I was chatting with some guests in our Cellar Door recently, who were surprised to discover that there are actually two valleys in the Barossa.
Of course, many folks refer ubiquitously to “the Barossa Valley” but the Barossa is made up of both the Barossa Valley and the Eden Valley, making it a rare treasure indeed as a wine region with both warm temperate valley-floor reds and elegant, cool climate high country whites.
As our property here in Krondorf sits tight in the foothills of the Kaiser Stuhl, I often say to our guests that we’re one of the last vineyards before Eden Valley – as the crow flies.
Autumn is the perfect time to explore the Eden Valley, and it’s one of those beautiful corners of the Barossa that locals can sometimes overlook unless you’re heading ‘up the hill’ for a reason.
I’d love to encourage you to take a day and uncover the Barossa’s beautiful high country.
First stop: Angaston. As one of the gateways to Eden Valley, Angaston is the perfect place to gather some supplies and start things off on the right foot.
It’s a bit cooler in the high country so it’s the perfect hot chocolate destination.
You might want to stash a bottle of wine in your basket on the way as well – when was the last time you dropped in to Yalumba?
One of my favourite elements of Eden Valley are the stunning landscapes.
This is beautiful, majestic country and a few detours along the back tracks are richly rewarded.
Following the first soaking rains of Autumn, the paddocks sprout vibrant, verdant green at the same time as the vineyards because to turn jewelled tones of russet, gold and flaming auburn – it’s a feast for the eyes.
Allow some time to get a little off-road and enjoy the scenery without worrying – if you get lost just take the next turn and you’ll soon be back on one of the bituminised roads that form a border around the region.
The Rhine Park/Jutland Road route to Keyneton is particularly beautiful.
If you feel like a stroll, there’s a jumping-on point for the Kaiser Stuhl Conversation Park walk on Tanunda Creek Road, or the more ambition can tackle the Eden Valley Loop (see Barossa Bushwalks website for more details).
Ample picnic spots present themselves along the way.
One of my favourite spots in Eden Valley is the aptly named Eden Valley Hotel.
Today under the careful watch of Cassaly Fitzgerald and her husband, Mick this is a genuine, family-owned, community minded hub that just happens to boast one of the best wine lists in the Barossa.
The food’s great, the welcome is warm and I was so impressed to hear that during Covid Cassaly and Mick decided that a great way they could support their community was by ripping out the dreaded pokies and offering the space as a meeting room for local groups instead. Brava.
If you’re still thirsty, gorgeous, family owned Cellar Doors abound in Eden Valley – Colin and Fi at Flaxman Wines; Bec and Scott at Fernfield, the indominable Trevor at Brockenshack; John and Jan at Hutton Vale and the whole Henschke clan at… well… Henschkes.
Play tourist in your own backyard for the day and seek out the rich beauty and natural landscapes of Eden Valley.
It’s a beautiful way to remind yourself of the diversity of landscape, vines and wines that we’re fortunate to enjoy in the Barossa, and autumn is the perfect season for it.