The Barossa Valley wine region is Australia’s first wine region and represents 20% of its production. As a result, it is undoubtedly one of the most renowned regions. It is not renown for it’s quantity but more for the quality of its wines.
HOW TO PRONOUNCE IT?
WHERE IS THE BAROSSA VALLEY?
The Barossa Valley is in South Australia, near the famous city of Adelaïde. This is where you’ll find the oldest vineyards and wineries in Australia.
The valley owes its name to the mountain range “Barossa Ranges”
WHAT IS THE HERITAGE OF THE BAROSSA VALLEY?
European immigrants introduced viticulture in Australia in the late 18th century. A wealthy, philanthropic English shipping merchant, George Fife Angas, founded Barossa in 1842.
The Barossa Valley is very much linked to Shiraz. But a rather less known fact is that it produces other fantastic. Wines from other grape varieties such as Grenache, Mourvedre/Mataro, Riesling and Semillon..
Interestingly, the region originally mainly produced fortified wine (think “Port” and “Sherry” styles). Nowadays, this style represents only a tiny fraction of the wines. But you can still find them and they’re definitely worth a try if you’re after something weird and wonderful.
WHAT ARE THE DOMINANT FEATURES OF THE REGION?
The Barossa Valley is a sub-region of the Barossa region. The other major valley in Barossa is another well known wine producing valley: the Eden Valley.
Eden valley is set at a higher altitude, and has the perfect climate for Riesling. Barossa Valley on the other hand is at a lower altitude, and enjoys a warmer, dryer climate.
That’s what makes it particularly suited to Shiraz.
WHAT ARE THE MAIN GRAPE VARIETIES OF THE BAROSSA VALLEY?
The Barossa region produces 80% of red wines and 20% of whites.
Even though Riesling is very present, the Barossa Valley is mainly known for its red wines made from Shiraz. The Barossa Valley is home to some of the oldest vines of Shiraz in the World, dating back from the 1840s.
The main other varieties you can find in the Barossa Valley are:
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- Grenache (often blended in “Rhone style” with Shiraz and Mataro- Mourvèdre)
WHAT ARE THE WINES LIKE?
The red wines produced are rich, full-bodied wines, with intense fruit aromas and flavours (we often call these wines “fruit forward”). The best example will show a good acidity, which keeps the wines fresh and vibrant, and not overly “jammy”.
Oak aging means that the wines have a good rounded, velvety tannic structure, which makes them great wines to enjoy with food.
WHAT FOOD TO PAIR WITH BAROSSA WINE?
With its expressive fruity side and rich texture, Shiraz will reveal the taste of red meat, especially that of lamb. Add in mushrooms (porcini mushrooms or chanterelle mushrooms) and you have a perfect pairing.
The wines that have seen a bit more oak ageing will be particularly interesting with barbecued dishes such as ribs. The smokey and spicy notes from the wine marrying the barbecued ribs beautifully!
BEST BAROSSA VALLEY SHIRAZ WINES FOR YOU TO TRY:
- Penfolds, Penfolds Grange, Barossa Valley ( https://www.penfolds.com )
- Henschke, Keyneton Euphnium 2012, Barossa Valley (http://www.henschke.com.au/store/ )
- Seppeltsflied, Shiraz 2015, Barossa (https://www.seppeltsfield.com.au/index.php/shop/still-sparkling-wines )
- St Hallett, Butcher’s Cart Shiraz 2014, Barossa ( https://www.sthallett.com.au/ )
- Peter Lehmann, Lehmann Shiraz, Barossa (http://peterlehmannwines.com/our-home/the-barossa.html )