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Barossa Valley Wine Region

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The Barossa Valley is undoubtedly Australia's most famous wine region. This wine region is situated about an hour's drive north of Adelaide, an ideal distance or a day tour.

The name was given to the area by explorer Colonel Light based on the supposed similarity of the Barossa Range to a similar range in Spain. The region is most notable for its red wines, particularly those made from Shiraz. But as we shall see, other grape varieties, both red and white play an important role in the vineyards and wineries here.

The region generally about three hundred metres above sea level, but the altitude of many of the vineyards is much higher. In the lower and warmer areas, red wine predominates while on the cooler higher slopes Riesling is common. In fact the Barossa abuts the Eden Valley wine region which is regarded as one of Australia's premier regions for Riesling.

The history of the region is inextricably linked to the influence of the German immigrants who were encouraged to settle in the region by local landowner George Angas. Many of these migrants were Lutherans from Silesia, who were suffering persecution in their homeland. By the 1850s viticulture was well established in the valley. Among these migrants were Johann Gramp who planted the first vineyard of the region at Jacobs Creek in 1847 and Joseph Seppelt, whose name lives on in a famous Australian wine brand name.

Visiting the Barossa

The Barossa Valley is easily visited on a day trip from Adelaide, but this wine region has so many wineries that you should consider at least an overnight stay. The main towns are Lyndoch, Tanunda, Nuriootpa and Angaston. In these towns and in the many smaller villages you will find a large range of accommodation options including resorts, hotels, motels, cottages, guesthouses, caravan parks and camping grounds. The Vinodiversity Wine Hotels service will help you find the best deals on accomodation in the Barossa region.

When you are planning your Barossa Valley tour you should also make sure you try some of the regional food specialties. The local butchers and gourmet food shops will provide you with the Barossa version of some German delights. My personal favourite is the garlic mettwurst.

The region is also home to food writer and TV personality Maggie Beer, whose Farm Shop will sell you such delights as quince paste, local olives and Sangiovese verjuice.

As is fitting in such an area, there many dining options, including restaurants at some of the wineries which will provide you with opportunities to try the local fare.

Wines of the Barossa Valley

The wines of the region are dominated by reds made from either Shiraz or Cabernet, but if you are looking for a different experience then there is plenty of diversity to explore. The varietal profile of the Barossa is similar to that of the Rhone Valley, with the predominant Shiraz being supplemented by Grenache, Mourvedre, and more recently Viognier, Marsanne and Roussanne are being introduced.

As the table below indicates Grenache is the leading minor variety here. It is used as a straight varietal wine, but perhaps more commonly in blends with Shiraz and Mourvedre. The latter variety is also known as Mataro, but the French version of its name is now almost universally preferred. Mourvedre is almost never used as a straight varietal but is rather used in blends.

Grenache is also used to produce some excellent rose wines.

Perhaps one of the most interesting innovators in the region is Robin Day who has plantings of Viognier, Sangiovese, Saperavi, Lagrein, Gargenega and Sangrantino at his Domaine Day vineyard.

Yalumba at Angaston is the acknowledged leader of the pack with its Viognier, but is also growing Cienna, Marsanne and Tempranillo.

Another regional innovator is Kabminye Wines who make a wine called Irma Adeline which is a blend of six Rhone varieties, namely Shiraz, Mourvedre, Grenache, Marsanne, Roussanne and Ugni blanc (Trebbiano).

