Explore Eden Valley and linger like a local

A guest submission from Cassaly Fitzgerald, Eden Valley Hotel

There’s a special valley of grapes and gums in the Barossa, world famous for the quality of its wines - and particularly its Riesling - and renowned for the stunning landscapes around every corner. Eden Valley is beautiful, welcoming, surprising, relaxing and the perfect location for a romantic long weekend escape away together, ideally located between the Adelaide Hills and the Barossa Valley and overflowing with hidden gems awaiting discovery.

Take time out to explore, meander and breathe in the fresh country air in the Eden Valley.

Day One

With the perfect location – just over an hour from Adelaide – you have two choices of how to arrive in Eden Valley. We suggest travelling via the new Northern Connector, delivering you into the heart of the Barossa Valley, where you can take in the lay of the land and begin your Eden Valley journey.

Your first port of call is Angaston, where you can enjoy a late lunch or afternoon tea at one of the beautiful, family owned cafés that dot the main street, such as Hive Barossa, Soul with Zest or D&M’s bakery.  Grab a coffee or a hot chocolate and begin to plan your stay. From Angaston, take Eden Valley Road to the heart of the Barossa’s high country. Give Trevor at Brockenchack Wines a call and tee up a tasting in his beautifully renovated stone Cellar Door and get a sense of the Eden Valley laidback lifestyle and the passion the locals have for their own backyard. Once you have wet your whistle, check in to your accommodation and experience the time of the day, whether in to cooler or warmer months where the sun softens, the birds sing and the wild life emerge for their night ahead.

 

Naimanya Cottage offers stunning views across Flaxman’s Valley from a renovated 19th century stone cottage, while Boongarrie Luxury Tent is a unique, immersive luxury camping experience, complete with seasonal campfire cooking and rain shower ensuite. Of course, if you don’t fancy moving too far from your first stop, the luxury vineyard accommodation at Brockenchack Vineyards is a gorgeous base for your Eden Valley stay. With 360-degree vineyard views from the spa, you will be relaxing in no time. Penny’s Farm is a wonderful option if you would like to be spoilt by host Gillian’s extraordinary catering!

Once you’re settled in, it’s time to make like a local. Friday nights at the Eden Valley Hotel is a great way to get the feel for the region. Enjoy a meal by the fire in winter or out in the beer garden on the warmer nights. Co-owner Cassaly Fitzgerald happens to be one of the Barossa’s most respected wine authorities, so keep an eye out for the very comprehensive wine list. You’ll find tiny Eden Valley producers next to internationally recognised Champagne labels and plenty of hard-to-find gems in between (and who knows – one of those producers may be sitting in the front bar!).  Have a chat with the team and the locals to find out what’s going on in the area and pick a few tips to discover during your time here. The Eden Valley Hotel also offers a courtesy pick up and drop off service from the accommodation in the area so be sure to ask about this when you book your stay.

 

Day Two:

We know it’s tempting to sleep in when you have time off but if you are here on a Saturday be sure to roll out of bed early enough to head to one of the two morning markets in the area. The Barossa Farmers market in Angaston is a 17-minute drive away and the Mount Pleasant Market is a 14- minute drive away - either way you are going to see a community focused food market showcasing amazing local produce, small producers and the regional community spirit. There’s nothing like the taste of ripe, locally grown produce, so stock up on provisions for the weekend and take the opportunity to chat to the folks behind the trestle tables – you’ll be sure to uncover some great stories, recipe tips and insider knowledge.

Having fortified yourself with breakfast, it’s time to experience Henschke; a courtesy call to book your tasting will ensure Sacha and his team are ready to welcome you. Sit down, relax and work your way through a wine tasting showcasing their vinous skills in their newly renovated cellar door. There is a lot of history at Henschke, and you can feel a keen sense of their multi-generational devotion to excellence. In addition to their Cellar Door tasting, Henschke offer a number of immersive experiences, including the very rare and exclusive opportunity to walk the Hill of Grace Vineyard, hosted by a staff member,  taste the renowned Hill of Grace Shiraz. These experiences must be booked in advance but are the doorway to a lifetime of memories. 

