Barossa Valley is one of the most renowned wine regions in Australia. This world-renowned region is famous for its Shiraz, which is a large, strong red wine. It also houses many of the most well-known brands in Australian wine, such as Langmeil, Peter Lehmann, and Penfolds, along with some small family-run wineries.
There’s a huge list of excellent wineries to visit within the Barossa Valley. It doesn’t matter if you’re interested in seeing some of the most famous brands in Australian wine or smaller wineries that are boutique. There are many to pick from.
In this guide, we’ll share our list of the top wineries in South Australia. The list below is the result of several trips in South Australia and lots of research. Tim is a huge lover of Australian Shiraz, and we consume a fair amount from it back home…which is precisely why we have included the Barossa Valley during our second visit to Australia.
ABOUT BAROSSA VALLEY
Barossa Valley is one of several wine regions that are located in South Australia. This listing includes McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra, and Kangaroo Island. Barossa Valley is the largest and longest-running of these wine regions.
The first inhabitants of the zone were Kaurna Peramagnk and Ndagjuri people. They were the first Europeans to be introduced in the year 1837, and they planted the very first Shiraz vines a few years afterward. According to where they came from, Langmeil has the oldest Shiraz vines, with some dating back to 1843.
The Shiraz vines are among the oldest in the world. In the 1880s, a lot of areas of wineries in Europe were devastated by Phylloxera, which is a pest native to North America and accidentally brought into Europe.
When you visit Barossa Valley, you’ll notice signs that read “Please Don’t Walk Amongst Our Vines.” Certain of these old Shiraz vines aren’t Phylloxera resistant, and a Phylloxera epidemic could be catastrophic for this wine region.
Barossa Valley is famous for its Shiraz. However, it is an important winemaker of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mataro/Mourvedre, as well as Chardonnay.
The Barossa comprises several regions, which include Barossa Valley and the hilly, more temperate Eden Valley to the east. A lot of wineries sell wines exclusively that are from either of the areas or blends of both. While they’re positioned together, their flavors are very different.
WINERIES IN BAROSSA VALLEY
This is not the “best wineries to visit in Barossa Valley” guide. It will require weeks to visit all of them, and we certainly didn’t have that amount of time.
The following list is for the 13 wineries that we visited during our visit to Barossa Valley. We picked these due to our familiarity with the wine prior to our trip or because the winery was highly recommended to us (either via our research, family, or acquaintances or from those at the other cellars in the area).
One of the most requested questions we have is the cellar door Sommelier’s answer, which wineries they suggest. Certain names pop up on a regular basis, and in this list, Torbreck, Henschke, Rockford Wines, and Langmeil belong to this category.
Near the end of the guide, we’ll give our five top picks that can be explored in one scheduled but hectic day.
Chateau Tanunda is the home of Australia’s largest and oldest chateau, founded in 1890. This is where the beginning of Barossa wine industry began, with the first vines being planted in the 1840s.
The chateau was listed on the Register of State Heritage Places in 1994.
Chateau Tanunda is the first winery we visited during our first visit to the area in 2015. We went to the Chateau Tanunda primarily to look around the wine cellar. Because of its historical structure and basement that was filled with wine barrels, It was everything we envisioned the ideal wine cellar would be.
Learn more about the history of the region of wine, the past, and various options for tasting at the official website.
Why should you go to Chateau TANUNDA? Visit Australia’s most historic and biggest chateau. The chateau has an extensive and historical background, and for an additional charge, you can visit its wine cellar.
We went to Rockford Wines because a lot of other Barossa Valley cellar doors recommended the winery.
There is a cellar door in the Rockford area. Rockford cellar doors were the most compact and one of the most crowded that we saw in the Barossa Valley. Inside this tiny stone cottage, you can sit in the bar area and take an escorted wine tasting of their top wines.
In the time we visited in May 2023, there was only a small selection of wines available to sample, including one award-winning wine, The Basket Press Shiraz, which was out of stock on the day we visited. We enjoyed the 2018 Shiraz Vermouth, which is which is a fortified wine.
The most memorable part of our stay in this area was the opportunity to observe winemaking unfold because our visit wasn’t long after harvest time.
Find out more details about Rockford through the site.
Why visit the Rockford Winery: This is a great choice for those who love the idea of visiting a tiny winery located in Barossa Valley.
If you take a look at maps, Henschke is a bit of an outlier. The vineyard is situated inside Eden Valley, which sits just next to Barossa Valley.
It’s a stunning journey to reach there. Its rolling hills are lined with vines. We took a drive through roads lined with massive eucalyptus groves and even saw some kangaroos just a bit from the road. It takes around twenty minutes to drive there from the center of Barossa Valley.
The Henschke cellar door has an elegant look to it. It’s situated inside The original 1950’s Woolstore. It has brick walls, floor-to-ceiling windows, a lengthy table, a wine bar, and tables arranged in the entire room. This is among the most stunning cellar doors we have seen within the Barossa Valley.
The Henschke family has been growing grapes in the region for more than 150 years, which makes their winery one of the longest-running in the area. They make some extraordinary, expensive wines, and that’s why you can find tastings that cost between $10 and $40.
This was the one cellar door in which not having reservations was a problem. Henschke strongly recommends that visitors reserve a reservation ahead. Although we were a walk-in, we were still able to have an experience at the bar for wine.
Three levels are available for wine tastings and the option of an experience called the Hill of Grace experience, which lasts for 3 hours with a tasting of their top wines. It must be reserved prior to the time of your visit.
The wine we sampled at Henschke was fantastic, a few of the finest we’ve tasted at Barossa Valley.
Find out more about Henschke and book your ticket ahead via Henschke’s Henschke’s official site.
Why visit Henschke: We believe that Henschke is an incredibly stunning cellar door we have seen in Barossa Valley. It also produces some of the finest wines we have tasted from this region. If you’re looking for the complete experience, set aside 3 hours to go on a Hill of Grace tour and tasting.