Wine Tasting in Barossa Valley: 13 Outstanding Wineries to Visit
Barossa Valley is one of Australia’s most famous wine regions. This globally renowned region is well known for its Shiraz, a big, bold red wine. It is also home to some of the most famous names in Australian wine, including Langmeil, Peter Lehmann, and Penfolds, as well as some smaller family run wineries.
There is a long list of great wineries to visit in Barossa Valley. Whether you want to visit some of the biggest names in Australian wine, or the smaller boutique wineries, you have a lot to choose from.
In this guide, we share with you our list of favorite wineries. This list is the culmination of several visits to South Australia and lots of research. Tim is a huge fan of Australian Shiraz and we drink quite a bit of it at home…which is exactly why we included the Barossa Valley on our second trip to Australia.
Table of Contents
About Barossa Valley
Barossa Valley is one several wine regions in South Australia. Also on this list are McLaren Vale, Clare Valley, Adelaide Hills, Coonawarra, and Kangaroo Island. Barossa Valley is the largest and oldest of these wine regions.
The original inhabitants of this region were the Kaurna, Peramagnk, and Ndagjuri peoples. The first Europeans arrived in 1837 and planted the first Shiraz vines just a few years later. Depending on the source, Langmeil has the oldest Shiraz vines, with these dating back to 1843.
These Shiraz vines are the oldest in the world. By the 1880’s, many of the wine regions in Europe were wiped out by Phylloxera, a pest that is native to North America and accidentally brought to Europe.
While in Barossa Valley, you will see signs that read “Please Don’t Walk Amongst Our Vines.” Some of these ancient Shiraz vines are not Phylloxera resistant, so a Phylloxera outbreak could be devastating to this wine region.
Barossa Valley is famous for its Shiraz but it is also a big producer of Cabernet Sauvignon, Grenache, Mataro/Mourevedre, and Chardonnay.
The Barossa encompasses several areas, including Barossa Valley and the hillier, cooler Eden Valley to the east. Many wineries offer wines solely from one of these regions and/or a blend of the two. Even though they sit side by side, the taste profiles are remarkably different.
Barossa Valley in May
Wineries in Barossa Valley
This is by no means a “best wineries to visit in Barossa Valley” guide. It would take weeks to visit all of them and we did not have that kind of time.
This list below is for the thirteen wineries we visited in Barossa Valley. We chose these either because we were familiar with the wine before our visit, or the winery came highly recommended to us (either from our research, family and friends, or the staff at other cellar doors in the region).
One of our favorite questions to ask the cellar door sommelier is which wineries they recommend. Some names tend to come up again and again, and on the list below, Torbreck, Henschke, Rockford Wines, and Langmeil fall into this category.
At the very end of this guide, we list our five favorites, which can all be visited in one well planned but busy day.
1. Chateau Tanunda
Chateau Tanunda is home to Australia’s oldest and largest chateau, established in 1890. This is the birthplace of Barossa’s wine industry, with the first vines being planted here in the 1840’s.
The chateau was placed on the Register of State Heritage Places in 1994.
Chateau Tanunda was the very first winery we visited on our first trip to the region in 2015. We came here mainly to check out the wine cellar, and with its historic architecture and cellar filled with wine barrels, it was everything we thought a wine cellar should be.
Learn more about the history, wine, and different tasting options on the official website.
WHY VISIT CHATEAU TANUNDA: To visit Australia’s oldest and largest chateau. This vineyard has a long, rich history and for an additional fee, you can tour the wine cellar.
Penfolds is the biggest name in Australian wine. Penfolds first started making wine at the Magill Estate, which sits in the suburbs of Adelaide. In 1911, Penfolds planted their first vines in Barossa Valley.
Penfolds is famous for its Grange which was first produced in 1953. This wine uses fruit from several different regions in South Australia and usually the majority of it comes from Barossa Valley. Some years, the Grange can contain a small percentage of grapes for other wineries, and Oliver’s Taranga in McLaren Vale frequently has grapes chosen to be added to the Grange.
We visited Penfolds in Barossa Valley in 2015 (and the Magill Estate in 2023). In 2015, we paid $50 for a tasting of the Grange (that price has gone up…in 2023 it costed $75 for a tasting). The Grange is one of Penfolds priciest bottles of wine, costing about $1200 AUD.
Penfolds’ Kalimna Block 42 has Cabernet Sauvignon vines that were planted in 1888, and these are thought to be the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon vines in the world.
Penfolds produces a long list of wines, so you don’t have to spend a fortune here. We have found that it is also very easy to get a wide range of Penfolds at home, so we stuck with the Grange tasting, since we would prefer to spend the relatively small amount for a tasting rather than splurging on an entire bottle.