Time does tend to stand still at Henschke, but by now it should be time to start thinking about lunch. Back in Eden Valley, drop in to see your new friends at the Eden Valley Hotel and sit up at the bar for a tasting of Max & Me Wines. Created by Phil and Sarah Lehmann, these beautiful wines are a reflection of the cool, crisp Eden Valley climate, and a rare opportunity to do a fine wine tasting at the front bar of a country pub! This is the perfect time to seek some advice from Cassaly about the best picnic spots nearby, to enjoy some of your finds from the farmers market this morning.  Eden Valley Lookout or Kaiser Stuhl conservation park are sure to be strong contenders – or maybe even back at your accommodation.

Wherever you have chosen to enjoy your lunchtime feast, it’s now time to discover Flaxman Wines. Col and Fi, along with their Official Welcome Mascot Gus the Staffy, have established a beautiful cellar door on Flaxman Valley Road – their own little corner of paradise. Col and Fi make micro-quantities of wines that are pristine and cellar worthy for those disciplined enough to lay them down. Enjoy a relaxed tasting and perhaps book in some dates for a return to coincide with one of Col’s legendary Leisurely Long Lunches. Just a suggestion…

If you’d like to extend your afternoon, Really Useful Pots is just up the road. Here, mother and daughter duo Susanna and Matilda have created an amazing gallery with their handmade ceramic designs perfect for travel mementos and kitchen additions for your home. Bring a little piece of Eden Valley home with you.

Dinner this evening is at Grand Cru in Springton, and the perfect woodfired pizza awaits you. You can choose to dine in at the beautiful estate, taking in the ambiance of the wood fire, or order take away and return to your accommodation to enjoy a relaxing evening with some newly acquired Eden Valley Wine, and all the creature comforts provided by your Eden Valley hosts.

Day Three

Sleep in!

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast of generous Barossa provisions at your accommodation and get ready to hit the road.

A lovely way to ease into the day is to visit Lillefield Gallery, just off the main street of Eden Valley township. Located at the former Uniting Church, recent renovations have created a local, volunteer-run gallery that also showcases newly restored stain glass windows.  For a different art experience, stroll the main street of Eden Valley and discover the trail of historic silhouettes.

Fernfield Wines are also located just around the back of the main street, in a beautifully restored original stone homestead. Scott and Bec not only grow their grapes and make their wines, they also have found extra hours in the weeks to make their own chocolates to match, as well as a dabble in beer. Set yourself up by the open fire or out on the deck to experience a wine and chocolate tasting or play winemaker for the day!

With grand plans in play, Poonawatta’s Cellar Door will be open in the second half of 2021. If you find yourself in Eden Valley prior to this, a quick phone call through to Andrew or Michelle will secure you a private tasting and see the works in progress, taking in the views of their ancient vineyards. With some of the oldest planted vines in Eden Valley, these wines are rich, delicious and made in tiny amounts.

And now, with lunch on our final day looming, the fantastic mid-point location of Eden Valley again comes to the rescue. Chose your exit-route from the Valley, either via Springton through the Adelaide Hills, or back through the Barossa Valley via Angaston.

If you chose the picturesque Adelaide Hills route lined with towering gum trees, stop in for a visit with Michelle at Edenmae Wines. Michelle is open on weekends and will take you through her handcrafted wines with lots of laughs guaranteed, and a platter of local produce for a light lunch.

If Angaston is your choice, then meander back down along Eden Valley Road to Barossa icon Yalumba, Australia’s oldest family-owned winery. Here you can enjoy a tasting of some extraordinary Barossa wines, accompanied by a locally-sourced produce platter for a light lunch. The warmth of the fire in winter, or the shade of the vine-covered verandah in summer will be your accompaniment to a genuine Barossa wine experience or explore the only on-site winery Cooperage in the Southern Hemisphere.

Eden Valley is a destination of discovery, where the fresh, crisp country air refreshes your senses and the friendly, welcoming locals will delight in sharing their slice of paradise with you. Take the time to slow down and linger like a local in the valley of grapes and gums.

Download the Eden Valley town map.

    

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Acknowledgement of Country —

The Barossa is located on the traditional lands of the Ngadjuri, Peramangk and Kaurna people