24 Hours in the Barossa Valley
Posted by Stephanie Mikkelsen on Wednesday, October 19, 2016
Much like Prince, Madonna and Cher, when a place can get away with simply being referred to by one word, rather than it’s full name, that’s certainly a sign of the weight it carries. Such is the case with the Barossa Valley.
The big, bold Barossa is a part of the Australian food and wine psyche. This valley’s landscape is a tapestry of elite cellar doors, acclaimed restaurants and farmers’ markets that double as weekend morning institutions. The search for South Australian wine nirvana begins – and might even end – in the Barossa. Ready to get started? Prepare your palates: we’ve created an itinerary for your first 24 hours in the valley. We’ve also included places to stay, because as any food or wine-lover will know, a day spent sipping and sampling can make for tiring work…
Already in Adelaide? It doesn’t take long to go from City of Churches to vine-dotted countryside. The drive comes in at under 90 minutes. The speediest way is to take South Road through the CBD and join the highways. Along the way, you’ll bypass Gawler, the gateway town to the Barossa. Another route from Adelaide is driving northeast, through Williamstown and Lyndoch. Break up the drive by stopping off at the Whispering Wall, The Residence at Barossa Chateau or Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre.
In 24 hours
To market, to market | 8am
It’s an early start for a Barossa Valley icon. The Farmers’ Market at Vintners Sheds in Angaston is a honeypot of real food and local produce, with more than 40 stalls pedalling everything from freshly baked artisan breads and free-range eggs to ethical meats, just-harvested vegetables and homemade preserves. Don’t bother having breakfast before you arrive, because as well as being the place to pick up takeaway treats, the market is your go-to for the most important meal of the day. Toss up between a breakfast burger, poached eggs on a pumpkin rosti, omelette or pancakes – all made from ingredients found at the market, naturally – and wash it down with a barista-brewed coffee or freshly-squeezed juice. The market happens every Saturday morning from 7:30am to 11:30am and special twilight markets are held in the lead up to Christmas and Easter.
Angaston amble | 9:30am
The market is located on the fringe of Angaston, so before moving to your next gourmet go-to, take an hour to explore this English-influenced village. Stroll down the pretty main street, or wander a section of the Angaston Heritage Walk. The route begins from Union Chapel and takes walkers past the Town Hall, courthouse and a handful of other old-world builds. It takes about one hour to do the entire walk and a maps can be picked up at Angaston Visitor Information Centre. The centre is located next to Barossa Valley Cheese Company.
Farm visit | 10:30am
Maggie Beer is the darling of the Barossa Valley and is as much a part of the Valley’s patchwork as cellar doors and farm gate stalls. Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop in Nuriootpa is a 13-minute drive from Angaston. By now, there should be room in your stomach and what a good thing that is – the Farm Shop is a treasure trove for sampling Maggie Beer products. For something more substantial, opt for one of the picnic fare items on the menu – chicken and tarragon pastry parcel, vegetarian tart, Pheasant Farm pate board. Stay for a verjuice demonstration or wander around the picturesque dam.
Image: Maggie Beer's Farm Shop. Sven Kovac, South Australian Tourism Commission.
Sip, slurp, repeat | 12pm
Back up your visit to the Farm Shop with your first cellar door sojourn. A handful of top-notch wineries and vineyards are close by – Wolf Blass, Peter Lehmann Wines, Torbreck, Yelland and Papps – and follow a tasting session with a long lunch. Those saving indulgence until dinnertime can head to Murray Street in Nuriootpa to pick up something light from one of the strip's cafés.
On your bike | 2:30pm
Leave your car in Nuriootpa, pick up a bicycle from Barossa Bike Hire and cycle to Tanunda. It’s a mostly flat cycle and will take about 25 minutes at a leisurely place. Those reluctant to rely on pedal power could opt for an electric bike. You’ll still be able to enjoy the scenery and wind through your hair, but will save your legs. Tanunda is the heritage heart of the Barossa Valley, but also has a collection of arty pleasures – Barossa Regional Gallery, Corroboree Dream Art. Visit Chateau Tanunda to admire its historic good looks and its famed wine, or head to Barossa Valley Brewing for a different kind of drop.
Image: Eden Valley. Milton Wordley; South Australian Tourism Commission.
Rest and recharge | 5:30pm
Cycle back to Nurioopta, pick up your wheels and return to your accommodation to shower and give your stomach a rest before dinner. Those looking to keep the Barossa Valley vibes rolling can make for a local watering hole – Casa Carboni, Wanera Wine Bar & Restaurant, Stein’s Taphouse – for a pre-dinner tipple.
Main event | 7pm
Who’s hungry? Whether you’re after the finer things in life and have degustation dining on the brain, or want to rub shoulders with the locals, you’ll find it in Barossa Valley. Hentley Farm Restaurant sits in the property’s old stable and though a relative newcomer to the Barossa Valley foodosphere, the eatery has been quick to earn countrywide praise. Both set menu offerings are available with matched wines. Appellation at The Louise is another destination diner and dishes are created using ingredients from the kitchen garden and locally sourced produce. Vintners Bar & Grill has alfresco dining and a menu sprinkled with pan-global cuisine. For something slightly unexpected in the Barossa, head to fermentAsian where self-taught cook Tuoi Do serves up flavours from across South East Asia.
Image: The Louise, South Australian Tourism Commission.
Time to retire | 9:30pm
Some might still be tucking into a three-hour sitting at Hentley’s Farm restaurant but those whose stomachs are full and eyelids droopy can head back to their accommodation. Pop on a movie, run a bath or simply slide into bed. It’s been a big day – and there’s another one ahead of you tomorrow.
Ready for your own Barossa adventure? Find your luxury accommodation in the Barossa Valley in our collection of boutique getaways.
Hero image: Barossa Valley. Gab Rivera; South Australian Tourism Commission.