Learn more about Penfolds and their tasting experiences on the official website.
WHY VISIT PENFOLDS: To taste the Grange, one of Barossa Valley’s legendary wines. They also offer quite a few red and white wines to be tasted, if you don’t want to spend the larger fee to taste the Grange.
3. Two Hands
I have to admit, I sometimes buy wine based just on the label. At home in the US, we can purchase Two Hands Sexy Beast, and on the label is a man and a woman just about to kiss. It’s an interesting label and always strikes up a conversation when we serve it to friends and family or bring it to a party.
So, while in Barossa Valley, I just had to visit this cellar door.
Tim and I took a guided wine flight that took about 45 minutes. Everything we tasted was very good, but we had just visited Torbreck so the Two Hands wine wasn’t quite on the same level, at least for our palates.
We didn’t taste the Sexy Beast since it so commonly makes it into wine stores around the world. Overall, our wine tasting was a positive experience, but there are a lot of other cellar doors that we visited that we liked a lot more.
I will continue to purchase the Sexy Beast at home…the label convinced me to buy the first bottle but the wine inside of it has made me a repeat customer.
And as I was doing research for this article, I learned that the 2020 Sexy Beast placed 59 in the 2022 Wine Spectator Top 100 List. Go Two Hands!
Learn more about Two Hands on their website.
WHY VISIT TWO HANDS: Two Hands produces a lot of really good Shiraz, Grenache, and Cabernet Sauvignon at very reasonable prices. If you don’t want to spend a lot on wine (and sometimes choose a bottle based on the label, like me…these are very creative!) this is a great winery to visit.
This was one of our favorite experiences in Barossa Valley.
As you drive through the Elderton estate to the cellar door, you are surrounded vines as far as the eye can see. The walk to the cellar door takes you through manicured gardens with wonderful views of Barossa Valley. Stepping into the cellar door is like entering someone’s home.
We arrived at 4:30 pm, just 30 minutes for closing, and were lucky to be the only visitors. Standing at the bar, Tim and I were taken on a guided flight of Elderton’s best wines. It was casual, it was educational, and it was lots of fun.
Eldertons has everything we love about a tasting experience…a cozy, homey vibe, friendly staff, and really good wine. In a few weeks, there will be a case of Elderton wine sitting on our doorstep.
Learn more about Elderton Wines on their website.
WHY VISIT ELDERTON WINES: This cellar door is cozy, inviting, and feels like home. Their wine is one of our favorites of Barossa Valley and we loved the friendly, relaxed guided tasting. This is one of our top picks for Barossa Valley.
5. Rockford Wines
We visited Rockford Wines because a lot of other Barossa Valley cellar doors recommended them.
The Rockford cellar door was the smallest and one of the busiest that we visited in Barossa Valley. In this small stone cottage, you can stand at the bar and take a guided wine tasting through their best wines.
When we did this in May 2023, there was a limited number of wines to taste, and one of their award winning wines, the Basket Press Shiraz, was sold out during our visit. Our favorite was the 2018 Shiraz VP, a fortified wine.
The highlight of our time here was watching the winemaking process, as our visit was not long after harvest season.
Learn more about Rockford on their website.
WHY VISIT ROCKFORD: This is a good pick for those who like the idea of visiting a small winery in Barossa Valley.
If you look on a map, Henschke is a bit of an outlier. This vineyard is located in Eden Valley, which sits right next door to Barossa Valley.
It is a beautiful drive to get here. The rolling hills are covered with vines, we drove along streets lined with enormous eucalyptus trees, and saw a few kangaroos not far from the roadside. It takes about 20 minutes to drive here from the heart of Barossa Valley.
The Henschke cellar door has an upscale feel to it. It is located inside of the original 1950’s Woolstore. With brick walls, floor to ceiling windows, a long wine bar, and tables set up throughout the room, this is one of the most beautiful cellar doors we visited in Barossa Valley.
The Henschke family have been growing grapes here for over 150 years, making them one of the oldest wineries in the region. They produce some very exceptional but pricey bottles of wine, which accounts for the tastings that range from $10 to $40.
This was the only cellar door where not having a reservation worked against us. Henschke strongly encourages visitors to make a booking in advance. Even though we were walk-ins, we were still accommodated for a tasting at the wine bar.
There are three levels of wine tastings, plus the option for the Hill of Grace experience, which is a 3-hour tour and tasting of their best wines; this MUST be booked in advance.
