Adoration 4 Adventure’s recommendations for a fine day of wine tasting in the Barossa Valley, South Australia.
The Barossa Valley is one the most well-known wine regions in Australia. Located in the state of South Australia and just an hours’ drive north of Adelaide, the word “Barossa” is synonymous with good wine.
When my Mum and I planned a girls’ weekend in Adelaide, I just knew that we had to visit the Barossa. As we intended on tasting loads of delicious wine, hiring a car was out of the question. The best option for us would be to join a tour group.
After searching around on the web, I came across Taste the Barossa tours. What I really liked about Taste the Barossa was that they operated smaller groups (maximum 20 people) and were very reasonably priced in comparison to many other tours. They also operated 7 days a week, unlike other tour companies which may only run Barossa tours every 2-3 days.
Our Taste the Barossa Premium Tour had a packed itinerary, starting with a 9:25 am pick up from North Adelaide (right in front of our hotel doorstep) and finishing with a drop off just after 5 pm.
This is how our fine day of wine tasting in the Barossa Valley went down.
The first stop of the day was a historical and fun site, although not wine related (don’t worry there’s plenty of wine tastings coming up soon!). The Whispering Wall is the curved concrete wall of a dam, called the Barossa Reservoir. The angle of the curve has created the ability of sound to travel from one side to the other.
Russell, our Taste the Barossa driver, encouraged us all to walk along the bridge of the dam to the other side, so we could test this for ourselves. Sure enough, when Russell spoke at a normal speaking level, we could hear him clearly from across the opposite side.
The Whispering Wall has some pretty interesting history and funny anecdotes, however, I will let Russell tell you himself when you go on your own Taste the Barossa tour.
As the tour bus drives up to Château Yaldara, one of the first things you notice is the gorgeous architecture. In fact, Château Yaldara is one of the most photographed buildings in South Australia. The winery was founded in 1947 and named “Yaldara” after the Aboriginal word for sparkling.
After being directed to the tasting room, your first wine tasting experience of the day will begin. The tasting is a “structured” tasting which means the wines have been picked out and ordered specifically (usually from the lightest to most bold wines). At the end of each tasting, you will have an opportunity to purchase the wines you tasted or any other wines on offer.
The shortstop in Tanunda was a really nice addition to the day. Tanunda is a small town in the valley of Barossa, with a real country feel. Russell dropped us off, armed with recommendations and directions to the lolly shop, then told us he would meet us at the other end of the road.
With so many choices of goodies, but also the knowledge that we would be eating lunch in less than an hour, my Mum and I settled with espresso coffees and candies. Although we were the last ones back on the bus (sorry Russell!) we were giggling and gleeful with our sweets in hand.
Most drinkers of Australian wine will probably have heard of Peter Lehmann at some point. Don’t worry if you haven’t, both Russell and the expert staff will fill you in on all the rich history of Peter Lehmann wines. It’s a pretty inspirational tale.
Upon arrival, you are provided with a detailed handout of the tasting menu and Cellar Door sales list. This is handy so that you can remember which wine was your favorite, order a glass (or bottle) to have with lunch and even take home with you.
We tasted eight wines in total, with quite a few medium to full-bodied reds (my favorite!). This was also the first time that I ever tried a sparkling red, which is a unique Australian style of wine.
Following the tasting, we headed into a separate room to have our Weighbridge Platter Lunch. The whole lunch affair was a delight, with wine being passed around, platters and stories being shared. The food was absolutely sumptuous, with an arrangement of meats, cheeses, bread, and olives (vegetarian platters are available upon request). I could not have imagined a better lunch to go with our day of wine tastings.
Fresh country air and a stretch of the legs are a good idea right about now. Following lunch, Russell will direct you on how to walk from Peter Lehmann’s to Langmeil Winery. Just a short and easy ten-minute stroll away. Don’t worry if you don’t feel up to it – Russell is also happy to take you by bus.
Langmeil’s tasting room was very inviting with a warm roaring fire and helpful staff waiting to pour. This is the only tasting of the tour which is unstructured. It means that you can choose from their wine list, rather than the wines being picked out in advance. Compare your favorite or try something new. If you are completely stuck for ideas, then the staff at Langmeil will be happy to offer suggestions.
A day of wine in the Barossa, wouldn’t be complete without seeing the view of the valley. The whole area is stunningly beautiful and this is made even more so evident from this elevated viewpoint.
Murray Street Vineyards
Just when we thought we would never be able to eat again after our huge lunch at Peter Lehmann, our wine expert at Murray Street Vineyards had us dreaming of dinner with her detailed description of food and wine pairings. As we tried each delectable wine in our structured tasting, our wine guide would describe in detail the perfect foods to match with it.
The other aspect that I really enjoyed about our visit to Murray Street, was that the tasting room was lined with wine barrels. The whole place had a real charm. It was lovely to sit out in the garden afterward, soaking up the sun and looking out across the vineyards.
Taste the Barossa
Taste the Barossa is a family-owned company, run by Dallas and his wife Nikki. They provide both daily group tours and private charters (upon request).
We took the Taste the Barossa Premium Tour, which includes wine tasting at four different wineries and a platter lunch. Our driver, Russell, was very knowledgeable about wines and the history of Barossa Valley.
Taste the Barossa makes pickups from Adelaide and Glenelg.
My Mum and I were complimentary guests of Taste the Barossa, however, my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.
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