The best time to visit Barossa Valley depends on what you want to see and do. If you want to see grapes on the vines and enjoy balmy evenings outdoors, summer is where it's at. Summer is also the busiest time of year, so expect larger crowds.
The sweet spot (i.e. smaller crowds and good weather) is late spring and early autumn. Autumn is also harvesting season, which means one thing: vintage celebrations!
Winter is cool and wet, and while there might not be a buzz like there is in summer, you'll get to enjoy the region in solitude. Plus, is there anything better than a glass of Shiraz around a roaring log fire?
Best for: spring blooms, walking, cycling
Spring in Barossa is wonderful. Fruit trees start blossoming, vines start budding and the paddocks are awash with green. With average temperatures of 18°C to 25°C and longer days, it's a great time for a cycling adventure on the Barossa Trail or long lunches and wine tastings without large summer crowds. Mornings and evenings can be crisp, so be prepared to layer up and down throughout the day.
Best for: alfresco dining, picnics, cycling, the Declaration of Vintage
With hot days and balmy evenings, summer is perfect for picnics and outdoor dining. The vines are plump with grapes, orchards are full of ripening fruits and paddocks turn golden as grain crops mature. Daytime temperatures linger between 28°C and 30°C, so make sure you pack light clothing, a sun hat and sunscreen. Nights can be mild with lows of 13°C, so a warm layer wouldn't go amiss.
Grape harvesting usually starts at the end of February, with the annual celebration of the Declaration of Vintage. There's a real buzz about town, and you’ll see plenty of pickers out in the vineyards and tractors taking boxes of grapes to the wineries.
Best for: Barossa Vintage Festival, autumn colours, walking
Early autumn sees pleasant daytime temps of 22°C to 26°C and plenty of sunshine. However, it's chilly after sundown so warm layers are a must. Grape harvesting and Vintage celebrations usually continue into April — including the biennial Barossa Vintage Festival, a nine-day celebration featuring parades, food, live music and, of course, wine.
The first cold wave arrives at the end of the season, but with it comes a stunning display of autumn colours in the vineyards and surrounding hills. It's a really gorgeous time of year to walk through the vineyards.
Best for: rugging up with a glass of red, enjoying local food, small crowds
The weather may be cool and damp, but don't let that put you off. Embrace the cosy vibes by rugging up in cellar doors with a glass of red and enjoying the region's famous food scene. The vines lose their leaves and are pruned in winter, but the paddocks are lush thanks to the winter rains, so be sure to go for a brisk winter stroll to admire the views.
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