Barossa Valley in winter is the perfect weekend day trip. It is beautiful and green with rolling hills and wide open sky, and the cellar doors are cosy, with roaring fireplaces and plenty of full-bodied red wine to taste.
When one of the world’s best wine regions is less than an hour’s drive from Adelaide, and many of the cellar doors offer free tastings, why not spend some time exploring?
On Sunday, we decided to do just that.
We live just south of the city, so Barossa is about a 90-minute drive from home. That makes is close enough to visit for lunch and some wine-tasting, but just far enough that it is still a special trip and you could make it a weekend getaway if you wanted.
It’s nice heading out of the metropolitan area. A lot of cities seem to slowly thin out as you get further from the centre, but Adelaide turns to countryside pretty quickly. Before you know it, there’s not much around beside farmland and open space.
We drove north on the Sturt Highway, turning right onto Gomersal Road where the valley stretches our around you and the patches of vine blocks become more apparent. In the winter, the vines have all been trimmed and they look like thin pinstripes on the landscape.
We have our favourite wineries and we make sure to visit them when we have out of town guests, like we did this weekend. But, we do like to try at least one new place each time as well. It’s one of the best ways to discover a new favourite or try a new variety.
The day started off a little rainy, but it was sunny when we got to our first stop this weekend, Lou Miranda Estate for lunch. It was our new place for this trip and the food was good; hearty and fresh – perfect for a winter lunch. The Estate is in Rowland Flat, and while we have passed it several times in the past, I never really knew there was a cellar door there. The building manages to look slightly out of place and like a local building at the same time. It has a bit of an Italian Villa vibe, but also like it has been there for half a century and is perfectly comfortable with its surroundings.
After lunch, we went to one of our favourites in the Barossa – Rockford Wines. It’s one of my favourite cellar doors because it has a great atmosphere and excellent wines. The stone building is small with a sturdy wood bar. Like many of the cellar doors in the region, the staff are very knowledgeable and passionate about wine. They are happy to tell you about their wines, vineyards in the area, and help you learn more about wine in general. Unfortunately, they didn’t have any Basket Press for tasting this weekend (a must to try if you can), but we were able to have our guest to try the ever-popular Alicante Bouchet and the P.S. Marion Tawny.
We also visited the cellar doors of Torbreck and Seppeltsfield. The Descendant was our wine pick for the day at Torbreck, and Seppeltsfield’s fortified wines are always a winner.
The the rain came back while we were at Seppeltsfield and it was nearing four o’clock, so we decided it was a good time to call it a day and head back home (with a new bottle of wine or two for later).
When the temperature drops in winter, and the rain comes in, what better way to spend it then with a hearty red next to a fire?