Some alternative varieties that you may find in the Barossa Valley

Arete Pinot gris, Tempranillo | Atze's Corner Wines Aglianico, Durif, Graciano, Grenache, Montepulciano, Mourvedre, Petit verdot, Tempranillo, Vermentino | B3 Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Balthazar Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier | Barossa Valley Estate Grenache, Tempranillo | Basedow Grenache | Bethany Grenache | Burge Family Winemakers Grenache, Mourvedre, Sousao, Touriga, Zinfandel | Captain Barossa Durif, Grenache, Petit verdot | Charles Cimicky Durif, Mourvedre | Charles Melton Grenache, Meunier, Mourvedre, Muscadelle, Pedro Ximenez | Chateau Tanunda Moscato, Mourvedre, Pinot gris, Tempranillo, Zinfandel | Cirillo Grenache | Clancy Fuller Grenache, Mourvedre | Colonial Estate Grenache, Mourvedre, Muscadelle | Craneford Grenache, Petit verdot, Viognier | Creed of Barossa Viognier | Dandelion Wines Pedro Ximenez | Deisen Grenache, Mourvedre | Dell'uva Wines  Albarino, Arinto, Barbera, Dolcetto, Fiano, Graciano, Grillo, Lagrein, Montepulciano, Saparavi, Tempranillo, Touriga, Verdejo, Verdicccio, Zinfandel, | Diggers Bluff Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Mourvedre | Dirt Road Vignerons Savagnin | Dolan Family wines Tempranillo | Domain Barossa Grenache, Mourvedre | Domain Day Garganega, Lagrein, Sagrantino, Sangiovese, Saperavi, Viognier | Elderton Carignan, Roussanne, Verdelho, Zinfandel | Eperosa Grenache, Mourvedre | Epsilon Graciano, Montepulciano, Tempranillo | First Drop Arneis, Barbera, Montepulciano, Nebbiolo, Savagnin, Tempranillo, Trincadeira, Touriga | Fox Gordon Fiano, Tempranillo, Viognier | Gibson Barossavale Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot gris | Glaetzer Wines Grenache | Glaymond Wines Grenache, Tempranillo, Zinfandel | Gnadenfrei Estate Gewurztraminer, Grenache | Gomersal Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Gomersal Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Grant Burge Dolcetto, Grenache, Moscato, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo, Pinot gris, Ruby Cabernet, Viognier | Groom Zinfandel | Gumpara Winery Vermentino | Haan Malbec, Petit verdot, Viognier | Hamiltons Ewell Vineyards Grenache, Mourvedre | Hare's Chase Tempranillo | Heidenreich Estate Viognier | Hemera Estate Cabernet franc, Graciano, Grenache, Tempranillo | Henry Holmes Wines Grenache | Hently Farm Wines Grenache, Viognier, Zinfandel | Hewitson Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Muscadelle, Roussanne, Tempranillo | Hobbs of Barossa Ranges Grenache, Viognier | Izway Wines Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier | Jacobs Creek Arneis, Fiano, Montepulciano, Mourvedre, Negroamaro, Tempranillo, Vermentino | Jamabro Wines Grenache, Viognier | jb Wines Clairette, Meunier, Pinot blanc, Zinfandel | Jenke Vineyards Cabernet franc, Grenache | John Duval Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Kabminye Wines Black frontignac, Carignan, Cinsaut, Durif, Grenache, Kerner, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Zinfandel | Kaesler Grenache, Mourvedre, Palomino, Tempranillo, Touriga, Viognier | Kalleske Wines Chenin blanc, Durif, Grenache, Mourvedre, Petit verdot, Tempranillo, Viognier, Zinfandel | Kellermeister Wines Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot gris, Sylvaner, Tempranillo | Kies Family Bastardo | Kurtz Family Vineyards Grenache, Malbec, Mourvedre, Petit verdot | Lambert Estate Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Viognier, Zinfandel | Landhaus Estate Grenache, Mourvedre, Savagnin | Langmeil Grenache, Mourvedre, Ondenc, Viognier | Lanz Vineyards Grenache, Mourvedre | Lanzthomson Wines Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier | Laughing Jack Grenache | Liebichwein Petit verdot, Tempranillo | Linfield Road Wines Grenache | Loan Wines Alicante Bouschet | Lou Miranda