It’s fair to say that, in recent years, Australia has well and truly joined the world stage when it comes to world-class cuisine and fine wines. There are dozens of regions around the country serving up exceptional food and wine, but after a recent visit full of gourmet delicacies and a little too much wine, there is one region in particular that has stolen our hearts. The beautifully diverse and picture-perfect Barossa Valley in South Australia.
The Barossa prides itself on its produce; perfectly ripened fruit, vegetables bursting with flavour and animals that are raised and nurtured with kindness. At the heart of this quality lies the passion of the local farmers and winemakers – those that supply the local restaurants and wineries with their sought-after produce – and you won’t find a more passionate bunch than the Barossans!
Drive north from Adelaide for about an hour and you’ll arrive in the town of Angaston. If you’re here on a Saturday it’s definitely worth checking out the Barossa Farmers Market, open from 7.30am to 11.30am. Here you’ll find home-made chutneys, sauces and pickles, along with a smorgasbord of cheeses, cured meats and other delicacies that are sure to please your tastebuds.
Continue on to the nearby town of Tanunda for some well-deserved wine tasting (it’s ok – it’s never too early!). Check out the rustic and charming Rockford winery. Open 7 days a week from 11am till 5pm, this lovely winery has a fantastic selection of whites, reds and fortifieds.
Whilst you’re in Tanunda, Peter Lehmann Wines is also worth a visit. There are more than 40 wines on offer for tasting and the beautifully manicured themed gardens are a delight. The Cellar Door, an old stone winery building dating back to the 1880’s, is a highlight and offers a great insight into the history of the Barossa. Open 7 days a week from 9.30am till 5pm on weekdays or 10.30am till 4.30pm on weekends.
Continue your drive towards Nuriootpa and visit Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. Maggie Beer, an Australian cook, food author, restaurateur, food manufacturer and all-round legend is very highly regarded in the industry and so a visit to the farm shop is a treat like no other. We can highly recommend the many varieties of pate or the delicious salted brandy caramel which is fabulous to put on ice cream or, if you’re like us, just on a spoon!
For a spectacular dinner head to Appellation at The Louise. Lead by Executive Chef, Ryan Edwards, the team are guided by the flow of the seasons. A kitchen with a mission: “fresh is not just best, it is the only reason to cook!”. Try the Chef’s tasting menu with items such as pork rillettes, black garlic and enoki mushroom or the charcoal grilled loin of wild caught venison, sautéed mushrooms and pine nuts. All matched with some of the best wines of the region.
If you’d like to stay the night, The Louise – part of the Luxury Lodges of Australia collection – features beautifully appointed luxury suites with king size beds, ensuite bathroom with spa tubs for two and walk-in rain showers. Pricing starts from $480, which includes a delicious continental breakfast.
Another highly regarded gourmet experience in the area is Kingsford Homestead. Well known for its role in the Australian hit TV series, McLeod’s Daughters, this impeccably renovated, heritage listed home now offers seven luxuriously appointed suites and facilities that you’d expect of a 5 star boutique hotel. Kingsford Homestead is an all-inclusive retreat where drinks, breakfast and dinner are included in the rates. Each mealtime you’ll be treated to the chef’s gourmet flair, love of country home cooking and the finest local produce available. Pricing starts at $890 per night with a minimum 2 night stay.
Main Image Credit: Mike Annese / SATC. Video Credit: SATC