Barossa Valley, South Australia
The premier tourist attraction in South Australia is the Barossa Valley. (Trivia time here, it was named after Barosa in Spain, just misspelt to Barossa!) There are around 50 wineries in the area but my favourite one is the Seppeltsfield Estate. Nothing to do with their wines but rather childhood memories! My father worked for a time in the Barossa and I was fascinated by the road into the winery that had rows of palm trees, and even more fascinating was the family mausoleum up on the hill. It had an air of mystery around it. (I had read too many Famous Five books at the time!)
The Seppelts' family mausoleum is on a hill overlooking the Seppeltsfield vineyards, it was built in 1927. The building is closed but you do get a nice view of the surrounding area from the top of the stairs.
The palms on Seppeltsfield road, they still make an impression on me now, those straight lines along side the road.
The entrance to the estate, it was established in 1851 when Joseph Seppelt bought the the land to farm tobacco, wine was established later. He was an immigrant from Silesia as were many who came and settled in the area. He named the property Seppeltsfield.
The old Coach House and stables are at the main entrance. The stables have now been converted to an art and design collective. It's called 'The Jam Factory' as the original art collective was established in Adelaide in what had been an old jam factory. It was there for many years until the value of the property meant that it was sold to developers and is now a very nice set of apartments! The Jam Factory name stayed as it was well known and other locations were established.
The Jam Factory shop, where items made by the local artisans are sold. To the right are the stables with the workshops.
Part of the stables with the workshops.
The visitor's centre, where the wine tasting takes place as well as where you can book tours of the estate.
To the left of the Visitor's Centre is the restaurant called 'Fino' and a very popular one too! There was quite the crowd inside, there's an outdoor area as well but the day was hot so it seemed everyone was happy to enjoy the air-conditioning!
The tasting area inside the Visitor's Centre.
The garden area as you come in from the carpark.
The original homestead from 1851, although as there are tin sections at either end, I think there may have been some later extensions.
The estate has 12 heritage listed buildings and so it's interesting to walk around to appreciate the history of the winery.
The building on the left was used as the dining hall for the workers and dates back to 1890. (Helpful pamphlet from the Visitor's Centre!)
Beyond the dining hall lawn are the picnic areas.
The original farm was established close to a water source, the Greenock creek, this was the old pump house next to the creek.
The Elm Grove, leading down to the creek, there's a bridge to cross the creek but the day I was there the bridge was closed to it wasn't possible to do the little heritage walk that was suggested. Still the grove itself was lovely and cool on a hot day.
The door to the 'vinegar house', the estate only stopped making vinegar in the year 2000.
The vinegar factory, the building dates back to 1882 (that helpful pamphlet again!)
The building with the balconies is the most well known Seppeltsfield building, I think a picture might have been used on the wine labels at some stage? According to my helpful pamphlet it's the blending cellars 1 and 2 and the Centennial Cellar. The building is heritage listed and it dates back to 1878. (I realise to Europeans these buildings aren't that old, but in Australia they are!)
The Seppeltsfield Estate is a destination in itself, rather than just another winery to try out in the Barossa. There are tours that can be done, including one where you try out the port for the year of your birth! The estate boasts the Centennial Collection an unbroken lineage of Tawny (port?) from 1878 to the current year. The estate is the only one in the world that releases a 100 year old, single vintage wine each year.