BAROSSA VISITOR INFORMATION CENTRE

66-68 Murray St Tanunda SA 5352
T. 1300 852 982 (within Australia only)
+61 8 8563 0600

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History

Chateau-Yaldara-cellar.jpgAfter establishing the South Australian Company, philanthropist and entrepreneur George Fife Angas employed Johannes Menge, gifted linguist and mineralogist, in the late 1830s to explore the local colony. After his expedition, Menge wrote to Angas detailing the Barossa as "the cream, the whole cream and nothing but the cream".

After this positive advice, Angas assisted the passage of an entire European community brought from various Prussian provinces including German speaking settlers from Silesia (now part of Poland). The settlers cleared land for mixed farming, built churches and schools and planted small vineyards, some of which have remained in the same family name.

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You can't miss the history of the region when you visit... You see it when you pass by a beautiful old Lutheran Church or pioneer cemetery, you can immerse yourself in it on the Tanunda Heritage Trail, when you take a tour of the Seppeltsfield Winery and discover that a 100-year-old wine has been released every year since 1978, or when you visit the Langmeil Winery home to the ‘Freedom Vineyard’ that was planted in 1843.

Did you know?

  • The first inhabitants of the Barossa area were the Peramangk aboriginal people;
  • Colonel William Light, the Surveyor General for South Australia and the “Founder of Adelaide” lead the first exploration party of European explorers into the area in December 1837;
  • When the exploration party set camp on the evening of December 13th 1837, Colonel Light made a sketch of the valley and ranges;
  • The location for this sketch was alongside what is now the Barossa Valley Way at the entrance to Lyndoch – opposite Kies Family Wines and adjacent Burge Family Winemakers entrance
  • Colonel Light named the valley “Lynedoch Vale” after his “esteemed friend, Lord Lynedoch”;
  • Lord Lynedoch was formerly Captain Thomas Graham and had been Captain of the Regiment that Colonel Light was part of during the Peninsula Wars (Wellington vs Napoleon). The Regiment’s claim to fame was that, severely out numbered, they had defeated the French at the Battle of Barrosa in March 1813 near Cadiz in southern Spain;
  • When the maps from the exploration were drawn up, the ranges were first named “Barrosa Ranges” (two r’s and one s). Later this was mis-spelt as “Barrossa Ranges” (with two r’s and two s’s). Later again it was mis-spelt as Barossa Ranges. This is spelling still in use today;
  • While the incorrect spelling was going on, the “e” was dropped from “Lynedoch Vale” and it became Lyndoch Vale and later Lyndoch Valley;
  • It is likely that these incorrect spellings were not corrected as Colonel Light resigned in 1838 so may not have been involved in the publication of maps and Light died in 1839 not long after his second journey to “Lynedoch Vale”; and
  • Note that no historical basis can be found regarding a story inferring that the Barossa was named in connection with a “Hill of Roses” nor any village in Spain – the Spanish translation of Barrosa actually means “pink mud”.

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