Brought to you by Jacob's Creek Barossa Signature. Capturing the Barossa in a Bottle for you to enjoy wherever you are.
Entering into Tanunda, through the Jacob’s Creek arch and along rose-lined streets, you’re immediately struck by the grandeur and history of the Barossa Valley. Just 70 kilometres from Adelaide, several small townships are connected by sprawling vineyards and fertile farmland. Escapism and indulgence meld into a singular, spectacular affair beneath the region’s distinctive and prolific climate.
From unparalleled fine dining to family adventure, The Barossa Valley should feature on everyone’s bucket list. Here’s eight of the best things to do there.[listicle]
Sail over the world’s oldest vines in a hot air balloon
Get a new perspective on South Australia’s gorgeous wine sector – from the air. We’d bet that “hot air balloon ride” pops up on a heap of bucket lists, and where better to tick it off than the breathtaking Barossa?
There are several companies – including Balloon Adventures and Barossa Valley Ballooning – operating in the region, mostly taking off in the wee hours. Watch the sunrise from above stunning wineries and farmland before heading out for a day’s tasting.
Try wood oven bread, baked to a 200-year-old recipe
Country drives mean country bakeries – and Tanunda is home to an absolute cracker. Built in 1924, the Apex Bakery is a family-owned slow ferment, wood oven bakehouse. Since you’ll no doubt be doing a lot of drinking, keeping a hearty loaf at hand (and perhaps some cheese) will help pad out the journey. They also bake a mean pasty.
Be led through amazing food and wine pairings at a Jacob’s Creek Food and Wine Masterclass
Turning off Barossa Valley Drive into the Home of Jacob’s Creek, you sense you’re approaching something very special. The centre itself is magnificent with uninterrupted views and top tier facilities befitting the exceptional wines on offer.
Beyond a straightforward tasting flight, the centre offers a Food and Wine Masterclass hosted in their restaurant prior to service each day. Learn the skill of matching flavours as you’re guided through a selection of dishes and accompanying vintages. Once class is dismissed, there’s also the option of staying for lunch and putting your newly honed senses to the test.
Tee-off with a T-Rex
You’re deep into wine country, driving dirt roads and sipping spectacular Shiraz, so what else might you expect to spy, lurking between the vines, than a dinosaur-themed minigolf course?
Sounds ridiculous right? And it is. But it’s so much fun – even if you’re not a golfer (or a paleontologist).
Photo: Barossa Bowland/Facebook
Lose yourself at the Barossa Farmers Market
Every Saturday from 7:30am Vintners Sheds, at the corner of Stockwell and Nuriootpa roads in Angaston, becomes filled with the voices and produce of Barossa Valley locals. A farmers’ market in the truest sense, this is the best place to source ingredients directly from the people who nurture and craft them.
Fresh, seasonal and with minimal transportation costs, you’ll find everything stocked by your local grocer available in an unobstructed exchange between consumer and producer.
Taste your birth year at Seppeltsfield
Every wine buff dreams of tasting a wine exactly as old (or young) as they are. Well, the Centennial Cellar at Seppeltsfield offers the opportunity to sample a vintage Tawny from any year, straight from the barrel.
The spectacular bluestone cellar holds an unbroken lineage of every vintage from 1878 to the present day. The winery also offers a ‘Moments in History Tour’ where visitors are conducted through a curated selection of vintages that coincide with major world events, like the 1969 moon landing and Elvis Presley’s supposed passing in 1977.
Watch the sunset from Steingarten Vineyard
Since 1962 the Steingarten Vineyard has produced sensational Rieslings and – for some time before that even – spectacular sunset watching. The rocky east-facing slope was thought unsuitable for farming, but following a backbreaking effort by Colin Gramp (and a bit of dynamite), vines were planted in tight rows, yielding fruit unusually high in acidity.
Perched on top of the block is a tiny lookout – one of the most cherished places anywhere in the valley. And so it’s with a twinge of trepidation that we disclose this secret spot, a picturesque backdrop for a twilight canapé. We suggest the freshly shucked Coffin Bay oysters, complemented by a glass of riesling straight from the vineyards below, or Barossa Signature Shiraz, if that is more your taste.
Fly your way into a three day wine adventure
Becoming a Barossan local is the best way to live a quality wine-filled life, but the next best thing must be St Hugo’s Sainthood experience. It starts with a private flight to their vineyard in Coonawarra, and the next three days include private tastings of museum wines, degustation meals from Executive Chef Mark McNamara and your favourite cases being shipped to your home, awaiting your return.
All this is capped off with a row of vines named in your honour, from which the grapes are pressed in a private wine blending session with St Hugo’s skilled makers. After three years of maturing in their vault, they too are sent to your home to cellar or enjoy. Of course, an experience like this doesn’t come cheap. The St Hugo Sainthood experience costs $150,000 for two people, though if you’re serious about wine, it might just pay dividends. [/listicle]
Tim lives life between the coffee-shop and the cinema. He's a writer whose words have appeared in GRAM and Broadsheet, and he operates under the moniker @timmyvolume across most social sites.