If you have even the faintest interest in wine, no visit to Adelaide is complete without visiting the Barossa. Home to 750 wine-growing families of which some can boast up to seven unbroken generations, it is to some a living monument. But it is not only the wine that makes the Barossa. There is also fruit growing, cheese making, flour milling and even blacksmithing.
If you thought that a generation ago, people used to make things, grow things and watched the seasons. And that life was simpler where lunch was shared with stories and laughter. They will tell you that “in the Barossa, we still do all these things.”
So, less than an hour from Adelaide, we made that our first stop! Colonel William Light popped in much earlier (177 years earlier) and had the privilege of naming the hills “Barrosa Range” after the site of his friend, Lord Lyndeoch’s victory at the 1813 Battle of Barrosa. Whoever the scribe was at the time obviously made the classic spelling mistake and spelt it Barossa instead. And like names that stick, that name has lived on to this day.
To start off our tour with some linkage back to its English name, we visited Barossa Chateau first. This place originates with Herman Thumm, a winemaker and entrepreneur. And boasts one of the finest private collections of European porcelain in Australia (Meissen, Sevres, Worcester and Stinton).
But of more interest to us than that, was that it also has a 25 acre rose garden with some 30,000 roses! I had no clue what a 30,000 rose garden looked like so we obviously had to have a look. Besides, the Queen opened it in 2002 and it also lays claim to the fame of being the biggest rose garden in the Southern Hemisphere!
So, when we arrived, I was somewhat disappointed that it was the end of spring. Although there were still lots in bloom, we could imagine what it must be like when everything was in full bloom. But there was plenty of colour still and we spent quite a while just walking the garden and enjoying the surroundings. The rain did not show which made our day all the better.