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 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.
The Clare Valley is one of Australia’s oldest and most famous wine regions, in the Mid North of South Australia. It is one of the most scenic regions, presenting visitors with a series of small intimate valleys and magnificent views. The valley runs north-south, with Main North Road as the main thoroughfare, approximately 120 km north of Adelaide.
Settlers from England, Ireland and Poland first moved into the region during the 1840s, producing a rich heritage of architecture and villages, which remain largely intact. Many of these buildings now accommodate the generous offering of guesthouses, premium restaurants and galleries. Vineyards were planted alongside those first villages and winemaking has continued ever since.
When the Industrial Revolution was in full swing in 19th century England, machinery was at a premium and this meant a shortage of metals. Major English, Scottish and Welsh companies turned their sights on South Australia after a rich belt of copper was found. Its exploitation not only satisfied the demands in England, but brought much needed revenue to a colony close to bankruptcy. The legacy of those activities lives on in the former mining towns of Yorke Peninsula and the South Australian Wheatbelt.