Raise a toast: 11 of the best Barossa Valley wineries

written by Cliona Elliott November 9, 2021
Sunset over the vineyards in Barossa Valley

You’ll be on cloud wine nine in Barossa Valley.

Home to stunning scenery and some of the biggest names in the wine industry, Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s must-visit wine regions.

The region is best known for its full-bodied reds, with Shiraz, Cabernet and Grenache dominating the vines. But the Mediterranean climate is also great for growing Riesling, Chardonnay and Semillon — perfect for those balmy summer evenings.

With over 150 wineries and 80 cellar doors, you might need to plan a few trips to the region — but here are 11 of the best wineries to get you started.

1. Penfolds 

Bottles of Penfolds Grange wine in a wine rack

You can’t go to Barossa Valley and not visit Penfolds. Founded in 1844, this winery has over 170 years of winemaking history. Their flagship wine, Grange, is one of Australia’s most renowned and collectable wines and was even listed as a South Australia Heritage Icon in 2001.

The Taste of Grange Experience ($150) is an excellent introduction to the philosophy behind The Penfolds Collection and includes a tasting of their most renowned drops. 

If you fancy a more hands-on experience, you could do the Make Your Own Blend Tour ($95), where you’ll step into the lab and concoct your own blend of Grenache, Shiraz and Mataro that’ll taste like Penfolds Bin 138. Now, that’s what you call a great holiday souvenir… if the wine makes it home, that is.

2. Jacob’s Creek

People enjoying wine outside at Jacob's Creek cellar door

Jacob’s Creek is an Australian wine icon. Their story began in 1847 when Johann Gramp planted his first vines near the namesake creek. His dream was to create delicious wines that express the character and flavours of the Barossa region. And that remains their ethos today.

Enjoy the Jacob’s Creek Tasting Experience ($5-20 per person) or see how Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon taste before and after additional maturation in whiskey barrels on the Doube Barrel Experience ($65 per person). You could also enjoy a picnic ($120 per two guests) packed with goodies from local producers. Once you’ve quenched your thirst, stroll around the estate or down to the banks of the creek.

3. Seppeltsfield 

A glass of wine from Seppeltsfield winery in Barossa Valley

Seppeltsfield is best known for its Centennial Collection of vintage Tawny, a sweet, fortified wine often served with dessert. They’re also known for experimenting with cool weather styles, including Australia’s first sparkling Shiraz.

Sample a little of everything on the General Wine Tasting Experience ($15). Or, for something a little more indulgent, taste Para Vintage Tawny straight from the barrel of your birth year on the Centennial Cellar Experience ($99). If you want to treat yourself, enjoy a tasting of 100-year-old Tawny followed by a long lunch on the Seppeltsfield FINO Signature Experience ($299). For the adventurous types, there’s also the Segway Tour ($99) through the vineyards and hidden areas of the estate.

Driving to the winery via Seppeltsfield Avenue is half the fun. This iconic road is lined with 2,000 Canary Island Date Palms and is arguably one of the country’s most scenic drives.

4. Wolf Blass 

People toasting a glass of Wolf Blass white wine

From school runaway to world-renowned winemaker, Wolfgang Blass made the right decision when his parents told him to return to school or begin a three-year winemaking apprenticeship. The ultra-modern cellar door is located in the same spot where Blass set up his original winery in 1966.

Enjoy the ultimate expression of Blass’ winemaking with the Luxury Collection Tasting ($25), sip on a glass of Black Label (Blass’ most renowned red blend) straight from the barrel, or indulge in a wine and cheese picnic overlooking the idyllic Wolf Blass Wetlands ($40 per couple). Don’t forget to check out “Wolfie”, a life-size painting produced by Australian artist David Bromley for Blass’ 80th birthday.