Estate Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot gris | Mad Dog Wines Sangiovese, Savagnin | Magpie Estate Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier | Mardia Wines Cabernet franc, Petit verdot | Marschall Groom Cellars Zinfandel | Massena Wines Barbera, Cinsaut, Dolcetto, Durif, Grenache, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Saperavi, Tannat, Trincadeira | Maverick Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Michael Hall Wines Roussanne | Murdock Grenache, Tempranillo | Murray Street Vineyard Cinsaut, Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Viognier, Zinfandel | Muster Wine Company Grenache, Mourvedre, Pedro Ximenez, Tempranillo, Vermentino | Orlando Grenache, Rubienne | Parous Fiano, Tempranillo | Paulmara Estate Lagrein, Sangiovese, Touriga | Peter Lehmann Cabernet franc, Chenin blanc, Grenache, Malbec, Mourvedre, Muscadelle, Tempranillo | Pindarie Wines Sangiovese, Savagnin, Tempranillo | Purple Hands Wines Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot gris | Quattro Mano Tempranillo, Trincadeira, Tinto Cao, Touriga | RBJ Grenache, Mourvedre | Rockford Alicante Bouschet, Grenache, Mourvedre | Rocland Estate Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Viognier | Roehr Grenache, Mourvedre | Roenfeldt Hill Grenache, Zinfandel | Rojomono Grenache, Petit Verdot, Tempranillo | Rolf Binder Gewurztraminer, Grenache, Moscato, Mourvedre, Viognier | Rosenvale Wines Grenache | Ruggabellus Grenache, Mourvedre | Rusden Wines Chenin blanc, Grenache, Mourvedre, Zinfandel | Saltram Fiano, Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier | Schild Estate Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Schiller Vineyards Grenache | Schubert Estate Viognier | Schulz Vignerons Grenache, Mourvedre, Zinfandel | Schwarz Wine Company Grenache | Scorpiiion Grenache, Mourvedre | Seppeltsfield Carignan, Grenache, Lagrein, Touriga, Vermentino | Shobbrook Wines Carignan, Cinsaut, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo, Sangiovese | Sieber Road Wines Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier | Simpatico Moscato, Viognier | Smallfry Wines Carignan, Cinsaut, Grenache, Mourvedre, Muscadelle, Petit verdot, Tempranillo, Trincadeira, Viognier | Sons of Eden Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Viognier | Soul Growers Grenache, Malbec, Mourvedre | Spinifex Carignan, Cinsaut, Grenache, Grenache gris, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Trebbiano, Vermentino, Viognier | St Hallett Grenache, Mourvedre, Tempranillo, Touriga | Stanley Brothers Sylvaner | Steinborner Family Vineyards Durif, Marsanne, Viognier | Stonewell Vineyards Grenache | Tait Wines Grenache | TeAro Grenache, Mourvedre, Pinot gris, Tempranillo | Teusner Grenache, Mourvedre | The Grapes of Ross Grenache, Moscato, Ruby Cabernet, Sangiovese | Thorn-Clarke Wines Malbec, Nebbiolo, Petit verdot, Pinot gris | Tim Smith Wines Grenache, Mourvedre, Viognier | Tomfoolery Cabernet franc, Carignan, Mourvedre | Torbreck Vintners Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Viognier | Trevor Jones Fine Wines Pinot gris | Tscharke Graciano, Montepulciano, Savagnin, Tempranillo, Touriga, Zinfandel | Turkey Flat Vineyards Dolcetto, Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Pedro Ximenez, Roussanne | Two Hands Grenache, Mourvedre, Saperavi | Veronique Grenache, Mourvedre | Westlake Vineyards Petit verdot, Viognier | Whistler Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Winter Creek Wine Grenache | Woods Crampton Graciano, Mourvedre | Yaldara Grenache, Mourvedre, Petit verdot | Yalumba Wine Company Cienna, Grenache, Marsanne, Mourvedre, Nebbiolo, Petit verdot, Roussanne, Sangiovese, Tempranillo, Verdejo, Vermentino, Viognier | Yelland and Papps Grenache, Mourvedre, Roussanne, Vermentino | Z Wines Grenache, Mourvedre | Zitta Wines Grenache, Mourvedre

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