BAROSSA – Australia’s Quintessential Wine Region

Picturesque wine valley in Barossa, South Australia. Color-toning effect appplied

Barossa is in the south of Australia north-east of Adelaide in the Mount Lofty Ranges aka Adelaide Hills. It is comprised of Barossa Valley and Eden Valley, which are regarded as some of the best for fine wine production. This area was originally settled by Germans. It started with Lutherans escaping religious persecution at home in around 1842. This followed by a large influx of German immigrants in the years following. The Germanic influence in the grape-growing and winemaking remains to this day.

The Vineyards

Generally, Barossa has a continental climate but also has a series of transverse valleys and slopes. This allows for several mesoclimates within the region.

Barossa Valley is in the hotter valley portion (where temperatures can go up to 35 degrees centigrade) and Eden Valley is at the higher elevation with a cooler climate. This variation in topography allows for both warm and cool region winemaking. In the hills, there are very warm days and cooler breezes at night. This high diurnal temperature produces truly balanced grapes. The soil here varies from red clay (Terra Rossa) to sandy loam and quartz.

The vines in Barossa are some of the oldest in the world with some over 150 years old. These allow for some truly fine wines to be produced.  There are strict restrictions on the tampering with vines in the region and this protected the vines from the Phylloxera fungus that ravaged Europe. Although irrigation is needed in this hot climate, some vines are so strong that they can survive without it. In fact, the more the vines struggle to survive, the finer the wine is. The quality tends to rise the more the vines battle.

What To Expect From Barossa

Ask any quality wine retailer, and they will agree that Barossa is the power producer of Australia’s best wines.

Red wines account for about 84% of the vines, but Shiraz is king here. The Shiraz wines produced are among the best in the world. Many producers here employ earlier picking than was done before and small cask ageing leading to more refined wine production. They are big, intense, beefy and bold. Definitely a fine wine for wine lovers. 

Small oak barrel maturation is also the region’s focal point and so the oak used in Barossa is American oak has its distinct dill and coconut flavours.

Riesling is a forerunner in Eden Valley and world-class quality wine comes from these vineyards. The flavours and aromas of the wine can range from lime, lemon and grapefruit to tropical pineapple and apricot and have well- balanced acidity.

Cabernet Sauvignon is the second most planted grape after Shiraz in this area, and although it doesn’t get as much shine, the Cabernet wines produced here are just as bold and intense. Most wine retailers who stock Barossa Shiraz, also ensure they have the equally powerful, Australian Cabernets.

Often times, Grenache is vinified with Shiraz and Mataro (the Australian name for Mourvedre). This mimics the fine wines of the Rhone Valley in France.

Chardonnay, Merlot, Tempranillo, Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc also show up on the list of top 10 wine grapes in the region.

Ensure that get yourself a TWB Cellar Limited from your local wine retailer and spoil yourself with the very best Australian wine. Or, if you ever find yourself taking a trip to Barossa, grab a glass of St. Johns Road Blood and Courage Shiraz and think of me, your ever-faithful wine friend, Cheerio!