Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Barossa Valley

The New Wine Wizards of Oz

Executive summary by darmansjah

Kingsford Homestead in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.

BAROSSA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA Like a fine wine, this valley an hour north of Adelaide is aged perfection. Wineries here are housed in sandstone cottages built circa 1860, and multigenerational families still use Old World techniques and fruit from century-old vines planted in the shadow of ancient gum trees.

Visitors follow rows of gnarled grapevines to find more than 150 wineries and 80 tasting rooms-called cellar doors-from some of the country’s most vaunted Shiraz names. But lately, the younger generation has set a new course that’s equal parts heritage and renewal. “We’re about more than traditional shiraz,” says Kirsty Radford, part of a family of fifth-generation winemakers. “We’re trying differentiation and growing methods and producing varietals not usually done here.” Tap into the revitalization at the Artisans of Barossa, a bluestone-meets-glass-and-steel co-op where seven experimental winemakers pour such small-batch surprises as Grenache and Roussane. Away from the vine, 28-year-old native chef Lachlan Colwill celebrates the region’s bounty with dishes like foraged mushrooms sprinkled with trarragon at Hentley Farms Restaurant. And the Kingsford Homestead, a seven-suite hotel in a meticulously restored 1856 homestead, draws bush baths under a canopy of gum trees and serves dinner in a stone walled wine cellar.

Try the barossa’s other top product, fortified wine. With a price tag of $168,000, the 2004 Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa-based Penfolds is one of the worl’s spendiest vintages

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