Home to some of the world’s oldest grapevines and a passionate, long established community of growers and winemaking families such as Penfolds and Yalumba, the Barossa Valley is without doubt one of the most widely recognised and celebrated of Australia’s historic red wine regions. Today, brimming over with a new wave of artisanal producers, it presents an exciting showcase of the unfolding evolution of Australian wine in all its splendour.
Located roughly 60km northeast of Adelaide, the Barossa Valley is formed by the North Para River and is a region of undulating hills, studded with fertile pastures. A major agricultural centre, it is blessed with a temperate continental climate and rich soils, and is particularly famous for its robust Shiraz; one of over 40 varieties planted across the length and breadth of the Barossa zone.
Largely founded by German settlers the Barossa Valley hosts some of the oldest Shiraz vines in the world, planted as early as 1847. Dozens of Australia’s most famous wineries have been established in the region, among them Seppeltsfield, Yalumba, Saltram and Henschke wines.
The undulations of the Barossa Valley – a series of transverse valleys and rolling hills – generates a range of mesoclimates that introduces a great degree of diversity in their red wines. Dry, sunny days and cool nights ensure even, consistent ripening, yet low rainfall and average relative humidity of 39% means that irrigation is essential for many growers. Drought can be a major concern here, but with old vines, water stress and reduced yields produce deeply concentrated grapes, most of which end up in the most expensive wines to emerge from the region.
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Best Barossa Valley Red Wines
With over 40 grape varieties and some of the world’s oldest continuously producing vines, with ‘Ancestor’ vines that are up to and over 125 years of age, the Barossa Valley has made old vine styles of Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro/Mourvèdre some its most revered specialities.
Barossa valley Shiraz wine
Without doubt, the star of the show in Barossa Valley is Shiraz. Styles can vary, but generally, these are robust, full-bodied wines that are ripe, with firm tannins. Barossa Valley Shiraz’s iconic taste is of a full-bodied red from the region, with its rich, chocolate flavour overlaid with spicy notes. The warm, dry climate brings out those ripe fruit flavours beautifully, with the best examples showing balanced acidity and a pure, focussed fruit character. Eden Valley Shiraz is typically more medium-bodied, spicy and vibrant in style.
Learn more Shiraz wine variety
Barossa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
The Barossa produces rich, opulent Cabernet Sauvignon that are riper in fruit with softer tannins than Coonawarra or Margaret River. The resulting wines are often blended with Shiraz for a smoother flavour profile. Eden Valley Cabernet Sauvignon show ripened cassis accented flavours, with wines from cooler, higher sites showing greater acidity and notes of mint and capsicum.
Learn more about Australian Cabernet Sauvignon
Barossa Valley Grenache
The Barossa’s third most-planted red variety, Grenache thrives in the region’s deep, black soils to produce richly textured wines with ripe red fruit and spice characters. Highly versatile, it is often used in GSM blends (Grenache, Shiraz, and Mataro - also known as Mourvèdre) or used to produce Rosé and Fortified. Eden Valley Grenache meanwhile reveals lighter flavours and a notably more pronounced acidity.
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