The wine we tasted at Henschke was exceptional, some of the best we tasted in Barossa Valley.
Learn more about Henschke and make your reservation in advance on the official website.
WHY VISIT HENSCHKE: In our opinion, Henschke has one of the most beautiful cellar doors in Barossa Valley and makes some of the best wine we tasted in this region. If you want the full experience, put aside 3 hours for the Hill of Grace tour and tasting.
7. David Franz
David Franz was not on our original list, but several cellar doors recommended this winery for their food. It was just what we needed.
David Franz is a tiny cellar door, just big enough to hold a few small groups of people, although they have a patio with more seating that has sweeping views across Barossa Valley.
We skipped the wine tastings here, opting for lunch instead, and little bit of coffee as a pick me up. Tim and I dined on a charcuterie platter, sitting inside where it was warmer (on the day we did this, it was very chilly and overcast in Barossa Valley).
I can’t comment on the wine here, but if you need a quick lunch, this is great place to go. The food came out fast and was delicious. Plus, David Franz is centrally located in Barossa Valley, so it doesn’t take long to get here from many of the other cellar doors.
Learn more about the David Franz cellar door on their website.
WHY VISIT DAVID FRANZ: If you want a quick lunch in a very cozy setting, put David Franz on your list. They also offer wine tastings and their patio has a beautiful view of Barossa Valley.
PRO TRAVEL TIP: Most cellar doors charge a small fee for a tasting (this generally ranges from $10 to $20 AUD per person) but this fee is waived if you purchase wine.
Ubertas is a small winery with some serious potential. This is the brainchild of Kevin and Philip Liu, two brothers from Taiwan. They moved to Barossa Valley to grow grapes, produce excellent wine, and share it with visitors to the area and those who live in Taiwan, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, and China.
They got their start in 2014, when they purchased a run-down vineyard and began creating organic, sustainably produced wine.
Their cellar door is spacious, bright, and welcoming. Our wine tasting was fantastic and a very casual experience.
This is one of the newer wineries in Barossa Valley and they are playing around with some innovative ways to attract visitors to share this experience. I love their story, their hard work, and the courage that it takes to uproot your life and start a new venture on a different continent.
Learn more about their story, their wine, and their cellar door on the official Ubertas website.
WHY VISIT UBERTAS: To visit one of the new and upcoming wineries in Barossa Valley.
Torbreck stands out as the best wine that we tasted in South Australia in 2023.
Tim and I loved everything about this experience.
We arrived to Torbreck at 10 am on a Wednesday morning, which is right at opening time. We were lucky in that we were the first visitors of the day.
Over the course of one hour, we took a guided wine tasting. We tasted Mataro wine (also called Mourvedre, the French name for the same grape), single vineyard Shiraz and Voignier, and Shiraz grown from old Barossa vineyards. Each wine was better than the one before it.
The final two wines we tasted, RunRig and The Laird, were phenomenal. Two days later Tim and I tasted the world famous Penfolds Grange and we both agreed that The Laird is the better wine (The Laird is still very expensive but in 2023, it’s several hundred dollars cheaper than the Grange).
One thing I really appreciated about Torbreck was trying their Shiraz from Barossa Valley and their Shiraz from Eden Valley. Even though the grapes are grown not far from one another, the elevation and slightly different weather in these two regions has a huge impact on its flavor. The Barossa Valley Shiraz has a bigger, bolder flavor and the Eden Valley Shiraz is milder and to me, tastes a little more refined.
Learn more about Torbreck, their history, and their wines on their website.
WHY VISIT TORBRECK: Torbreck produces our favorite wine, not only in Barossa Valley but all of South Australia. If you want to taste really good wine, put Torbreck at the top of your list.
We visited Seppeltsfield on both visits to Barossa Valley.
Seppeltsfield is another big name with some history behind it. Not much younger that Chateau Tanunda, with origins dating back to the 1850’s, Seppeltsfield prides itself on being the only winery in the world that releases a 100-year-old single vintage every year.
This Tawny wine, which is part of its Centennial Collection, dates back to 1878. Each year, the 100-year-old vintage is released. In 2023, Tim and I paid $95 to split a tasting of the 1923 vintage. To bring a small bottle of this home, it would have set us back $1,650 AUD.
Many people purchase a particular vintage for a special year in their life, whether it is the birth of a child, a wedding, or a milestone birthday.
At Seppeltsfield, Tyler and Kara got a chance to do a tasting as well. Seppeltsfield is also well known for their raspberry cordial, a non-alcoholic option that our kids gulped down.
Learn more about the Centennial Collection, as well as tour and restaurant options, on the official website.
