Five years ago, Barossa wines were considered a novelty; today, critics such as Robert M. Parker, Jr., rank some of them among the finest in the world. These wines are ageworthy, pleasure-giving, food-friendly, diverse in style, complex and, best of all, soft: You can pour and enjoy them when they're very young. And they're a relative bargain. Even expensive Barossa wines are still reasonably affordable compared with wines of equal quality from elsewhere in the world.
History The Barossa was settled in the mid-1800s by Lutheran Germans, very frugal people who planted their farms to be self-sustaining. It is still a land of small family farmersbig business has not taken over. As recently as 25 years ago, when old-vine Shiraz, Grenache and Mataro weren't chic, the government paid growers to destroy them.
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Climate And Soil The Barossa's warm climate is perfect for producing opulent wines. And its soil is some of the planet's oldest, with ancient red mineral deposits streaking the vineyards and adding unique flavor to the grapes.