5. Yalumba

A person wine tasting next to barrels in Yalumba Winery

This family-owned winery is a pioneer in winemaking sustainability and producing wines with minimal intervention. The cellar door is set in an impressive estate with well-groomed gardens made for enjoying a glass with friends in the sun. They also have a cosy wine room that was originally an old brandy store for those chilly winter evenings.

Yalumba’s flagship wine is The Signature, a classic blend of Shiraz and Cabernet Sauvignon that encapsulates the family’s history and values. Enjoy Yalumba’s range with a Best of Barossa Tasting Flight ($15) or the Rare & Fine Tasting Flight ($20). If you’re feeling peckish, tuck into the Yalumba Estate Picnic ($150) filled with local cheese, cured meats and fruits.

6. Chateau Tanunda 

A couple enjoying a glass of wine in Chateau Tununda vineyards

Chateau Tanunda has some of Australia’s oldest vines. They’re best known for producing award-winning rare blends, including the highly collectable Old Vine Expressions range.

Enjoy a tasting in the cellar door, accompanied by views of the Barossa Ranges and surrounding vineyards. Or dive into the winery’s rich history on the Beyond the Velvet Rope tour ($210), including tastings from 50, 100 and 150-year-old vines. Set on a stunning estate with 350 acres of vineyards, a cricket oval and a croquet lawn, wine tasting settings don’t get much more picturesque than this.

7. Bethany Wines 

A scenic view of the vineyards at Bethany Wines

Bethany Wines is a great pit stop (of many) on the Barossa Trail. The winery’s history began in 1852 when Johann Gottlob Schrapel, who moved to Bethany from Silesia with his family, planted vines with cuttings he carried from Europe. Fast forward to 1981, and fifth-generation brothers Robert and Geoff founded Bethany Wines.

Enjoy a seated tasting of four wines from the Blue Quarry, First Village Reds or First Village Whites range. You could also pair your flight with a cheesy picnic platter from the Barossa Valley Cheese Company. The cellar door feels like a family home with a warm, relaxed atmosphere and pretty views overlooking the vineyards.

8. Yelland & Papps

Bottles of Yelland & Papps wine on a shelf

Winemaking dream team, Susan and Michael Papps, founded Yelland and Paps in 2005. They’re known for pushing the winemaking boundaries using minimal intervention techniques including wild yeasts and whole bunch fermentation, resulting in a contemporary twist on classic Barossa varieties.

Taste favourites from their small-batch wine portfolio in the unpretentious cellar door. They also have games on the lawn to entertain the little ’uns while you enjoy a glass.

9. Peter Lehmann Wines

Two glasses of red wine from Peter Lehmann Wines

The story of Peter Lehmann Wines captures the close-knit spirit of the Barossa community. It began in 1979 when Peter Lehmann took out a loan to build a small winery to support local family grape growers during a huge grape surplus. Lehmann is a local legend, and is often referred to as the guy who saved the Barossa wine industry.

Peter Lehmann Wines produces some of Australia’s finest premium wines. Spend the afternoon at the picturesque cellar door where you can chill out on the lawn by the banks of the Para River. They also do tasty paired lunches if you fancy making an afternoon of it.

10. Saltram 

A couple wine tasting at Saltram

Saltram is known for its intense, rich and bold reds, including its flagship wine, No.1 Shiraz. They offer a range of experiences, including a Luxury Collection Tasting ($25) and a Heritage Tour ($35).

You could also pop into Salter’s Kitchen for a lunch overlooking their rose garden. The menu changes with the seasons to take advantage of the region’s abundant produce.

11. Rockford Winery

The courtyard at Rockford Winery in autumn

This old-school winery is committed to upholding Barossa traditions. The vines are hand-pruned, the fruit is handpicked, and the grapes are processed using traditional techniques. This dedication shows in the taste.

The barn-style cellar door is intimate and can only hold groups of six at any one time, but it’s well worth sticking around even if there’s a bit of a wait.

Experience everything this wine region has to offer on a Barossa Valley tour. 

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