WHY VISIT SEPPELTSFIELD: To taste a 100-year-old vintage of Tawny. Kids can do a tasting of the raspberry cordial. There are also onsite restaurants, tours of the property, and a fine art gallery to visit.
Whistler is another great place to visit in Barossa Valley. With a shady lawn, a warm and welcoming cellar door, and a few kangaroos napping in the grass nearby, this place has some serious character.
This is a family run estate, dating back to 1982, when Martin Pfeiffer (the head vineyard manager at Penfolds) and his wife Sally purchased this land. In 1994, they planted the first vineyards. Pfeiffer means ‘whistler’ in German, which gives the name to this vineyard.
This is one of the smaller vineyards in Barossa Valley. All 15 hectares are organic and biodynamically operated. The wine here was one of our favorites that we tasted in Barossa Valley.
Whether you want a guided wine tasting inside the cellar door, or sit outside, under the shade of the trees and sip on a bottle of Shiraz or Cabernet Sauvignon, this is a great spot to visit if you prefer the smaller cellar doors over the big productions commonly found in Barossa Valley.
Learn more about Whistler on the official website.
WHY VISIT WHISTLER: With its shady lawn and welcoming atmosphere, this is one of our favorite small vineyards in Barossa Valley. They also rescue kangaroos, which you can see in the pen next to the cellar door.
The Freedom 1843 vineyard, which sits on the Langmeil estate, is believed to be home to world’s oldest Shiraz vines. These vines were first planted in 1842 by Christian Auricht, a German migrant. If only he could see what he started.
We took a guided tasting at the historic cellar door. Inside of the small, brick building, we sipped on Langmeil’s red wines, staying warm by the fire.
For those who want to learn more about Langmeil and take a private tour of the Freedom Cellar (a historic underground cellar that can only be visited on a tour), take a look at the Freedom Experience.
Learn more about the history of this estate and how to plan your visit on the Langmeil website.
WHY VISIT LANGMEIL: To taste the wine (The Freedom 1843 Shiraz) that grows from the oldest Shiraz vines in the world and to visit a historic estate.
13. Jacobs Creek
We visited Jacobs Creek on our first visit to Barossa Valley. Their tasting room is modern, spacious and the floor to ceiling windows offer gorgeous views of the vineyard.
The tasting was very nice, as was the wine, and we don’t have anything negative to say about the experience, but the other wineries we visited in Barossa Valley were more memorable. They either offered better wine, a cellar door with more character, or an all-around better experience.
Learn more about Jacobs Creek on their website.
WHY VISIT JACOBS CREEK: To taste their double barrel wines, which is wine aged in traditional wine barrels and then finished in whiskey barrels. They also offer picnic tastings and have ping pong tables, making this a good winery to bring kids.
Our Five Favorite Barossa Valley Wineries
Narrowing down our list, here are our five favorite experiences in Barossa Valley.
Torbreck. Torbreck produces our favorite wine, not only in Barossa Valley but all of South Australia. If you want to taste really good wine, put Torbreck at the top of your list.
Whistler. With its shady lawn, welcoming atmosphere, and kangaroos lounging nearby in the grass, this is one of our favorite small vineyards in Barossa Valley.
Elderton. This cellar door is cozy, inviting, and feels like home. Their wine is one of our favorites of Barossa Valley and we loved the friendly, relaxed guided tasting. This is one of our top picks for Barossa Valley.
Henschke. Henschke has one of the most beautiful cellar doors in Barossa Valley and makes some of the best wine we tasted in this region.
Seppeltsfield. To taste a 100-year-old vintage of Tawny. Kids can do a tasting of the raspberry cordial. There are also onsite restaurants, tours of the property, and a fine art gallery to visit.
Wineries in Barossa Valley: On a Map
How to Use This Map: Click the icons on the map to get more information about each winery. Click the star next to the title of the map to add this map to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.
Tips for Visiting Barossa Valley
Do You Need to Make a Reservation in Advance?
Both of our visits to Barossa Valley were during the month of May, which is the shoulder season here. We did not make any reservations for wine tastings and only had an issue at Henschke, although this was minor. We were able to taste wine right away at each cellar door without a wait.
If your visit will be during the busier summer season, then consider making a reservation for your wine tastings, to avoid disappointment.
At Barossa Valley, making a reservation in advance also sets you up to have a nicer overall experience at that winery. We noticed that some cellar doors gave a preference to those who made a reservation, offering them a seated, guided tasting. If this is not important to you, then reservations may not be necessary (unless you will be visiting when it is busy).
How Much Time Does It Take to Do a Wine Tasting?
