Foodies and oenophiles headed Down Under should take a look at South Australia's Barossa, one of the most popular wine regions in the country. Just a 45-minute drive out of Adelaide, the region (already popular for its vintages) is now showing off its culinary scene as well.
Called the "Napa Valley of Australia," the region is seeing similar development to California's, with fine dining concepts opening and improving throughout the area. Here are just a few worth noting:
- Appellation at The Louise – The first luxury vineyard retreat and destination restaurant for the Barossa Valley (and recently added to the Relais & Châteaux global network), Appellation has earned accolades for its wine list, site-grown produce and local farm sources.
- Hentley Farm - The dishes by young chef Lachlan Colwill offer a strong sense of place, nestled in the Henltey Farm vineyards. He often forages for their ingredients in the surrounding wine country.
- fermentAsian – This restaurant's 12-dish menu, designed for sharing, is built around Barossa produce and neatly envelops Vietnamese and Thai culinary influences within a contemporary Australian setting.
- Fino at Seppeltsfield - This upcoming restaurant is set to debut in early 2014 in the historic Seppeltsfield cellar door, famed for its unique Centennial Collection of fortified wines. Cool touch: This winery releases a 100-year-old, single vintage wine each year.
Visitors can get deeper into the culinary landscape through cooking classes, such as Casa Carboni and Chef Mark McNamara’s Food Luddite cooking school.
Food & Wine Tours
Ultimate Winery Experiences Australia is a consortium of Australia’s top wineries, explaining the specifics of the country’s wine regions through wine tasting, gastronomy, food-wine pairing, wine education and private tours.
Major tour operators and travel specialists are launching culinary itineraries. For example, Air New Zealand Vacations offers “Flavors of the South” focused on the food and wine of South Australia, combining the top food experiences in Adelaide with visits to the signature winemakers in the Barossa Valley. Air New Zealand flies directly into Adelaide via Auckland.
Swain Destinations has created some personalized luxury culinary journeys, such as “Foodie Australia” which includes private wine tastings at large and small winemakers, degustation lunches, and a visit to Kangaroo Island.
Learn more about South Australia’s Barossa Valley at www.southaustralia.com.