With a rich winemaking and grape growing heritage dating back to 1842, and a profound and unique Silesian (German) influence, the Barossa Valley is arguably Australia's most famous wine region. The region is a unique and precious resource, home to some of the oldest vines in the world. In some families, there have been six generations of grape growers and winemakers. This tradition extends to a vibrant and renowned community of artisan food producers.
Many of these families have been perfecting their craft for as long as the grape growers and winemakers. The climate is ideal for full bodied red wines, fortified wines and robust white wines. The two soil types are relatively low in fertility. The Barossa region produces a great variety of wine, with the main styles being Chardonnay, Riesling, Semillon, Grenache, Mourvedre, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
- A rich winemaking and grape growing heritage dating back to 1842.
- One of Australia's most famous wine regions.
- The region is currently home to more than 150 wineries.
- Home to some of the oldest vines in the world.
- In some families, there have been six generations of grape growers and winemakers
- Vibrant community of artisan food producers
- The climate is ideal for full bodied red wines, fortified wines and robust white wines.
- Main styles of wine produced are Riesling, Semillon, Grenache, Cabernet Sauvignon and Shiraz.
The region has a Meditarranean climate ideal for full-bodied red wines, excellent fortified wines and generally robust white wines. The climate ranges from warm on the valley floor to cool at the higher altitudes in the hills surrounding the Valley. The region has a large diurnal temperature range, high maximum temperatures, high sunshine days and low humidity and rainfall.
The complex system of valleys and twisting hills results in a variety of slopes, aspects and sites. The soils vary widely, but fall in a family of relatively low-fertility clay loam through to more sandy soils, ranging through grey to brown to red. As in so much of south-east Australia, acidity increases in the subsoils, restricting root growth and vigour.
Riesling: With these wines generosity, rather than finesse or elegance, rules the day. The wines develop far more quickly than their counterparts from the Eden or Clare Valleys.
Semillon: Modern day Barossa Semillons are earlier-picked than their old fashioned counterparts. They are also fermented in stainless steel to produce wines of freshness, balance and clear varietal character.
Grenache and Mourvedre: Grenache is often blended with Shiraz and Mourvedre, but is also presented as a varietal in its own distinctive right. The wines are often juicy and savoury, with dark cherry and hedge-row fruit characters which appeal to a wide range of palates. The varietal blends often display a rich tapestry of flavours and textures alongside an ability to develop further depth and complexity with age.
Cabernet Sauvignon: Performs best on cooler sites and in moderately cool vintages. French oak is often used to great effect and the overall style is more restrained and firmer than that of Shiraz.
Shiraz: Shiraz is recognized universally as the Barossa Valleys signature wine. The wines are lush, velvety and mouth-filling. The flavours range from black cherries to blackberries and the tannins are generally ripe and soft. Many of the wines have great ageing potential.
Map Coordinates: 34° 29'S
Altitude: 250 - 370 metres (820 - 1213 feet)
Heat degree days, October -April: 1710 (cut off at 19º C (66.2ºF) but otherwise not adjusted)
Growing season rainfall, October -April: 160 millimetres (6.3 inches)
Mean January temperature: 21.4°C (70°F)
Relative humidity, October -April, 3 pm: Average 39%
Harvest: End February - late April