Over the past week we have visited a number of wineries in the Barossa and Clare Valley. I had no idea how much heritage is here and how many wonderful stories can be found at the wineries. In this post, I want to share a select few. Combining wine with heritage has been a perfect way to spend a week. The following information has been sourced from each winery’s website. Here you can also find opening hours, accessibility information, and what experiences are on offer. You can either research the wineries before you arrive or just drive around and see what you can find.
Yalumba – Website
The first winery we visited in the Barossa was Yalumba. The word ‘Yalumba’ comes from an Indigenous language meaning ‘all the land around’. Today, Yalumba is located just outside the town of Angaston and comprises of a home, winery, and cellar door. The most impressive feature of this winery is the castle-like structure and clocktower built circa 1907 from Angaston marble. Yalumba is also the only winery in the Southern Hemisphere that crafts their own oak barrels.
The first winery we visited in the Barossa was Yalumba. The word ‘Yalumba’ is from an Indigenous language meaning ‘all the land around’. Today, Yalumba comprises of a home, winery, and cellar door just outside the town of Angaston. The most impressive feature of this winery is the castle-like structure with a clocktower built circa 1907 from Angaston marble. Yalumba is also the only winery in the Southern Hemisphere that crafts their own oak barrels.
Yalumba is now owned by the sixth generation of the Smith family (original family) which is quite remarkable. One common theme from all the wineries we visited has been this family-owned pride which builds such a strong connection. Back to Yalumba. The first vines were planted in 1849 by Samuel Smith. Born in England, Smith came to Australia with his family in 1847. After moving to Angaston, he worked as a gardener during the day and planted the vineyard at night. In 1852, Smith and his son, Sidney, traveled to Victoria for the gold rush. They earnt enough money to buy more land and plant around 9 acres of shiraz grapes. Fast forward to the third generation where we had Fred Smith embark on an overseas journey to study sustainable winemaking. This focus on sustainability still continues today.
At Yalumba, we enjoyed a wine flight – or tasting – of about five different red wines. The tasting room has a lovely view of the heritage castle-like structure.
Henschke – Website
If you have a car, I highly recommend the drive out to Henschke. It is on the outskirts of the Barossa but only about 25 minutes from the main city of Tanunda. Similar to Yalumba, we opted for a wine flight and tried the white, red, and rosé. I have never heard of ‘grenache’ as a type of wine but wow, I’ve become a fan.
Henschke was founded by Johann Christian Henschke who immigrated from Kutschlau (Brandenburg) in 1841. After a 98-day voyage, he arrived in South Australia. Unfortunately, his wife, one son, and daughter died on the journey. He arrived in South Australia with his two surviving children (both also named Johann) and settled in Lobethal – an area in the Adelaide Hills. Henschke remarried and purchased land in the North Rhine district (now Keyneton). Named such because it was believed to have land capable of producing good wine. Eventually, Henschke planted a small vineyard and built a cellar into the side of the hill on his property. Similar to Yalumba, Henschke wines is now owned by the sixth generation who continue the practice.
Seppeltsfield – Website
I have already covered JamFactory at Seppeltsfield so this will be focusing on the winery. Seppeltsfield is a huge winery – almost like a theme park. Here you can do everything from visiting a gallery to tasting a 100-year-old tawny. Throw in some fine dining at Fino restaurant and you have yourself a solid day. Seppeltsfield has the largest collection of tawny in the world and you can even taste some from the year you were born. Even the drive to the winery is steeped in history. The road leading to Seppeltsfield is lined with huge palm trees planted during the Great Depression to keep workers employed.
The winery was founded by Joseph and Johanna Seppelt in 1850. Joseph, from Silesia (a modern-day area of Poland), purchased land with the intention of farming tobacco. However, later generations turned to grape growing and winemaking. Throughout the 1800s, the Seppelt family supplied medicinal Brandy to Australian hospitals and started creating Gin and Vermouth as well as wine. It was family-owned until 1985 then sold to corporate ownership.
Sevenhill Cellars – Website
This winery is located in the Clare Valley – about an hour’s drive north of the Barossa. Well worth the drive to experience another wine-growing region of South Australia. This particular winery is stunning to visit and has a long-standing history. The winery itself dates back to the mid-nineteenth century. It was founded by Jesuits who landed in Adelaide in 1848.
Father Kranewitter and approximately 100 German and Silesian immigrants settled in the Clare Valley and purchased Sevenhill – named in honour of the seven hills of Rome. The first grapevines were planted in 1851 and by 1858 the wine was winning awards all over the world. It is one. of the oldest wineries in Australia and the oldest in the Clare Valley. The grounds are definitely worth walking around. As well as the cellar door, there is a large church you can visit.
Murray Street Vineyard – Website
Last, but certainly not least, is Murray Street Vineyard. Unlike the others, this is quite a new winery that only opened in 2001. Big call, but it was my favourite winery that we visited in the Barossa. It is dedicated to producing environmentally-friendly wines and is such a boutique winery to visit. It is also well-known for incorporating native flora into the winemaking process.
Bill Jahnke and Andrew Seppelt purchased the winery in 2001. The tasting room is stunning – I 100% recommend booking a tasting here. You will not be disappointed.
All the photographs I’ve shared showcase the heritage of these wineries and how the old and new now intertwine. I was so glad to see this heritage in the Barossa and hope that it continues to be cared for and celebrated in the region.