You’ll find Australia’s red wine capital, the Barossa Valley, 75 kilometres north-east of Adelaide, disguising an equally impressive food scene.
Centred around three main townships – Angaston, Nuriootpa and Tanunda, expect sprawling vineyard, strong German and English influences and rich soils, which combine to produce a rainbow of goodies.
Everyone knows you should …
Go to the farmers’ markets
There are two must-do local markets here – the Barossa Farmers Market at Angaston and the Mount Pleasant Farmers Market. Every Saturday, both burst with regional producers showcasing food from local homes and farms.
Visit the Artisans of Barossa cellar door
The love child of seven local wineries, Artisans is a must-see for connoisseurs of both vino and food. As well as wine tastings, visitors can sample the work of chef Mark McNamara (from renowned local restaurant Appellation), with a shared plate menu, as well as sell-out Sunday Long Table lunches and The Cooking School Without Walls.
Sample the Lehmann platter
Barossa winemaking heavyweight, Peter Lehmann Wines, offers an array of award-winning wines, but one of the biggest attractions at the cellar door is the ‘Weighbridge Platter’. Available daily, it comprises a selection of iconic Barossa treats such as Maggie Beer pâté, Barossa Valley Cheeses, Barossa Kitchen’s ‘bark’ (crispbread), Zimmy’s pickles and preserves, Apex Bakery breads, and Linkes’ Butchers small goods.
But locals say you need to…
Visit Hutton Vale
Situated in Eden Valley, this renowned family-owned mixed-farming business is a destination in itself, producing wine, lamb, vegetables and preserves using sustainable philosophies. They also run ad hoc ‘paddock to plate’ get-togethers for locals, involving walks around the garden, talks on seasonal produce, hands-on cooking lessons and platter lunches.
Carême Pastry ‘SMS club’
Family-owned Carême Pastry has mastered handcrafted, high quality, ready-to-use pastry dough, available nationally. Locals who know owners William and Claire Wood, can sign up to their ‘sourdough list’, for fresh bread every Friday direct from their kitchen. If you don’t have local friends on ‘the list’, you can drop by and pick up one of their pastries to bake yourself.
Barossa butchers all source their meats from local farming families, but each specialises in a different style or recipe. If you’re after Mettwurst, head to Linkes Butcher; smoked bacon, Schulz; grain-fed prime beef, Thornby’s; free-range milk-fed pork, Barossa Heritage Pork; and amazing sausages, Mount Pleasant Butcher.
Where to stay
The Paddocks: Set amongst grazing sheep, olive groves and gardens are these idyllic suites for couples. Equipped with all the usual niceties, guests can also expect a private antiquarian library filled with books on wine and the Barossa, as well a complimentary bottle of Whistler wine, best enjoyed with the regional cheese platter served on arrival. From $195 a night.
Treetops B&B: You’ll find this little gem in the quaint township of Marananga, with three accommodation options including a stylish two-bedroom apartment for families with full kitchen, wood fireplace and spa bath. It’s also close to shops and wineries with a cellar door next door. From $200 a night including breakfast, bottle of wine and Barossa picnic basket.
Novotel Barossa Valley Resort: Overlooking the Barossa Ranges and Jacobs Creek vineyards in Tanunda, the resort includes 140 apartments with the Novotel stamp of quality, plus an array of facilities from an outdoor pool and Endota day spa to The Tasting Room, where there are daily wine tastings. Onsite Harry’s Restaurant also uses local Barossa produce. From $152 a night.