Seasons of the Barossa

The Barossa heart has always been tuned to the turning of the seasons, and the modern Barossa community continues to keep a watchful eye on the moon, the harvest and the long-term forecast.

Each season is important to the food cycle, from growing to harvest to preservation – all in the fullness of time – with markers that reveal the rhythm of traditional family values and traditions.


September – November
Average temperature range: daytime 17C – 24C; nights 6C – 10C
• Soft green buds unfurl on the dark wood of vineyards
• Bare fruit trees are covered in glorious blossoms of pink, white and red
• Air is thick with the scent of fruit blossoms and roses
• Milk is at its best from the verdant green grass and warmer weather, making cheese its creamiest
• Eggs are plentiful and egg noodles are made and dried for chicken noodle soup in the winter months
• Wild rabbits and hares are in ample supply in the vineyards and paddocks
• Warm weather = long outdoor lunches
• Artichokes and asparagus in early Spring, beetroot in late Spring


December – February
Average temperature range: daytime 26C – 29C (with frequent hot days of 30C – 36C); nights 12C – 14C
• Angaston Agricultural Show in February
• The paddocks change from green to golden as cereal crops mature. Harvest generally takes place before Christmas
• Orchards boast abundant stone fruits ripening under bright green leaves. Fruits include apricots, peaches and plums and the old varieties are favoured.
• Vines have a dense canopy of dark green protecting bunches of ripening grapes.
• The vegetable garden produces traditional mainstays of Barossa – tomatoes, cucumbers and beetroot – along with eggplants, capsicum, chilli, zucchini, rocket, lettuce and Mediterranean herbs such as basil and oregano.
• A frenzy of preserving, drying and freezing is in full swing for winter consumption.
• Yabbies are caught by the light of the moon, often poached from neighbours’ dams.
• Vintage begins in February, with all the characteristic sights and sounds of grapes being harvested and made into wine.
• Rote Grutze, an interpretation of a German sago dessert originally made from berries, is made from ripe red wine grapes; traditionally the maker follows along behind the grape pickers, taking the grapes missed at the end of each row. There is fierce debate on which grape variety is best.


March – May
Average temperature: daytime 17C – 26C (with heat spikes); nights 7C – 12C
• A time of great abundance, the weather is mild and the nights are cool and still.
• Tanunda Agricultural Show in March.
• Biennial Barossa Vintage Festival begins Easter Weekend.
• The grape harvest is in full swing.
• Orchards yield Autumn favourites in abundance: quinces, figs, apples and pears are preserved for winter
• Cucumbers are preserved with dill, salt and vine leaves (the dill cucumber section of the Tanunda Agricultural Show is hotly contested).
• The last of the season’s tomatoes are picked, ready for cooking.
• Chutneys, sauces and relishes are made to each family’s favorite recipe.
• Field mushrooms abound in paddocks throughout the region.
• It is a great time to be outside enjoying the weather and the magnificent sunsets.
• With the first cold snap, leaves begin to turn to gold across the Barossa, the long awaited first rains fall and a green tinge appears across the Barossa ranges.



June – August
Average temperatures: daytime 12C – 16C; nights 3C – 6C
• Woodfires take the chill off homes, restaurants and cellar doors.
• The garden is sown with broccoli, peas, broad beans and kale, silverbeet, spinach and garlic.
• In the orchard, oranges, lemons, limes, mandarins and grapefruit are in ample supply.
• To ward off the winter chill, kitchens are filled with the aromas of yeast rising and freshly baked bread and cakes.
• Outdoor bonfires, old wood bake ovens and modern pizza ovens are fired up for breads, casseroles and local sausages.
• Winter is the season for smoking and preserving meats and some families still have a traditional pig kill to provide all manner of wursts, hams and bacon for the year.
• Olives are harvested for oil or pickling.
• Barossa Gourmet Weekend in August.



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