If you’re planning a trip to Australia soon, you are no doubt looking forward to becoming ‘properly acquainted’ with some of the country’s many great wines. If you’re keen to explore some cellar doors around the nation once you’re settled, don’t miss a trip to the Barossa Valley in South Australia, only around any hour’s drive from Adelaide.
Although not quite as well known internationally as the Margaret River region, the Barossa is the other top Western wine area, and is home to some of the most well regarded labels in the country. Whether your favourite drop is a bold Shiraz, sweet Riesling, or an organic blend, you’ll find plenty of quality wines to enjoy on a trip to the Barossa.
If you’re ready to book flights to Australia on a travel site like Flights.com, get set to taste test your way around the country. Read on for five of the top Barossa Valley cellar doors you need to add to your bucket list.
Penfolds Wines is a name that’s recognised around the world, and is one of the best Aussie wine companies when it comes to delivering a wide range and consistent quality. Creating top drops (including lots of award winners) since 1844, the company led the development of fine vintages in the Barossa Valley. When visiting the region, you don’t want to miss spending time at the cellar door of this senior wine player.
The facility is situated very close to where Penfolds’ winemakers work their magic throughout the year, so visitors can gain some insight into the “engine room” of the company. Make sure you check out the vineyard’s premium red wine barrel hall too — it is actually the largest in the southern hemisphere.
No trip to Penfolds is complete without indulging in a one-hour tasting of the acclaimed Grange wine range, as well as other well-regarded brand icons. In fact, the cellar door is the place to go to try out many of the company’s Cellar Reserve wines that can be tricky to source anywhere else. If you’re travelling with a number of people, the staff at Penfolds can even arrange tailored tastings for organised group bookings.
Another one of the nation’s oldest and most respected wineries is Seppeltsfield. Visit this vineyard and you can explore a fully self-contained wine village that has been running for over 160 years, and happens to be heritage listed.
The Seppeltsfield grounds cover 250 acres of vineyards, and are home to breathtaking gardens and historic wine buildings. On a visit to the winery, make sure you enjoy a guided tour to learn about the company’s operations and history. You’ll hear how the Barossa mainstay has produced more than 24,000 barrels of wine since it began trading, as well as some behind-the-scenes tips on the art of barrel making. However, no visitors should leave without tasting some of the fine wines made on the premises. Try out the barrel-aged Para Vintage Tawny (it is 100 years old) and snack on a Seppeltsfield Rare Tasting Plate, created specifically to match the variety of rare wines available for tasting at the cellar door.
3. Peter Lehmann Wines
A long-time award winner, Peter Lehmann Wines continues to impress both consumers and wine critics alike. In fact, the company once again received the top winery rating of “5 Red Stars” in the 2015 edition of the James Halliday Australian Wine Companion — the country’s wine “bible”.
Considering that this well-regarded winery is thought by many experts to have done more for the name of Barossa wine than any other brand, it’s important not to miss a trip to the Peter Lehmann cellar door. The facility is located within an atmospheric old stone winery building that was built in the 1880s.
When visiting the cellar door, you’ll have the chance to choose tastings from more than 40 different Lehmann wines, as well as sample some of the on-site cafe’s dishes that make use of local produce. Pre-arranged, private tastings can also be organised with the venue.
4. St Hallett
St Hallett has been creating fine wines for more than 70 years, and initially began production with a focus on fortified wines. However, the acclaim received in 1980 for the top quality of the company’s first vintage of their Old Block Shiraz (St Hallett’s signature wine), led the firm to shift specialties to premium table wines instead.
Believing in the need for sustainable business practices, the management team at St Hallett not only works hard to implement energy-management techniques in vineyard operations, but also utilised eco-friendly principles in the set up of the cellar door. The new building created for visitors was made from materials from an old cellar door, as well as those sourced from demolished buildings across the Barossa Valley.
With a lovely vineyard setting and an intimating tasting area, Henschke is another cellar door that merits a visit. Also committed to sustainable business practices, the Henschke winemakers use organic and biodynamic principles in all operations, including taking advantage of natural pesticides and fertilisers rather than using chemical-laden products.