Four days of yum in the Barossa Valley
In late 2015 I visited the gorgeous, sunny Barossa Valley along with eight of our My Food Bag customers (who’d won an all expenses paid holiday with My Food Bag, thanks to South Australia Tourism) for a fun weekend of eating, cooking classes, food markets and winery and vineyard hopping.
You’ll know the Barossa Valley for its fabulous wines, especially it’s Shiraz (or Syrah) – the big bold red wine that has intense deep red fruit flavours, almost like raisins and spice…yum! It was a bit of a bummer I was pregnant at the time so I couldn’t drink any of this fabulous wine, but I made sure we bought a case back home with us to NZ for cellaring.
I’d highly recommend checking out the Barossa Valley for a weekend getaway if you love good food and wine. From NZ it’s only a quick four and a half hour flight to Adelaide, and less than an hour’s drive to the Barossa. So it’s pretty close, but you feel like you’re in a different World – all around you grape vines stretch on and on as far as you can see, and it’s always sunny; the sunsets are amazing (especially if you’ve packed a delicious little picnic of some artisan cheeses, crackers, fruit and a bottle of wine to have while you sit amongst the vines!).
If you want to know what to do and see there, this is what I did and would say is worth checking out:
- The Barossa Farmers Market – if you love good food and artisan producers, check out the markets (set up in a big old barn) on a Saturday morning. Skip breakfast at the hotel and gorge on some fresh fruit and custard pastries and a coffee to start off your day, and pick up some artisan cheeses, cured meats, pickles and fresh grapes for a picnic basket for lunch.
- Do a traditional Italian cooking class at Casa Carboni – Matteo and Fiona Carboni really know good Italian food. They don’t compromise on ingredients and processes. They’ll teach and feed you the real thing. We made fresh goats cheese and herb ravioli and a caramel panna cotta. One word – sublime.
- Have a special degustation dinner at Hentley Farm Winery – this was one of my favourite wineries to visit – very pretty setting and fantastic wines, and a nice relaxed cellar door bar to try the wines at. After visiting during the day we returned for dinner that night and were treated to an amazing 9 course degustation showcasing the best of Aussie produce – like Murray cod, mettwurst and verjuice. I gave the whole experience a 10 out of 10!
- Maggie Beer’s farm shop and Seppeltsfield winery – iconic cook Maggie Beer has a casual, relaxed little farm shop that sells yummy food products and a deck over-looking a little lake with turtles. You can order picnic baskets and sit there or explore around the grounds or find a shady spot under one of the trees to have your picnic. Seppeltsfield Winery is one of the region’s most historic wineries and it has a great restaurant called Fino (awesome for a long lazy lunch in the sun or downstairs in the old cellar). Seppeltsfield’s Centennial Cellar houses an unbroken collection of Port dating back to 1878 and offers special tours where you can ‘taste your birthyear’. My husband had a sip of port from our joint birth year (1985) and said it was one of the best ports he’d ever had (seems like lots of good things came out of 1985!)
- Cellar door hopping – OK, so there are hundreds of wineries in the Barossa, and it’s up to you whether you like the smaller boutique ones, or the bigger, flash ones. We did a mix of both – some of my favourites were Hentley Farm, Artisans of Barossa and Pindarie. Try them all – or others of your choosing. You won’t be disappointed.
If you’d like see what your own 4 Days of Yum in the Barossa Valley could look like, watch a short Playlist video at www.SouthAustraliaPlaylist.co.nz
To be doing what I am today is a dream come true. It all started when I was 12 years old. I was watching TV after school one day and Jamie Oliver was cooking up a storm on The Naked Chef.