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The Barossa Valley lives, eats and breathes wine and the culture of the region is rich and unique. The Barossa is most famous for its rich, warm red wines made from cabernet sauvignon, shiraz, grenache or a blend of these and others. Vines in the region date back to the 1840s and some of these original vineyards still produce tiny amounts of incredibly intense fruit. To the east of the Barossa Valley floor lies the cooler Eden Valley, which produces wonderful riesling and fragrant, delicious reds that are sometimes a little more refined than the blockbusters from the Valley floor.
The Barossa is a marvellous place to visit and is probably the only wine region in Australia with its own, unique culture. This dates back to the first settlers in the area who became known as the Barossa Deutsch. Originally most of these immigrants were refugees from Silesia, then a part of Prussia, and it was they who planted the first vines on the valley floor in the 1840s. While the Germans settled on the valley floor, a handful of rather more aristocratic British settled the area around Angaston in the hills towards the Eden Valley. The two groups have always prospered together and food has been integral in the Barossa and German styled smoked and cured meats can be found in all the good butcheries.
The ‘Valley’ is actually a long plain that sits at an average of 230m elevation, with small hills on the western side and the steeper Barossa Hills leading toward the higher Eden Valley on the east. The region includes the towns Nuriootpa, Tanunda, and Angaston.
The Barossa Valley receives moderate rainfall of approximately 520mm (mostly falling during the winter months), and has high summer evaporation and low relative humidity. This ideal climate produces relatively low disease pressure, which limits the need for chemicals in the vineyard and also maintains the natural environment.
The soils of the Barossa Valley are predominantly red brown loams, which are non-cracking, well structured and relatively free draining - making them ideal for growing grapevines.
The Barossa Valley has remained at the heart of the Australian wine industry for over 150 years – and not without reason; the climate, soils and elevation are all perfectly suited to growing grapevines.