The Barossa Zone: Barossa & Eden Valley

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The Barossa Zone: Barossa & Eden Valley

 

 

 

February, 2018

Located an hour Northeast of Adelaide, the Barossa Zone wine region encompasses both Barossa and Eden Valley. Unlike most Australian wine regions which were greatly influenced by British settlers, the valleys were settled by Germans. The first German settlers arrived in Barossa in the early 1840s. These early settlers where Lutherans from Prussia fleeing religious persecution. There were several waves of German immigration to the area, often coinciding with war, however German immigration was banned for a period and many Germans were interned. Lutheran schools and churches were closed and German language newspapers were no longer allowed to print.

The region still has a strong German community and the German influences is seen in the culture, town names and local dialect. Most of the known wineries in the Barossa were founded by Germans: Henschke, Wolf Blass, Peter Lehmann and Penfolds (special mention to Penfolds’ pioneering winemaker and creator of ‘Grange Hermitage,’ Max Schubert).

Although close in proximity, the climate of Eden and Barossa vary significantly. Eden Valley is found at a higher elevation which offers a cooler climate. After Shiraz, Riesling is the most planted grape in Eden Valley, and has a considerable reputation worldwide. The Shiraz from Eden Valley is said to be softer and more elegant than that of Barossa. It is lower in alcohol with more delicate aromatics.

Barossa is home to a more muscular and robust Shiraz. The popularity of Shiraz in the region has brought interest to other Rhone grape varietals like Mourvedre and Grenache, with which Shiraz is frequently blended.


Fun Facts

Mataro is a synonym for Mourvedre (French) and Monastrell (Spanish). The term is used in Australia and California.

Barossa Valley is home to grape vines which are over 100 years old.

Although the area was populated by Germans, a Brit was responsible for planting the German varietal, Riesling, in the Eden Valley. These plantings were the first in Australia.

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