Located just 60km to the north east of the city of Adelaide, the Barossa valley is Australia's most famous premium wine regions. The wine industry is the main source of employment for many residents and is the major attraction for visitors. The success of the wine industry has historically been celebrated every two years (odd numbers) with a week-long Vintage Festival. The festival draws visitors from all over the world and has entertainment for all tastes including a huge street parade, concerts and gourmet dining.
The Barossa Valley takes its name from the Barossa Ranges, which were named by Colonel William Light in 1837. Light chose the name in memory of the British victory over the French in the Battle of Barrosa, in which he fought in 1811.
The three major towns of the Barossa each have a distinctive personality. Tanunda is generally recognised as the most German of the three with long-standing traditions dating back to the 1840s when the first German settlers arrived in the area. The German influence survives to this day. Angaston, in contrast, is considered the English town as it was settled predominantly by Cornish miners and others from Britain. The third town, Nuriootpa, was influenced by both the German and British settlers, and today is the commercial hub of the Barossa where most of the larger stores are located.
Currently, the Barossa Valley has a population of about 20,000, most of whom live in Tanunda, Nuriootpa, Angaston, Williamstown and Lyndoch, each having over 1000 people, with a few smaller towns such as Moculta and Springton. All of these towns are part of the Barossa local government. The wine industry plays a major role in the Barossa, being the main source of employment for many residents. The many hectares of vineyard are the most distinctive feature of the area, especially when viewed from the Mengler's Hill lookout positioned on the range of hills that form one side of the valley itself. The success of the wine industry has historically been celebrated every two years (odd numbers) with a week-long Vintage Festival. The festival draws visitors from all over the world and has entertainment for all tastes including a huge street parade, concerts and gourmet dining.
This region has winter dominant rainfall with high summer evaporation. It is classified as being warm to moderately continental. Very hot weather in February and March can place stress on the vines at the end of the ripening cycle resulting in concentrated flavors.