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The Elderton Wines Blog

Tips for visiting the Barossa in Winter

by Jess Ruciack

The Barossa is a fantastic place to visit year-round, with each season having its own perks. If you are planning on visiting the Barossa this winter, we’ve put together some information that might be handy and some insider tips and thoughts on what to see and do while you’re here enjoying the area – live like a local for a few days.

WINTER IS COMING…

Are we sick of this phrase yet? Not sure with GOT finishing so recently, but it is totally appropriate for this blog topic, as winter is just around the corner. Here in Australia, winter is June, July and August and for us in the Barossa it is cooler, hopefully rainier and perfect for sitting by a fire with a big glass of red.

After an especially dry spring, summer and autumn this year, it is pleasing to see some green start to poke through in paddocks – a nice balance to the vineyards heading into dormancy and the few autumn leaves still hanging on for dear life. Farmers are busy sowing cereal crops into early June, providing seas of green by August, and June/July sees ripe olive trees ready for harvest.

VINEYARDS IN WINTER

Winter is the time for vines to just chill. Vines go into dormancy over the winter. Through autumn, the vines are preparing for this dormancy period, by basically pulling all the energy back down into their roots and trunk. This energy has to get them through winter, and through budburst in spring. I particularly like this phrase from the AWRI (Australian Wine Research Institute) “Vines set themselves up with the biological equivalent of ‘anti-freeze’ to ensure live tissue remains for the renewal of growth in the following spring.” To read more about this, check out the AWRI factsheet.

Gosh nature is cool!

We get out into the vineyard and prune, to set the vine structure up for the coming season. You’ll see teams of people walking through vineyards around the Barossa in rain, hail or shine, pruning all the vines.

Here’s Peter, our Vineyard Manager, with our vineyard before pruning:

visiting Barossa in winter

And here’s how gorgeous they look pruned:

Vineyard Elderton Command in Winter

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL – TIP 1

barossa winemakersTips from our Co-Managing Director, Allister Ashmead:

What is your favourite place to visit within the Barossa, during winter?
Honestly, with a typically heavy travel schedule I love sitting at home with my family, next to a warm fire watching my beloved football team most likely lose, but enjoying a fine glass of good Barossa Cabernet.

If you had friends or family visiting during winter, where is the one spot in the Barossa you would take them?
Elderton! Winter is a great time to visit because the wines that make us famous are always perfectly matched with good winter soul food. I do love the little cellar doors of a few mates though at the moment including Hewitson, Home of the Brave and David Franz.

Your wine tip for winter – what will you be drinking?
Big reds. Aged reds. Kick back and warm yourself with the great wines of the Barossa that have been cellared to show perfect balance between youth and exuberance and age and sophistication.

WEATHER / WHAT TO PACK

Whilst the days can be beautiful when it’s sunny, average daytime temperature is 12-16°C, the nights are particularly cripsy (3-6°C). Winter is meant to be our wet season, and we’re hoping that it is this year. But it certainly doesn’t rain every day so you’ll be able to enjoy outdoor activities such as hiking in the Kaiser Stuhl National Park if you’re looking for a break in between wine tastings!

Barossa.com suggests, “Pack warm clothing, with extra layers, and a coat or jacket.” I always have a scarf throughout winter, and a beanie if I’m going to be outside after about 4pm!

WHAT’S ON IN WINTER

So you’re planning your visit to the Barossa this winter – what’s on that you can add to your wine tasting itinerary?

You might like to head to the Barossa Farmers Market to grab all the fresh goodies produced in the Barossa to make your own Barossa meal or afternoon tasting plate.

Check out the suggested itineraries on Barossa.com https://www.barossa.com/visit/suggested-itineraries where you can explore arts, shopping, where all the fireplaces are, and more!

Gourmet weekend is on 6-8 September. Check out the event FB page to keep up to date with all that’s on.

For upcoming events, check out our Events page for events at our Cellar Door and for events and tastings throughout the Barossa, check out the Event Calendar on Barossa.com.

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL – TIP 2

eden valley

Tips from Karli Currie, part of our Marketing and Sales team:

What is your favourite place to visit within the Barossa, during winter?
I grew up here, but then moved to Adelaide to study before travelling back and forth overseas for about 7 years. I have a very vivid memory of coming back to ‘the Valley’ after spending considerable time abroad and realising how beautiful this place is and I feel I somewhat used to take it for granted. It was winter. It was then that I realised my favourite place within the Barossa is all of it! The cellar doors with open fires, the bare & tidy vines (this is because I like everything tidy), the green hills and the Barossa Valley Chocolate Factory (okay, this was not around when I came back to the Barossa but it is now and it is worth a look!)

If you had friends or family visiting during winter, where is the one spot in the Barossa you would take them?
A new cellar door that has opened up, and I have been frequenting is Atze’s Corner – it is small and intimate, with an awesome view. An outdoor setting/balcony, with blinds and heaters allows you to enjoy the Barossa in all its winter beauty, whilst staying warm and cosy. Their platters are really good, and the kids just love the old school ‘pretzels’ oozing with butter, the wines are great too!

Your wine tip for winter – what will you be drinking?
Definitely the 2015 Ode to Lorraine, so rich and delicious! This ‘great Australian blend’ is something special, and has a depth that matches perfectly with any hearty winter food, or cheese plate around the fire. Whilst I equally love the 2016 Barossa Cabernet Sauvignon, the ‘Ode’ is my winter pick.

AND OUR CELLAR DOOR, OF COURSE!

As always, we welcome you to our Cellar Door. This spot in front of the fire is perfect for a Chocolate and Wine Matching experience, or simply with a great coffee after a wine tasting at the bar.

visiting Barossa in winter, Barossa wineries with fireplaces

Barossa.com is also a wealth of information to help plan your visit –  from accommodation and transport, to dining and suggested itineraries. Check out http://www.barossa.com/visit.

When you are here, the Barossa Visitor Information Centre in the main street of Tanunda is also a great place to start for information.

And if you’re one of our Elderton Commanders, then contact Jodhi in Cellar Door to access our concierge service, to help plan the perfect Barossa winter getaway.

Cheers!