What are some of the best one week travel vacation holidays in Australia? The Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s best-known wine regions. Just over an hour’s drive from Adelaide, the capital of South Australia, the wineries in this region have become popular tourist attractions. The valley has about 60 wineries altogether that crush more than 60,000 tonnes of grapes annually. The Barossa Valley wineries produce world-famous Shiraz wines, which are both richly coloured and full bodied, and may well be some of the best wines that Australia can offer.
Germans originally settled into the Barossa Valley region in the 1840s, many of them seeking freedom from the religious oppression common in Europe at the time. Life was difficult in these early years, with many settlers erecting tents and temporary structures until they began to quarry limestone to build more permanent buildings. Today, churches, homes and cultural buildings, with their steep roofs and heavy masonry, still echo the heritage of those early German settlers. The culture of the Barossa Valley region also continues to be heavily coloured by its past as it celebrates its German heritage in festivals, and the restaurants and wineries have menus heavily laden with German cuisine, including spicy sausages, Bratwursts, artisan cheeses, flavourful vegetables, crusty buns and rich, creamy desserts.
The Germans of the Barossa Valley brought the original vines with them so that they could establish their own wine stocks in their new homes. The red clay and sandy soil of the valley, combined with the wet winters and warm summers of South Australia, turned out to be ideal for growing grapes, and more Germans arrived to establish vineyards in the area. The region’s grape harvest proved to be prolific and soon accounted for 25 percent of Australia’s wine exports. (more...)