Barossa Valley Memories

The World Wine Travel Writers are exploring red wines from South Australia. I had the great fortune to visit Australia, shockingly it’s already 20 years. While not a wine trip, I certainly drank a lot of Shiraz and as soon as I touched down, we went to visit a winery in the Barossa Valley. I was so tired after 25 hours of flights from Italy to Adelaide, I fell asleep on my feet.

What I remember though was the kindness and incredible enthusiasm of the vintners in that region. Here’s a great website about the Barossa Valley. Barossa is a premier location for Shiraz, but it also has 40 other wine grape varieties that it plants. Barossa is a historic area which is still active and changing today. Its’ history started in 1840 when it was founded by an English shipping magnate, George Fife Angas. South Australia itself was first settled in 1836.

In fact, Barossa has some of the world’s oldest Shiraz vines. The area is hot to keep these vines safe and ask specifically for people not to walk or drive through the vineyards because they could bring pests and disease into the vineyards.

What is Shiraz? It’s the same grape as Syrah we know but it is made into a different style in this part of Australia. Shiraz here is made into a fruit forward, lush wine that often has a bit of residual sugar as well.

Many of the wines have high alcohol, 14%-15.5%, and are generally great pairing wines from barbecue and other big meat dishes.

In memory of my three-week amazing trip to Australia, I bought a bottle of Chris RIngland’s Shiraz. A very successful winemaker with a number of labels, the one I bought is bottled for the US market.

Ringland has some 100 year old vines in Barossa. While 2017 isn’t an old Shiraz, it gave me an idea of what he could do. Dark chocolate, mocha, and more residual sugar than expected were part of this enveloping wine. It was a lot of fun to drink this wine during this week with everything a number of different dishes whether pizza, a spicy pork dish, or hamburgers. I almost never drink this style of wine but it was a fun change from my usual fare. Additionally, thinking of my trip to Australia was a lot of fun.

Check out what others are writing about South Australia and join our chat on Twitter. Look for us at #WorldWineTravel on Saturday Feb. 26. We chat from 11:00am – 12:00pm.

  • Allison on AdVINEtures pours “The Great Australian Red Wine: Cabernet-Shiraz”
  • Camilla goes “Beyond Shiraz in South Australia with Dagwood Dogs, Rissoles, and a Limestone Coast Cabernet Sauvignon” on Culinary Adventures with Camilla 
  • Cindy has “Powerful, Prestigious Barossa Valley Shiraz” on
  • Jeff brings “Riverland Surprises in South Australia” on Food Wine Click! 
  • Linda offers “Barossa Shiraz from ‘All the Land Around’ on My Full Wine Glass 
  • Nicole will be “Splurging with Penfold’s Bin 389 and Oxtail Stew” on Somm’s Table  
  • Robin suggests “South Australia – Cabernet from Coonawarra & Fortified Shiraz from McClaren Vale” on Crushed Grape Chronicles 
  • Susannah shares “Barossa Valley Memories” on Avvinare 
  • Terri has “Penfold’s Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet and Busy Day Soup” on Our Good Life 
  • Wendy is “Visiting South Australia; Home to one of Australia’s Oldest Wineries” on A Day in the Life on the Farm
  • Gwendolyn at Wine Predator, shares “Celebrate Family Fun with Eight at the Gate: 2 Shiraz with Pie Floaters”


  1. I remember my first trip to Australia. While we didn’t go specifically for wine, it was probably the first time my husband to be and I really thought about pairing wine with dinner at a beautiful restaurant in Melbourne. Since then we have been lucky enough to return once, but have never had the opportunity to visit South Australia. It’s a big country, I suppose you would need to make multiple trips or spend a year there to see it all!

  2. Australia is definitely on my bucket list Susannah. Always because of diving but now I want to explore some of the winery’s on land when I’m not under the sea.

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