Around the World by Train: Australia
20319 · By Katie Shaw
Episode 4 of Channel 5's Around the World by Train with Tony Robinson sees the Blackadder actor head down under to uncover the unique quirks and incredible railways of Australia.Read more
The Barossa Valley is a diverse region, with a profound history of grape-growing and wine-making dating back to 1842. Renowned as one of the world's leading wine regions, it is home to some of the oldest vineyards in the world. The Barossa Valley has a rich food and wine culture that is reflected in its premium wine production, abundant seasonal produce and speciality food products which include cheese and bread, unique smoked and cured meats.
The Valley takes its name from the Barossa Ranges, which were named by Colonel William Light in 1837. Colonel Light chose the name in memory of the British victory over the French in the Battle of Barrosa, in which he fought in 1811. The area is a 1,970 square km region encompassing the Barossa and Eden Valley. The region is split into four communities including Angaston, Lyndoch, Nuriootpa and Tanunda, and a collection of tiny hamlets.
The three major towns of the Barossa Valley each have a distinctive personality. Tanunda is generally recognised as the most German of the three with long-standing traditions dating back to the 1840s when the first German settlers arrived in the area. Because many of them came from Prussian Silesia, they called the Barossa Neu-Schlesien, or "New Silesia". The German influence survives to this day. Angaston, in contrast, is considered the English town as it was settled predominantly by Cornish miners and others from Britain. The third town, Nuriootpa, was influenced by both German and British settlers, and today is the commercial hub of the Barossa where most of the larger stores are located.
During our time in the Valley, we will visit wineries and find out about different styles of wines and their characteristics. Taste some superb wines of the Barossa Valley, including plantings of Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Riesling and Semillon and other varieties from some seven hundred and fifty five grape growers in the Barossa with an average vineyard size of 17.7 hectares.