On average, a guided wine tasting takes about an hour, but we had some last as little as 30 minutes and some take over an hour (this usually happened if we continued onto the reserves and older vintages and then made a purchase).
What about Drinking and Driving?
Both times we visited Barossa Valley, we had a rental car and Tim was our driver. On a typical day, starting at 10 am and going to 5 pm, we visited 5 or 6 cellar doors. Wine tastings really add up when it comes to your blood alcohol level.
To avoid drinking too much wine, we would both share one tasting or Tim would skip a tasting altogether, to keep his BAC low. And if we didn’t like a wine, we’d pour it out (that was tough to do at first!).
If you and everyone in your group does not want to limit how much you have to drink, consider joining a tour or hiring a private driver to take you around.
Can Wine Be Shipped Outside of Australia?
If you live in Australia, shipping wine home is easy and straightforward. Outside of Australia, things get to be more difficult.
The larger, more popular wineries will ship wine to the USA and other countries around the world, although most of the small to medium wineries will not.
Coming to the rescue is a company called Get Freighted Cellar Door. This small company will work with the wineries to package your wine up into one shipment and deliver it to your house.
For example, if you love the wine at Elderton, you can purchase 6 bottles at the cellar door. Get Freighted will work with Elderton to get your 6 bottles. And if you want to order wine from Torbreck, purchase 6 more bottles and this gets added to your Get Freighted delivery. Alternatively, you can purchase 1 bottle at 12 different wineries. But it is best to have a shipment that is divisible by 6, to get the best shipping price. You can learn more about this on the Get Freighted website.
Get Freighted will work with all of the wineries where you placed an order, get your bottles of wine, package them into one shipment, and mail it to you.
You will not pay Australian tax, so your price for the wine will be slightly cheaper than what is quoted at the cellar door, but the taxes will later be added to your shipment.
One of the great things about Get Freighted is that they also work with wineries in McLaren Vale, Kangaroo Island, and Adelaide Hills, so if you plan to visit multiple wine regions, your wine can be assembled into one shipment.
Once a month, the wines are shipped to their recipients. From the date of shipping, we were quoted a 3-week delivery time to our home in the USA.
It’s a bit nerve wracking, if you will be placing a big shipment from multiple wineries, to have it all combined into one shipment (talk about putting all of your bottles of wine into one basket!). We placed our order in May, it was shipped in early June, and we are still awaiting the delivery of our precious bottles of wine. I’ll update this post with the happy news once our wine arrives.
Another benefit to Get Freighted is that once you drink all of your wine, you can reorder more through their website, or try some new wines that are harder to get where you live.
Avenue of Palms near Seppeltsfield
Barossa Valley Itinerary
Plan on spending at least one full day in Barossa Valley to taste wine at a few cellar doors and to have a leisurely lunch. The cellar doors open between 10 am and 11 am and close between 4 pm and 5 pm. At many places, the cellar doors are not open every day of the week, so check the hours of the ones you are interested in before your visit.
We typically visited five wineries per day, starting at 10 am. We would do a wine tasting at 10 am, a wine tasting at 11 am, lunch at noon, and then wine tastings at 2 pm, 3 pm, and 4 pm.
If you plan your itinerary right, it could be just a 5 to 10-minute drive from one winery to the other.
Not having reservations makes it more flexible to visit the wineries but during the busier summer months, you risk not being able to be accommodated. If it were me, I’d book what I thought are the essential wineries in advance, to make sure I didn’t miss out.
If you have any questions about the wineries in Barossa Valley, or if you would like to share your favorites, let us know in the comment section below.
More Information for Your Trip to Australia
SOUTH AUSTRALIA: In our Guide to McLaren Vale, get recommendations for 18 exceptional wineries to visit. We also have a recap about our wine tasting experience in Clare Valley.
TASMANIA: In Tasmania, hike to Cape Raoul and Wineglass Bay, explore the Tasman Peninsula, spend some time on Bruny Island, visit Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary, and cruise to Tasman Island.
GREAT OCEAN ROAD: Driving the Great Ocean Road is one of the most scenic drives in the world.
SYDNEY: Get started with our Sydney Bucket List, which contains 40 of the best things to do in Sydney. We also have a guide to the Sydney Bridge Climb and the Coogee to Bondi Coastal Walk, with a lot more information coming soon.
ULURU: In our Guide to Uluru and Kata-Tjuta, learn how to get here, what to do, and how to plan your time. We also have information on a great hike in Kings Canyon and a recap of our experience in the Red Centre of Australia.
Read all of our articles about Australia in our Australia Travel Guide.
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