The Barossa: Discovery
The Barossa’s connection with world-class Shiraz is well established, and not much of a notion for debate. But, within both the Barossa and Eden Valleys, there is always some unturned stone of discovery – whether it be food, wine or tourism-related.
In wine terms, this has already been recognised by those prepared to promote Merlot, Mataro or Grenache beyond members of the supporting cast; while with whites, few could argue that Riesling isn’t every bit as accomplished and terroir-reflective as any red grape; Semillon is increasingly stealing thunder from the Hunter; and such has become the critical acclaim for Viognier, that it is no longer considered ‘alternative’.
But beyond these ‘perpetually-emerging-but-never-quite-established’ options, there have also been some exciting new developments – foraging for the genuinely experimental such as Sagrantino, Tempranillo, Zinfandel, Touriga Nacional and Savagnin, allied to a rediscovery of old material long left in anonymity – Carignan, Cinsault, Durif, Marsanne, Petit Verdot, Roussanne etc.
The result is not a confused fruit salad, but rather a constantly – if subtly – evolving palette of flavours and textures from which to draw. Obviously, this is not just important in a consumer economy obsessed with ‘choice’, but also in terms of perpetual brand refreshment, and more significantly, herein may also be potential solutions to some of our longer-term, environmental challenges.