Barossa on brand

Photography Nick Rains, Bethany Wines Barossa

If there’s one wine region you should never overlook on your wine list, it’s the Barossa Valley. Seventy-five kilometres north of Adelaide, the Barossa is not only a region but also a brand, seared deep into the consciousness of wine lovers across Australia and around the globe. And, as one of Australia’s most globally recognised regions – comparable to Napa Valley in California and Bordeaux in France – customers feel familiar with the region. And this makes the Barossa's world-class wines a comfortable choice for diners.

The Barossa is a broad valley surrounded by low, undulating hills, dotted with colonial-era stone buildings and gleaming Lutheran church spires. It’s home to some of Australia’s biggest wine producers, such as Yalumba, Penfolds and Peter Lehmann, but these heavyweights have also forged a rock-solid foundation for smaller wineries that produce some exceptional boutique wines.

The Barossa has built a global reputation on a solid yet unique foundation. When the region was settled in the 1840s by Scots, the English and Germans from Silesia, the winemakers soon realised that to succeed they needed to embrace the naturally warm climate. Sitting at 34° south, the Barossa shares the same latitude as Cape Town and Buenos Aires. The area is well suited to varieties from warmer climates such as shiraz and grenache.

The halo of the low hills that surround the Barossa helps warm the valley in summer, aiding in the development of the flavours in the grapes and boosting the sugars. Away from the maritime influence, the summer evenings cool under a cloudless sky, another factor influencing flavour. Barossa winters are cold and wet, perfect conditions for dormant vines. When winemakers speak of the Barossa, they don’t refer to terroir but to terroirs. Travel from one end of the Barossa to the other and you come across soils as different as they come. Deep, free-draining sand becomes heavy, black cracking soil and deep, red clay.

It’s also one of the crucibles of winemaking culture in this nation, home to some of the world’s best viticulturists, coopers and winemakers in the world – all living on this small patchwork of vineyards and historic villages.

The red wines of the Barossa are the perfect pick to highlight on a winter wine list – or to pour by the glass. These are the wines made for red meat. Barossa shiraz is the go-to wine for steak. The Valley’s warm climate produces wines with loads of jammy fruit, intense forest berries and intense, inky colour. While the judicious use of oak can give shiraz a silky-smooth palate.

Under the South Australian sun, merlot (known for its smooth personality) takes on a broader approach, with aromatic notes of damson plum, black cherries and delicate floral tones.

While grenache has traditionally been used in blends, such as the world-famous Chateauneuf-du-Pape, a good Barossa grenache can stand alone. These wines have deep characteristics, hints of pepper – and a touch of vanilla from the American oak. They’re winning accolades and are perfect for cold season dishes like venison or mushroom dishes. The brightness of grenache also allows for pairing with spicy Mexican or Mediterranean dishes.

While your customers will love seeing well-established Barossa names on a wine list, the strength of the Barossa’s global reputation and brand means that its lesser-known boutique wines are a safe bet to feature on any wine list. Just like their more well-known counterparts, these bespoke wines come with their own story and place and can be sold at a higher price – leveraging the reputation of the region. And if we can bring some of that story to the table, we entertain and inform our guests and add a little more value to their experience.

Learn more about our Barossa wines.

As seen in winter 2024

BIDFOOD appetiser white
aMag Win24 COVER WEB v2