The Barossa Valley, Australia's premier wine and food region (as we all know!), hosted its Gourmet Weekend this August - the unofficial start to the tourist season as the Barossa begins to awaken from its winter hibernation.
If you missed this year's Gourmet Weekend with friends and family - well, pity you! You missed visiting wineries with warm fires, music, good food and great company! This year we visited the iconic wineries, Jacob's Creek, Chateau Tanunda, and Pindarie Wines where we joined with the cognoscenti to enjoy this exquisite event which attracts visitors from around Australia and the world.
But you don't need to wait for next year's Gourmet Weekend to experience SA's best tourist region.... As they say in the Valley, each weekend is a moment to Be Consumed in this wonderful part of Australia, where every weekend is a gourmet weekend!
And to enjoy your visit even more, get our audio CD discs on the History and Provenance of the Barossa Valley, and Wine Appreciation for Cellar Door Visitors!
In the meantime, check out our video on the Barossa Valley Gourmet Weekend 2014, below....
..And while you contemplate your Barossa Gourmet Weekend visit, here's something to look at.
This pic is of the Barossa in full winter bloom, taken in the dying days of July. All the vines have had a great drink (better than last year) and are dozing in the late winter sun before bursting forth with a new vintage. This is a great time to visit the Barossa - and learn its stories from our discs.
Less tourists means more time in your favourite cellar doors - and more time around the warming fires!
Come on - plan your visit now!
To 'prep' yourself for your amazing Gourmet weekend, get our one-hour CD audio tours ahead of time! Learn about the History and Provenance of the Barossa Valley on our first disc, then learn about Etiquette for Cellar Door Visitors on our second disc (so you don't make an idiot of yourself when visiting the myriad cellar doors in the Valley!) Play our discs as you leave Adelaide and be 'full bottle' about the Barossa (to excuse a pun!) when you arrive for your Gourmet Weekend experience! Click here to go to our store for details!
With Easter just around the corner, here's something we bet you didn't know! The Easter Bunny - or Osterhase in German - actually was introduced to Australia by the first settlers to the Barossa Valley - Lutherans who were escaping religious persecution in their European homeland.
For German Lutherans, the Easter Hare dates back to 1682 and
originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behaviour at the start of the season of Eastertide.
The Easter Bunny actually came out to Australia on the barque Catherina, which in 1839 carried the Silesian Lutherans to South Australia, and who were to make their home in the Barossa. Johann Christian Auricht, whose first vines in the Valley - planted 170 years ago, and still producing wine today at Langmeil Winery - would have entertained settlers' children with tales of Osterhase, and no doubt chided them to be on their best behaviour over Easter.
We visited Langmeil Wines for their 2014 harvest, and while we were filming, we came across Osterhase getting his own 'crop' together for the Easter to come....
So if you're visiting the Barossa over Easter (a perfect time to do so!) get the kids to watch out for Osterhase, and why not get our Barossa Talking Tours Disc#1 to learn more about the early Lutheran settlers to the Valley. We join the settlers on the Catherina on their last weary leg of their journey to South Australia, then follow them as they arrive to set up home in the Barossa. Our audio tour is a perfect Easter gift - buy now and we'll throw in an easter egg from Osterhase!
processed in open fermenters before being basket pressed to extract the finest juices for the iconic Freedom Block wine.....The 2014 vintage is currently being processed - and Cellarmaster Jonathon Bitter says the vintage will be excellent despite challenging weather. To learn more about Langmeil Wines and its amazing 170 year old vines, get our Talking Tours audio CD... a great story for visitors to the Valley, or for armchair travellers...
Autumn continues to make its presence felt in the Barossa Valley.
In our posts below, you will have seen a fine sunset over the Valley a week or so ago - and as storm clouds pass through as winter approaches, the Barossa sky keeps changing.
On this day, the temperature reached in excess of 35 degrees C - but as the sun went down, storm clouds started to gather - and by 2200hrs it was raining!
But that's what makes the Barossa so interesting! Fine days and moist nights - just the weather for the growing of fine grapes!
For some superior vineyards, the cooling weather has provided great relief for those whose grapes are best picked by hand -- those vineyards which mostly produce small yields, from some of the oldest vines in the world - or those vineyards producing premium wines from select vines where machine picking, as good as it is these days, just can't operate.
Here we take a look at Wolf Blass, where select vineyards are still picked in the traditional way - and we spoke with Senior Site Winemaker Matt O'Leary about his expectations for the 2014 vintage.
While there might still be a hot 'kick in the tail' of summer, cooler but still sunny days are rolling over the Barossa Valley, making it an ideal time to visit!
The cooler weather is not only bringing out the visitors, but it's also stirring the locals - none more so than this mob just outside of Williamstown, which we mention in our Barossa Talking Tours disc.
These are to be found on the rise to the right of the Kersbrook to Williamstown Road, about 3-5 kilometres from Williamstown - and it's no small mob - several scores of roos graze happily only metres from the road. So if you're coming up to the Valley (on its most scenic route), drive carefully - and enjoy the locals!
Barossa Talking Tours provides an entertaining and informative look at the Barossa Valley as an audio tour - perfect for car or caravan!