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Wherever you go in the world, if there are great wineries, you will almost certainly find great food. And that’s certainly the case in South Australia’s Barossa Valley, where there’s a smorgasbord of restaurants, provedores and gourmet experiences to feast on.
Less than an hour’s drive north-east of Adelaide, the Barossa is an internationally acclaimed wine region that oozes history. With more than 80 cellar doors and some of the world’s oldest vineyards, it produces 20% of Australian wine.
The region is dotted with charming villages, stone cottages and Lutheran churches that are testament to a 19th-century wave of German settlers. These early settlers included bakers, butchers, smallgoods and dried fruit producers, and it’s fair to say that people in the region have been thinking about their tummies ever since.
One of the best showcases of regional dining is Fino at Seppeltsfield. Sharing the original 1900’s bottling hall with Seppeltsfield’s cellar door, it offers a choice of dining in the fireside dining room, the garden-view veranda or the European-style garden terrace.
Seppeltsfield is the only winery in the world where everyone can find a wine from their birth year, the first barrel of tawny port having been laid down in 1878. For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, tour the Centenary Cellar and enjoy the thrill of tasting something akin to liquid gold.
Another superb experience can be had at The Atrium at Hentley Farm where chef Clare Falzon and her team produce dishes that are works of art, created around produce that is either growing wild in the area, tended by chefs in the farm’s kitchen garden, or from local farmers and backyard growers.
For a hands-on experience, enrol in a cooking class at Jacob’s Creek winery. Following a walk through the kitchen garden to select fresh produce and herbs, prepare a gourmet meal under the watchful eye of professional chefs, then sit down for a leisurely lunch paired with Jacob’s Creek wines.
For a more casual meal, head to Barossa Valley Brewing for a woodfired pizza in the beer garden, or to Lyndoch Lavender Farm & Café for light meals on the terrace and treats such as lavender ice cream, lavender honey, lavender scones, and lavender biscuits.
Elegant Asian food is on the menu at FermentAsian, where chef Tuoi Do creates dishes that honour her northern Vietnamese heritage and Barossa produce, much of it grown by her family. For a fun experience, not to mention hearty Mexican, Spanish and Argentinian dishes, El Estanco is the pick. In an 1890s property in Greenock, it’s a great place to enjoy breakfast, lunch, cocktails, or the Friday night Pizza Fiesta menu.
You might run into culinary legend Maggie Beer at The Farm Eatery & Cooking School in Nuriootpa, and you never know who you might run into at the Barossa Farmers Market, held every Saturday morning in Angaston. Be sure to pick up some of Barossa Valley Cheese Company’s award-winning cheese.
The four-course fine-dining menu at Essen, located at Artisans of the Barossa, shines a light on the region’s produce, and you can enjoy a wine pairing from Artisans’ collection of more than 100 top local drops. If you’re after more casual fare, pop into Artisans’ Delikatessen & Providore.
Take some provisions back with you to the Adina Apartment Hotel Adelaide Treasury, where the apartments have kitchen facilities. Alternatively, check into the swanky Vibe Hotel Adelaide, the perfect place to put your feet up after a busy round of wining and dining.