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The Elderton Wines Blog

Tips for visiting the Barossa this Winter

9 June 2020
by Jess Ruciack

The Barossa is a fantastic place to visit year-round, with each season having its own perks. While things are a little different around here at the moment, 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 COSY IN THE BAROSSA

Here in the Barossa it is starting to get chilly – perfect winter weather for sitting by a fire with a big glass of red. Luckily our Cellar Door has both a fire and red wine!

visiting Barossa in winter, Barossa wineries with fireplaces

After an especially dry spring and summer this season, we were so happy to receive some good rains in late April and early May. We can now see green paddocks – a nice balance to the vineyards heading into dormancy and the late autumn leaves still hanging on with autumn colours. Farmers have finished seeding cereal crops, which will provide 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.

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?
Anywhere with a nice open fire! The Barossa is a great place to visit during winter if you can handle the cold, as it is quieter and people have more time to be even more generous with their hospitality! The vines go into dormancy so it is remarkable to drive around the region and just look at all the amazing old vines, where you can intricately see the crazily gnarled old vines that have weathered every storm whether literally or figuratively. Many of the wines of the Barossa are also perfect for wintery conditions.

If you had friends or family visiting during winter, where is the one spot in the Barossa you would take them?
To the Barossa Farmers Market to see the community work together to provide access to the most amazing produce. I would also take them for walks up and through the Eden Valley ranges where you can enjoy the remarkable views to either the beautiful Eden Valley or the mighty Barossa Valley. I would also take them to Seppeltsfield Road Distillers for a delicious gin and tonic!

Your takeaway tip for a Barossa overnight visit – where to grab your favourite restaurant meal to eat at home…
The guys at Ember Pizza in Nuriootpa are doing a great job of adapting in these difficult times. Not only do they do takeaway but you can also buy par cooked pizzas from a couple of the supermarkets in the Barossa to take home and heat in the oven whilst sipping on an Elderton GSM or Western Ridge Grenache Carignan (hopefully in front of an open or slow combustion fire). This is the definition of Barossa Friday night comfort living!

And to eat in again – your restaurant tip for a Barossa visit?
Our good friends at Casa Carboni in Angaston do the most delicious home made pasta which is perfect for a relatively quick lunch between cellar door visits. For a more serious option though, book in for a Friday night Italian degustation feast. Matteo is a remarkable chef and a pretty good tennis player! (the only thing to consider is that there are only imported wines on their wine list)

Your wine tip for winter – what will you be drinking?
I always think winter is the perfect time to drink Cabernet and in a more general sense wines with a bit of age on them. It just seems right to see wines with genteel and mature tannins whilst looking at the winter rains come down outside the window.

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?

Barossa.com local updates are a handy resource, with up to date information on who’s open, when and with what restrictions at this time – this covers cellar doors, dining, retails and other attractions and is a great place to check what’s open.

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!

And for our tips on where to grab restaurant takeaway, check out our blog. Some of the Barossa restaurants are also now open for dining in – see our blog for our guide to the best places to eat in the Barossa which we’ll keep updating as needed.

 

LIVE LIKE A LOCAL – TIP 2

barossa vineyardsTips from Cameron Ashmead, Co-Managing Director:

What is your favourite place in the Barossa, during winter?
My favourite winter place in the Barossa is sitting around the fire at home, with a glass of full bodied red watching the football (so good that it is almost back). Luckily there is fire and red almost where ever you are in the Barossa.

If you had friends or family visiting during winter, where is the one spot in the Barossa you would take them?
Pizza at Ember in Nuriootpa. Fun times and great food.

Your takeaway tip for a Barossa overnight visit – where to grab your favourite restaurant meal to eat at home…
Definitely Casa Carboni in Angaston. Pasta these days is such a guilty pleasure and it works so well at home.

And in the case of being able to eat in again – your restaurant tip for a Barossa visit?
Undoubtedly Vintners. All the locals here can’t wait for it to reopen. Apparently it is being renovated as well!  A local gentleman called Paul Clancy even wrote them a love letter saying he could not wait for them to reopen.

Your wine tip for winter – what will you be drinking?
The 2016 Ode to Lorraine. So complex and layered. A great Australian red!

Elderton Wines Barossa Valley

AND OUR CELLAR DOOR, OF COURSE!

As always, we welcome you to our Cellar Door. We are open 10am – 5pm weekdays and 11am – 4pm weekends and welcome you to visit for a seated wine tasting or to purchase some wine to take home.

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!