South Australia – Eden Valley – playing it cool
A less-visited wine region of South Australia
By Winsor Dobbin
The rugged Eden Valley is part of the Barossa wine region but offers a very different experience – and some stunning cool-climate wines.
While visitors flock to the Barossa Valley for its many cellar doors, German history and restaurants, the Eden Valley, just a few kilometres away, is sparsely populated and has more vines than visitors.
With grapes grown at altitudes between 400 and 600 metres, it is not actually a valley, but takes its name from the township of Eden Valley. Conditions here are ideal for the production of high-quality riesling, chardonnay and elegant red wines.
Stop 1 – Morning coffee/breakfast at Blond Coffee
Blond Coffee serves some of the best coffee in the Barossa, hearty breakfasts and a range of local produce sold in the adjacent Blond Store.
60 Murray Street, Angaston
Phone (08) 8564 3444
Stop 2 – Tasting at Taste Eden Valley
Taste Eden Valley is a cellar door and wine bar rolled into one with a range of selected wines available by the glass. Many of the smaller local wineries do not have cellar doors, but their wines can be tasted here, including Poonawatta Estate, Heathvale and Flaxmans Wines. Taste Eden Valley offers a chance to learn about the wines with comparative tastings and also sells local produce (oils, pasta sauces and olives).
Open: 7 days 11am-5pm
6 Washington Street, Angaston
Phone (08) 8564 2435
Stop 3 – Tasting at Yalumba
Call in to the oldest family-owned winery in the country to taste outstanding Eden Valley wines under the Yalumba, Heggies and Pewsey Vale labels. Company founder Samuel Smith planted his first vines here in 1849. Many of the original stone buildings are still intact and visitors are free to wander the lovely gardens between the Wine Room and the historic 1906 clock tower. There’s plenty of room for children to run around or for adults to enjoy a picnic.
You must taste: Some of winemaker Louisa Rose’s outstanding viogniers and the Pewsey Vale riesling range.
Open: Daily 10am-5pm
Eden Valley Road, Angaston
Phone (08) 8561 3200
Stop 4 – Lunch at Bucks Bistro
Bucks is situated in the original blacksmith’s shop in the village of Springton. The rustic brick building creates a country atmosphere and dishes include the likes of goat cheese and fetta lasagne, and salt and pepper squid.
Open: For lunch and dinner five days. Closed Tuesdays and Sunday nights.
14 Miller Street, Springton
Phone (08) 8568 2999
Stop 5 – Tasting at Henschke
High in the hills above the township of Keyneton is where fifth-generation winemakers Stephen and Prue Henschke craft wines like Henschke Hill of Grace, the Cyril Cabernet Sauvignon, Mount Edelstone Shiraz. The Henschkes have been making wines for over 140 years and are on their way to becoming fully organic and biodynamic. Taste the core range at cellar door or book a VIP tasting tour that includes a guided tour of either the Hill of Grace or Mount Edelstone vineyard, a winery tour and a hosted tasting in the private tasting room of four whites and six reds wines, including Mount Edelstone, Cyril Henschke, Hill of Roses and Hill of Grace.
You must taste: Everything you can. The Henschke family’s wines are all of stellar quality. The Tappa Pass Shiraz is an impressive newcomer.
Open: Monday to Friday and Saturday mornings
Henschke Road, Keyneton
Phone (08) 8564 8223
Stop 6 – Tasting at Fernfield
William Lillecrapp formed the town of Eden Valley in 1864 and the first homestead was Rushlea, which is now the Fernfield winery cellar door, still owned and operated by the Lillecrapp family. Fernfield serves local produce platters which can be enjoyed while taking in valley views from the red gum tables outside the pioneer homestead.
You must taste: The rieslings and shirazes tend to shine.
Open: Daily 10am-5pm
Rushlea Road, Eden Valley
Phone (08) 8564 1041
Stop 7 – Dinner at Roaring 40s Cafe
Popular with locals for its excellent pizzas, Roaring 40s offers the chance to dine indoors, or on the deck. There are several different lunch and dinner options, ranging from curries to schnitzels, fish and chips and fresh mussels.
Open: Seven days 9am-late
30 Murray Street, Angaston
Phone (08) 8564 2901
Stop 8 - Overnight at Jellicoe House
The most luxurious accommodation in the region is offered by Sorby Adams winemaker Simon Adams and his wife Helen at their lovely vineyard retreat, which can cater for up to eight guests. Fine wine and food are the focus in a renovated bluestone homestead that dates back to the 1870s. Wine tastings and Helen’s pre-prepared gourmet meals are among the highlights. For those who like to self cater, there is a larder filled with staples.
Sawpit Gully Road, Angaston
Phone (08) 8564 2741
- The Eden Valley Scenic Lookout, which offers superb regional views
- Visiting the South Australian Company Store for something to nibble on
- The Barossa Valley Cheese Company, which produces some of Australia’s best artisanal cheeses
- The local produce and crafts at Angaston Cottage Industries
- The country wares at Antiques and More at 24 in Angaston
- Local dried fruit and nuts from Angas Park Fruits
- Barossa (including Eden Valley) (SA)
- Eden Valley & High Eden (SA)
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