In recent months, we’ve had visitors, done a house-swap and been asked to provide suggestions for friends of friends coming to visit. So I thought I should write a blog post with the various emails I had sent. However I have been procrastinating over this post for weeks because every time I work on it, I think, “now I should just visit a few more places” and then post.
The reality is, when you decide to call a place home, it can sometimes be too easy to slip into a local’s, “I’ll do that later” attitude and forget to play tourist. On the positive side, writing a list like this is a good reminder about all the places I still want to visit and to make time to do so. So Mum’s visit last week was a good excuse to tick a few more of the “must-dos” off my list which means it’s become an even longer and I’ve split it into two parts.
This is by no means a definitive list, in fact, if I ever get to a point where I say I have seen everything there is to see, and done everything there is to do, well, I should just up and find a new place to live. But I doubt that will ever happen because there are always new restaurants to try, new vintages of wine to sample, new shops and new exhibitions. Not to mention the fact that the Barossa is one of those fabulous places that thanks to the vines and fruit and almond trees (think blossoms), actually has seasons that you can see.
Of course this is one of the main reasons people come to the Barossa and there are so many options. I have promised myself that in the coming months, I am taking myself of to do more wine tasting so I can expand my list of recommendations. I am no wine expert – so I’m not providing tasting notes – but I’ve included a link for all of them
- Artisans of Barossa – 7 small winemakers in one of the most picturesque spots looking out over the vines towards Tanunda. Usually great art and jewelry on display, space for kids to run around or play soccer/cricket and the fabulous Harvest Kitchen (which I’ll include in next week’s post on places to eat). You might even get to enjoy a tasting with my husband
- Langmeil – great wine, fantastic history and a lovely platter (see my post on a day of wine tasting for more of the history about Langmeil)
- Peter Lehmann – great tasting room, loads of beautiful space outdoors to enjoy a platter while kids run around and toys inside if the weather isn’t so great
- Rockford – great wines being made in a winery that looks like it is a museum. Great insight into how wine is made
- St Hallett – another beautiful spot to enjoy a picnic or a platter – I think they still do a fantastic duck platter
- Whistler – a great one for families with BBQs, swings etc for kids and you can build your own platter
- Thorn-Clarke – beautiful property out at Angaston and some great wines
- Grant Burge – beautiful views up on a hill overlooking the Krondorf area, platters and lovely bubbles
- Jacob’s Creek – a huge tasting room, excellent museum with history about the Barossa and wine making, a restaurant and beautiful outdoor areas. Also the opportunity for tours and cooking classes in the Jacob’s Estate cottages
- Two Hands – beautiful tasting room and a big focus on Shiraz
- Seppeltsfield – a huge tasting room with circular tasting benches, the opportunity to try a fortified wine from your birth year, s and beautiful architecture (plus the fantastic Fino restaurant and the Jam Factory – where you can see artists at work)
- Chateau Tanunda – celebrating 125 years this year, it’s certainly one of the most iconic landmarks in the Barossa Valley
- Pindarie – won one of the top tourism awards, giant hay bales to climb (which has made it my boys’ favourite winery to visit) and a recently renovated tasting room. Great wine (especially the 2015 Riesling) and one of the most fantastic views out over the Barossa. The food is also great – we had a saltbush lamb pie and one of the best platters I’ve had in the Barossa in the time we have been here when we visited with Mum recently.
- Home of the Brave/First Drop wines – finally visited with Mum last week. Wines we had with our incredible tapas lunch were great so must get back for a tasting soon.
- Yalumba – one of the oldest family owned wineries in Australia and a beautiful property with it’s iconic clock tower.
Places I’m off to visit soon
- Yelland and Papps – run by Michael and Susan Papps who are lovely people (which makes it even worse that I haven’t visited). First generation winemakers making great wine and with a tasting room that always gets rave reviews
- Turkey Flat – visited years ago, drive past on a weekly basis – must make time to stop!
- Taste Eden Valley – a tasting room in Angaston showcasing around 12 Eden Valley producers
This is just a tiny selection of the 170 wine companies in the Barossa. More details and a history of wine making in the Barossa, check out the Barossa.com website
Don’t forget, tasting a few wines at a few different places can add up. So unless you can spit like a professional, you’ll need a designated driver or the services of one of the local transport companies. There are lots of options from taxis, to private cars (including beautiful vintage cars), buses and even a three-wheeled motorcycle tour.
However there is much in the way of public transport and if you think you need a taxi, especially around school start and finish times, you’ll need to book in advance.
Other Things to do
Of course, it’s not all about wine tasting and there are a number of towns throughout the Barossa with great places to eat, beautiful shops, parts, galleries and other sites.
I tend to spend a lot of my time in Tanunda, Nuriootpa and Angaston but there are lots of other great towns to visit including Lyndoch (where we have spied a number of restaurants, a bakery and most importantly a park for the kids), Eden Valley, Kapunda, Springton and Williamstown (close to the Whispering Wall)
And while we’re on parks, favourites in our family include the Sculpture Park at the Mengler’s Hill lookout, Tanunda Oval, Angaston and the train park at Nuriootpa.
There are also loads of great antique and second-hand stores full of furniture, home wares and other curios that provide a fantastic insight into the history of the Barossa.
Finally, the Barossa is a fabulous place to just walk or drive around. This place is a photographer’s dream, especially if you love landscapes dotted with old stone churches, farmhouses and the ever-changing colours of vineyards and paddocks.
As I said at the outset, this is just a sample of the things we have enjoyed or have on our wish list to explore in the coming months.
Tourism Barossa has some great resources here (and you should also visit the Visitors Centre in Tanunda when you arrive for more tips and local knowledge.
If you’ve been to the Barossa (or live here), I’d love to hear your tips for wineries I might have missed.
I’ll try share and my list of favourite places for lunches, dinners, food and coffee soon, so be sure to tweet or email if there are places I should include.