The beautiful Barossa Valley, situated about less than90 minutes from of Adelaide, South Australia, is internationally renowned for its excellent wines. German settlers were the first to set up in the Barossa region in 1842, in a quaint town called Bethany. Some of the first settlers from Germany brought some vine clippings with them to the Barossa Valley and very quickly realised the quality grapes that could be grown in the region due to its ideal Continental climate and its deep brown clay soils. Award winning red wines, particularly Shiraz variety, is what the Barossa area is most known for. The Barossa|Barossa Valley|region|area] is now becoming renowned for its elegant whites as well as its bold [reds. It is in the lower Valley floor areas of the Barossa that produce the best reds, and the higher level regions where the climate is more mild, the soils more sandy, and yearly rainfall heavier where the whites are best grown.
The more notable wines produced in the area include Penfolds, Stanley Lambert, Henschke, Cockatoo Ridge, Glaetzer, Kies, St Hallett, Whistler, Bethany and Turkey Flat. There remain quite a number of boutique wineries throughout the Barossa Valley still run as family businesses, as well as some of the larger commercial wineries.
Probably the most well known wine produced in the Barossa is the Penfolds "Grange". The Penfolds "Grange", originally made as an experiment vintage in 1951 by local winemaker Max Schubert has won over 50 internationally acclaimed Gold wine awards. This bottle from the original 1951 vintage, considered to be a coveted collectors item, is most respected not only for its exquisite taste but also for its capacity to age well. In 2004 one of these 1951 vintage bottles sold at auction for just over AUS$50,000.
The Barossa region celebrates its rich wine growing heritage with a number of annual cultural events. The bi-annual Vintage Festival is the largest and most popular celebration of the Barossa Valley's wine growing industry. This Vintage Festival is held in April and is a celebration of the season's vintage. One highlight of the Vintage Festival is the Vintage Ball.
The Barossa Valley's wine making industry is an important aspect of the region, and its close ties with its German heritage is still very evident today.
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