray Street B-19 roundabout. Turn left and drive towards Nuriootpa. Before you hit Nuriootpa, there’s another roundabout. Take the right exit for the short but pleasant drive to Angaston for a poke around. Consider stopping at Saltram Wines – perhaps best known for their commercially successful Pepperjack Shiraz. Top of Angaston’s main street and turn right a way down is Yalumba – an excellent winery. Yalumba is one of Australia’s oldest wineries, and has it’s own onsite cooperage (wooden wine barrel production). A visit to Yalumba is worth it just to see the cooperage!
- Back on Murray Street heading back towards Tanunda, drop in at Kaesler Wines. Their Chardonnay is surprisingly approachable, and their Old Bastard Shiraz and Bogan Shiraz is very good.
- Lunch – The Eatery – Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop and Café. Bookings essential. Lunch for 2 – including bread, 2 mains and 2 softies (sick of wine by this time) - $90. Then, head to the Farm Shop for Maggie Beer’s burnt fig and caramel icecream.
- If there’s time – book a helicopter flight with Barossa Helicopters. They do a 4min fight from $40-4 min, $100 – 10 min flight. Don’t buy a 4 min flight. By the time you appreciate your elevated position, it’s time to land…And then you’re sobbing, but because your ride on a metal dragonfly has come to a swift end…
All pricing correct at time of writing - August 2020
Photographs by John Montesi
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